Early Years Services in the Voluntary and Community Sector

How to set up a voluntary or community run 'non for profit' business.

Committee run organisations

A voluntary management committee is a committed group of people who manage a community service. The committee is the employer of staff who work at the provision and is legally and financially responsible for the business.

Childcare that is established on a charitable basis has to have a voluntary management committee who ensures the objectives and aims of the setting are met on a "not for profit" basis – this means the outcomes for children and young people are the main focus and any profit is reinvested back into the setting.

Getting started

If you are thinking about setting up a new early years and childcare group, this information should help you be clear on all aspects from choosing a legal structure and writing a constitution to opening a back account and allocating roles and responsibilities.

Getting started

How to start up a group and write a constitution

Responsibilities of registered charities:

Roles and responsibilities of the management committee

Registering as a charity

Managing finance

Managing the groups finances is a whole group's responsibility. The group will run smoothly if the financial side of things is managed well. This information will give you the tools and practical tips on budgeting and planning for the future. A set of basic financial rules will help your group be consistent in how you handle money and keep records.

Financial rules

Managing money

Raising money

Safer Recruitment and management of staff

In a committee run setting, the committee as a whole are legally responsible for employing staff, recruiting new committee members and all employment matters. As employment law changes regularly, it is essential to know the Safer Recruitment 12 Steps Checklist   

Ensure you are advertising and paying your staff correctly.The National Minimum Wage (NMW) will be updated 01 October 2015. This is a minimum amount per hour that most workers in the UK are entitled to be paid and includes Apprentices.

For safe recruitment e-learning training, information and guidance, example templates and support for managing your staff: Safer recruitment and managing staff

All staff and volunteers must have a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check completed prior to starting work. Safety Net provide a checking service that you can access:  Safety Net DBS


If you are a trustee, director, board member, governor or committee member of a charity, trust or association that works with children either exclusively or as part of a wider role, then this guide is for you. The Everyone’s Business Safeguarding for Trustees guide sets out your responsibilities for safeguarding and protecting children, and helps you link your strategic responsibilities with operational delivery.

Simple Quality Protects (SQP) scheme

Brighton & Hove Let's Protect Programme is an accredited quality assurance programme for local community and voluntary organisations working with children and young people Simple Quality Protects 

Becoming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

This is a new form of charitable organisation which became available in 2013. It gives a charity the main advantages of a charitable company (a legal personality and limited liability for its Trustees) but it is regulated solely by the Charity Commission. Changing charity structure from an unincorporated group to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation

Other useful links:

  • Safety Net "working with communities to keep children safe" Safety Net work to improve safety and well-being for children, young people and families at home, school and in their communities.
  • Resource Centre "a really useful place for community groups" The Resource Centre provides an information service, equipment to hire and a self-service print and design service.
  • Community Works "we give community groups and voluntary organisations the support and the platform they need to make as big a difference as possible to local lives and issues"
  • Charity Commission - The Government organisation who register and regulate charities in England and Wales
  • ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. "We support good relationships between employers and employees which underpin business success and when things go wrong we help by providing conciliation to resolve workplace problems"