Crèche (England)

  • Statutory registration and National Standards
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • What are the key market issues and trends?
  • What are the main trading issues?
  • Legislation
  • Further information

A crèche is a short-term, occasional childcare facility used by parents while they study, attend appointments or carry out other tasks, generally in the vicinity of the crèche. Crèches are often located in permanent facilities such as shopping centres, leisure centres, educational establishments, hotels and workplaces. However, many crèches are run on a mobile basis, providing temporary childcare at weddings and other one-off events such as conferences.

Crèches differ from nurseries and childminders because they only provide care for children on an infrequent, ad hoc basis during the day, rather than providing regular full or half-day care involving pre-school educational activities and progress checks on children. Crèches also differ from children's soft play centres, where parents are required to stay with children while they play.

Most crèches in England are not required to register as childcare providers with sector regulator Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills). However, some crèches that provide care, for example in cases where parents are not present in the vicinity, are required to register.

This profile provides information about starting up and running a crèche in England. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and some of the key trading issues. It also identifies some of the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information. Separate factsheets are available to cover starting up and running a crèche in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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