Setting up a pre-school or day nursery (Childcare on non-domestic premises)

Childcare on non-domestic premises is where childcare is provided on premises which are not somebody’s home, for example in purpose built premises, village halls school premises. Such childcare normally includes pre-schools, nurseries, pre-after/school clubs and holiday clubs 

Anyone who cares for children under the age of eight for more than two hours a day in England must register with Ofsted, unless they are exempt. Exemptions are set out in the Early years and childcare registration handbook.

It is an offence to to provide such childcare without being registered or on premises that have not been approved


There are two registers:

  1. The Early Years Register - for providers caring for children from birth to 31 August following their fifth birthday. Providers on this register must meet the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)1.
  2.  The Childcare Register which has two parts:
  • part A: compulsory - for providers caring for children from 1 September after the child's fifth birthday up until their eighth birthday
  • part B: Voluntary - for providers caring for children aged eight and over.

The Early Years Registration Handbook has detailed information on registration requirements. 

You can apply for registration if:

  • You have the right to work in the UK
  • You are at least 18 

Ofstead will refuse registration if you are disqualified due to:

  • Being barred from working with children 
  • Being refused registration in the past or had your registration cancelled (other than for not paying your annual fee) 
  • If you live in the same household as someone else who is disqualified  

It is an offence to provide childcare while disqualified. It is also an offence to be directly concerned in the management of a childcare or early years provision if disqualified or to employ a disqualified person. Applicants may be able to apply to Ofsted to waive their disqualification in some circumstances. 

The Early years compliance handbook contains further information about disqualification. 


Find out about planning requirements for your proposed premises (PDF - 805.66 KB)

Qualifications and training 

You must meet qualification requirements, you can check this at

The EYFS 3.5 (Early Years Foundation Stage) states that the lead practitioner must attend a child protection course, taking account of any advice from the local children safeguarding board or local authority. We recommend that all managers or designated leads attend the class based child protection training course provided by the local authority.

If you cannot secure a place prior to your Ofsted registration application, you should complete the free online training provided by the Bromley Safeguarding Children Board and book the next available place on the class based course. Please email

We also recommend that owners and committee members attend the class based training.

You will need confirmation of your place ready to show your Ofsted inspector. 

Making an application to register

You must apply to register at

The application forms contain guidance noted throughout to help you complete the required sections. Ofsted’s online service is managed via the Government Gateway, which is a secure system to protect the data and information provided. Applicants must sign up for a Government Gateway account so that they can communicate and transact securely via email with Ofsted.

After you are registered

  • You will be contacted by one of our quality improvement officers who will offer you advice and support until your first Ofsted grading inspection. 
  • You will be invited to workshops specifically designed to meet aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage. 
  • You will be invited to attend a Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP).
  • You will be invited to information sessions to up-date you on local and national issues and to network with other childminders. 
  • You will have access to all local authority documents to support curriculum planning and the development of your setting.  


Early Years Quality Team