Childcare Development

A child smilling

Thinking of starting a childcare business?

Starting a childcare business is a big commitment and prior to starting you will need to consider existing childcare in your chosen area and ‘demand' for the childcare you want to provide.

You will then need to decide what type of childcare you want to provide:

  • A registered childminding service
  • A day nursery
  • An out of school club (after school or holiday club)
  • A playgroup or Cylch Meithrin

In order to determine whether there is a demand for the service you intend to offer, you will need to carry out some market research.  This should cover all aspects of your proposed operation - ages of children, hours of opening, fees, programme of activities etc. This will help indicate the size and type of the premises you will be looking for. 

Every local authority in Wales is required to carry out a Childcare Sufficiency Assessment (known as a CSA) every three years where childcare supply and demand is analysed and gaps in provision identified. The CSA can be a useful tool when researching ‘childcare' needs within a specific area.

Business Support

To assist you with setting up your business there are organisations such as Business Wales and the HMRC who will be able to support you.

Business Wales - 03000 603000

Caerphilly county borough council has a business enterprise support team. Please phone them on  01443 866222.

For support with Tax, National Insurance, business records and expenses please go the HMRC website.

If you are thinking of registering as a childminder you will also need to think about being self-employed and paying tax. Go the HMRC website for newly registering childminders to assist you with understanding tax and the basics of what you need to do.

The Role of Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW)

The CIW regulate and inspect day care services for children 12 years and under in Wales, these include:

  • Childminders
  • Full day care
  • Sessional day care
  • Out of school childcare
  • Crèches
  • Open access play

All childcare settings looking after children aged 12 years and under and operating for more than two hours must be registered with the CIW.

The main aims of registration are to promote quality and to protect children, ensuring that they are cared for in safe and suitable surroundings.

A childcare setting must meet the CIW National Minimum Standards before registration can be granted.

If your business is going to care for children aged 12 years and under for more than two hours in any one day and you are not registered with the CIW you will be breaking the law.

The CIW will continue to inspect the setting(s) to ensure the registered person is continuing to meet the National Minimum Standards and Regulations when operating.

 Market Research

The aim of market research is for you to make the right choice when beginning your new venture. You need very specific information and need to ask the right questions to the right people.

Below are some examples of questions for you to begin your research:

Your customers:

  • Who are your customers?
  • What age will you cater for?
  • How much are your customers willing to pay?
  • How many children would be attending?

Your competitors:

  • Who are your competitors?
  • Can you identify any gaps?
  • What service are your competitors offering?
  • How much do they charge?
  • What activities do they offer?

How will your service be better, why will a parent want to pay for their child to attend your setting?

You can design a simple questionnaire, visit parent and toddler groups or carry out market research at local schools or supermarkets (you must ask permission before you do so)

Existing provision

When looking at opening a new childcare provision it is very important to see what services other provisions are offering in your chosen area, things to look out for are:

  • Price range - are these per hour, per week or per month?
  • Vacancies - by age range
  • Waiting list
  • Opening hours - are unsociable hours offered?
  • Location - accessible by public transport, are there good links?
  • Service offered
  • Languages spoken


Grants for Childcare Providers

The Caerphilly Early Years and Childcare Service Area have a number of grants available to support the development of new Childcare places within the County of Caerphilly. It is essential that the provision itself is supported not only in its developing stages through start up grants and business planning, but also through on-going officer support to assist with sustainability, quality and improving professional development. For a brief outline see below and for further details of how to apply and the Terms and Conditions of the Grants please contact the Early Years and Childcare Team on 029 2076 0768. All grants are subject to funding availability.


Grants Available:

Out of School New Childcare Development Grant

The Out of School Childcare Grant will contribute to the delivery of the Welsh Government’s Tackling Poverty Action Plan and Strategic Equality Plan as well as supporting local authorities to offer sufficient out of school childcare in their local area and play a significant role in delivering on the Welsh Governments Commitments in their Childcare policy Statement ‘Nurturing Children, Supporting Families’.

The Out of School Childcare Grant is pivotal to supporting the provision of good quality, affordable and accessible childcare to meet the needs of all families who wish to access childcare before and after the school day.

On behalf of the Welsh Government, the Caerphilly Early Years Team is offering grants to organisations and individuals wishing to develop new Out of School Childcare, including: -

• After School Clubs

• Wrap Around Childcare,

• Day Nursery places

• Holiday clubs

This grant is to support revenue costs only. Large capital projects, or the purchase of large equipment, are not permitted under this grant scheme.

The grant consists of several elements depending on each applicants needs. The aim of the grant is to support the development of new settings during their initial set up.

The amount of the grant depends on individual circumstances: -

• New childcare settings are eligible for a grant of up to £7 500

• Holiday club Start ups are eligible for a grant of up to £3,000


Childminder Start-up Grant

Grants of £350 are available to all newly registering childminders to help pay for Training Quality Start packs from PACEY, DBS costs, essential equipment, including health and safety equipment.

This grant can help provide everything a childminder needs to start up their new business. We will take new childminders through the journey from initial enquiry to becoming an established registered childminder. For help and advice on becoming a childminder please contact the Early Years Office on 029 2076 0768.

Expansion of Places Grant

This grant will help to support providers wishing to expand the number of places available. Expansion includes e.g. expanding into the afternoon from a morning playgroup or increasing the operational number of children the setting is registered for, e.g. wrap expanding into a ASC or Holiday club. 

The Out Of school Grant has set aside a budget to help support the provision of new places at a unit cost of £75 per place. As such all applications will be considered on a first come first served basis and assessed on their own merit.  Applicants must show how they fit with identified gaps within the current Childcare Sufficiency Assessment (copies are available from the Caerphilly Early Years Team).

Sustainability Grant

This grant is for sustaining good quality childcare provision, which is at severe risk of closure.  Grants will be assessed on expressed need.  Providers must show their income is less than their expenditure and must have no non staff-related reserves and will need to prove that their occupancy and or income will increase by the end of the financial year.  Groups applying for the grant must be registered to offer childcare with CIW.

Grants can be spent on Staffing costs, rent, heating and lighting, essential health and safety costs (including insurance), relocation costs (If group through no fault of their own find they have to relocate) and consumables e.g. paint, paper etc.  This grant is not available for funding play equipment or paying off debts.