want to know if its possible to start a nursery from home please help

in Small biz MoneySaving
9 replies 15.3K views
hi all, i am looking into starting a nursery from home, basically we will be building an extension at the back of the house and side for this purpose so we will have a downstairs toilet a sleeping area and a large play educational also a alrge back garden to use. but im finding it difficult to find out the legalities of it all there is a lot of info about opening a nursery on the net but i cant find info for running the business from home or even if you are allowed to.....
any advice would be greatly appreciated.
thanks in advance
now proud mum to 3 handsome boys :j latest one born 10/10/11:j


  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
    44.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Well, whether you are 'allowed' to depends on a number of factors:

    Presumably you own your own home, so you don't have to worry about your landlord having anything about 'not running a business from home' in your tenancy agreement.

    But it might need 'change of use' permission from the council or something similar.

    What's parking and access like for parents dropping off and picking up their children? ie are you going to p off all your neighbours when they block drives (because they will ...)

    Will your neighbours complain about the noise of x little darlings shrieking around the garden?

    What age are you planning to offer this to? Because I think you need separate areas for babies, younger toddlers and older children: if you're only planning to take babies, will you get enough business to make it viable, because if a parent needs care for a baby plus an older child they might prefer to have it in one place? Ofsted are the people who know about that ... they also know about ratio of toilets to children, one might not be enough.

    And not an 'allowed', but a future consideration - if part of the house has been exclusively used for business, then you would be liable to CGT when you sell, I believe.

    I'm sounding very gloomy, aren't I? so, to be more positive, how many children were you thinking of taking? If not many, then childminding might work better, and I believe you can childmind in partnership. I hope that makes sense / helps a bit!
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  • emvemv Forumite
    340 Posts

    Try doing a search for "Early Years & Childcare Service" + your County to get the local contacts. They will be able to tell you about local demand & supply of childcare places, help you to write a buesiness plan & support you through Ofsted registration. It's unusual to have a home-based nursery but not impossible. However, my son's childminder works from home with a second childminder and she runs what is in effect a mini-nursery without being subject to the restrictions of nursery registration. This doesn't mean that she runs lower-quality care in any way but there is less bureaucracy!

  • My son used to go to a childminder, who had done what it sounds like you are doing.

    Rather than calling it a nursery, she was a childminder employing other childminders. It was a lovely place, and because it was smaller than a nursery, but bigger than just someones house, then you got the best of both worlds.

    Good luck, it sounds like an excellent idea if you manage to do it.
  • mirrorimage0mirrorimage0 Forumite
    3.9K Posts
    hi all thanks very much for all your info and advice, have been very busy researching etc (also my litllens birthday this weekend so partys and circus trips etc)
    yes i think we are going to go with the childminder employing other childminders as it is less involved and as was stated earlier it doesnt actually mean the care will be of loewr quality etc it just means it will be so much easier to set up and maybe once i have the hang of the business side etc i can always look into developing it in other ways. thanks again guys it was a pleasyre reading your remarks.
    now proud mum to 3 handsome boys :j latest one born 10/10/11:j
  • NenenNenen Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    I'd be really interested in doing this kind of thing too. Whilst I realise I'll probably never become rich caring for children like this (as an alternative to my current teaching job), have you any idea of the sort of profit margins you'll be hoping for?
    “A journey is best measured in friends, not in miles.”
    (Tim Cahill)
  • mikewebsmikewebs Forumite
    538 Posts
    hi there

    Instead of using your own home, can you find a local church hall that is available for the hours you need? This may then solve problems with planning permission etc and also means that you may only be asked to make a 'donation' rather than a fee to the church. Also you wouldn't have the other overheads such as light and heat and the associated problems of apportioning them between personal and business use. I would think it would be easier to get the necessary approvals from all the regulatory bodies if you were operating from somewhere like this as well because safety certificates etc would be someone else's domain - again another headache you wouldn't have to put up with. Remember you have to have the CRB checks done on everyone that works there - even if you have a current one from another employer.

    I only suggest this because our church has a playgroup running there and they seems to be doing very well indeed.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
    44.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Personally I'd say that setting up in external premises was always likely to be more of a headache than running from your own home - but I've twice helped with registering an out of school club and never tried to register as a childminder! Although a couple of my friends did, in our younger days ...

    As well as ALL users having to store equipment safely, and ALL parts of the building being either secure or childproof, you also get issues of access.

    For example, we hired the community hall (as we thought) from 8.30 am - 5.45 pm Monday to Friday during school holidays, and 2.45 - 5.45 pm in term time. All agreed, deposit paid, children signed up. "Oh, but you can't have it ANY Thursday morning, because the Art Group meets all year round, and we've just signed up a Yoga class which won't finish until 3 pm on Mondays, and you need to be out by 5.30 pm on Tuesdays for Judo, and ..." Hello, NO, we booked it and we paid for it, and we can't just tell parents we won't open Thursday mornings, or leave children waiting outside while Yoga finishes, or turf them out before their parents arrive so Judo can start!

    And I've been helping at a conference based in a church these last few days, and some of the parents from the Parent & Toddler Group turned up this morning, forgetting that the group had been cancelled for a week because we'd hired the building.

    Also these days I'd be surprised if a church or community hall DIDN'T charge a market rent, to at least cover heat and light.

    Yes, you do need to calculate costs carefully at home, but your overheads will be far far lower there, and it will be far easier to make (and keep) the premises safe.

    And because you wouldn't be at home, you'd probably have to have at least 3 members of staff there at all times, whereas at home you probably could have just 2 and start smaller.

    Well, that's my perspective anyway!
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  • mirrorimage0mirrorimage0 Forumite
    3.9K Posts
    thanks for your help guys
    now proud mum to 3 handsome boys :j latest one born 10/10/11:j
  • lee8040lee8040 Forumite
    554 Posts
    theres alot of things you need before you'll get permission. i no one builder who done this to a house and it cost £80,000 for all the reuqirements, like fire proofing and escapes etc
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