How to open a private day nursery

Updated February 21, 2017

People who enjoy nurturing and educating children can flourish in their own private-run nursery. A private nursery holds huge growth potential, both financially and in terms of personal development. Characteristics that you will need to open an exclusive nursery include a love for children, patience, will-power and dedication to nurturing both the business and the children. The degree of success to expect from your nursery depends on how you organise and prepare for opening the private childcare facility.

Focus on the age range you would like to care for in your nursery. The average ages for private nurseries are 0 to 5 years. Also decide on the hours you'll open. To best accommodate the average working parent, the ideal hours are 7am to 6pm. Choose a name that defines the theme of your business and shows your love and dedication to children.

Register your business with HM Revenue and Customs. You'll also need to register the nursery with Ofsted and get food-handling and various other health and safety certification that shows your business meets European and UK regulations. Ensure you get public and employee liability insurance in place before opening. Contact the UK's National Day Nurseries Association for a full list of the regulatory requirements you'll need to meet.

Locate your preliminary investment money. Your own savings, a loan or grants all provide options. Other than the location and furniture, keep an open mind about other costly resources you'll require to carry out daily routines such as food, entertainment, playground equipment and storage.

Pick up toys, colouring books, children's books, puzzles and any other type of age-appropriate toys, sleeping mats for naps and resting times, first-aid kits, high chairs, as well as playpens. If you are on a budget, you can find toys on online auction sites. Thoroughly disinfect and clean all toys before placing them in your private nursery. Buy child safety equipment such as safety plugs and child safety gates.

Advertise your private nursery to acquire your clientele. Post local online listings and newspaper adverts, and take flyers to other businesses, such as health clubs, book shops and cafes.

Create exclusivity. Specialise in teaching your children sign language, a foreign language, or some type of education other day cares don't focus on. Find a way to stand out from the crowd, so parents choose you over other available day cares.


As of 2014, the UK's government is offering a start up grant to individuals looking to start a nursery in England. A £500 grant is available to support start-up costs.

Things You'll Need

  • Playpens
  • First-aid kit
  • High chairs
  • Child safety items
  • Toys
  • Educational items
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About the Author

Rose Smith has been writing professionally since 1992. Her how-to and relationship articles have appeared in "Family Circle" and several other national publications. She has also written the books "Sizzling Monogamy" and "101 Ways to Date Your Mate." Smith holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Illinois State University.