The regulations and licenses required for starting a day nursery vary depending on the location within the UK, whether in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. However, there are some core regulations that remain consistent across the UK. These regulations include registering your day nursery with the country’s specific regulator and ensuring that the nursery adheres to the standards of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. It is important to check the registration process for your country early on as there are pre-registration requirements, including DBS and health checks.
The regulators for the different UK countries are Ofsted for England, the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) for Wales, the Care Inspectorate for Scotland, and the Health and Social Services Board (HSSB) for Northern Ireland. Additionally, taking out relevant day nursery insurance cover is necessary to ensure full coverage for things like public liability and sickness. Insurance policies should also cover staff and children away from the nursery, such as during a nursery trip.
Adhering to food safety and hygiene standards is also crucial. If you are responsible for managing your day nursery’s food handling and preparation, qualifications as noted by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are necessary. The FSA also provides a Safer Food, Better businesses pack for childminders with specific hygiene requirements for storing, cooking, and chilling food in a day nursery context.
Strict health and safety requirements must be followed, and a health and safety policy must be put in place to demonstrate how things like risk assessments, fire safety and risk, reporting injuries, evacuation procedures, maintenance, storing and handling hazardous substances will be conducted. Staffing regulations are also strict, including a certain number of staff present per child and a specific number of staff with required qualifications.