The Education Network for Waltham Forest
Supported by Waltham Forest

Becoming a childcare provider in Waltham Forest

Education in Waltham Forest

Opening a new childcare provision can be daunting, with all the legal and statutory requirements that you have to meet. These are mostly detailed in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

In order to assist childcare providers, Waltham Forest Council has developed two self-assessment documents which extract from the EYFS statutory guidance the requirements that MUST be met. Download these now!

After familiarising yourself with this guidance, please follow the step-by-step guide below from Waltham Forest Council about opening a new childcare provision in Waltham Forest.

Step 1: Register with The Hub
Step 2: Where does Waltham Forest need childcare places?
Step 3: What type of childcare do you wish to provide?
Step 4: Find a property to offer childcare from
Step 5: Register with Ofsted
Step 6: Become a FEEE Provider
Step 7: Market your setting to local families


Step 1: Register with The Hub

The Hub website is for all Ofsted-registered education and childcare providers in Waltham Forest and should be your first point of reference for any questions you may have regarding delivering education and childcare in Waltham Forest. A variety of information is available from The Hub website, Twitter account and fortnightly e-newsletters. In order to access this support all you need to do is register.

Once registered you will need to ensure you are logged-in to enable you to download documents from the site. However, full access to all areas of the site is restricted to registered users from subscribing schools and settings. So if you have not registered your new provision with Ofsted yet, you will automatically not have full access. Read more about this.

Registration is quick and easy: Register now

Follow us on Twitter: @TheHubWF


Step 2: Where does Waltham Forest need childcare places?

In order to ensure Local Authorities have sufficient childcare, they need to know about any gaps they may have. The Childcare Act 2006 and its statutory guidance require local authorities to audit their supply of childcare and to see if it satisfies parental demand. These audits are usually called childcare sufficiency assessments (CSAs) or reports.

The Family and Childcare Trust was commissioned by Waltham Forest Council to undertake its 2015 CSA. Although the local authority has produced annual reports to elected council members on childcare sufficiency, it has not undertaken any large-scale analysis of childcare supply and demand since 2011 (Waltham Forest Council, 2011). This report fulfils the legal obligation to conduct a childcare sufficiency assessment and can be downloaded below, after you have logged-in.

Important note: The CSA is a snapshot analysis of the supply and demand of Early Years and Childcare places at the time when the assessment was undertaken (March 2016). As providers are opening and closing on a regular basis, and legislation can also change, we would advise that you undertake a mini sufficiency assessment as part of your business planning before opening any new childcare provision.


Step 3: What type of childcare do you wish to provide?

Step 4: Find a property to offer childcare from

Finding suitable premises can be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when planning to set up a day nursery. The lack of suitable sites and the high cost of property can mean that finding premises in some areas is a long and difficult task. We cannot help you find suitable vacant premises or carry out numerous site visits; although on the rare occasion we are informed of any potentially suitable property, we will advertise it on our Education HUB website under

We have created a guidance document called “Finding Suitable Premises” which is available in the attachments at the bottom of this page. You must be logged in to view this document.

We have also created a guidance document called “Planning & Building Regulations Approvals” which advises you to always check with the L.A’s Planning Department  regarding the correct planning approvals for the property but also advises you about Building Regulations approvals required if you are to undertake any improvements works on your premises. Again, you must be logged in to view this document.

We have also created guidance relating to taking out a lease on the following HUB page

Step 5: Register with Ofsted

Be clear about what childcare provision you are registering for. Register now


Step 6: Become a FEEE Provider

Once the Council receives notification from Ofsted that your setting is registered as "Proposed", you will be sent an email with a link to information on this website that explains in detail the process you will need to go through to be commissioned by the LA to deliver the Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE). Read our guidance 'Be commissioned by the LA to deliver the Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE)'.

If you decide not to offer the FEEE, then the Council will no longer be involved in the set up process. You can use the Early Years & Childcare section of The Hub to find all the information you need to be aware of to comply with your legal obligations, but we will not provide any other support.


Step 7: Market your setting to local families

Once your setting is open, it is important to register your setting on the Waltham Forest Directory, as it allows you to advertise your services to thousands of families in Waltham Forest for free.

Instructions for registering on the Waltham Forest Directory

The DFE provide the Local Authority with lists of parents of 2 Year old children who are potentially eligible for a funded place. Redacted versions of these lists will be provided below in the attachment section of this page allowing Providers of 2 Year old places to market to these parents/postcodes through leafletting/promotional material.


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Last updated: 
Monday, 3 September, 2018
Last updated: 3 September 2018 by Barry Fong