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 established on a charitable basis has to have a voluntary management committee that 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
  • any profit is reinvested back into the setting

Setting up a new early years and childcare group

If you're 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 group's finances is a whole group's responsibility. The group will run smoothly if finances are managed well. 

This information will give you 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's essential to know the Safer Recruitment 12 Steps Checklist.

Ensure you're advertising and paying your staff correctly. National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a minimum amount per hour that most workers in the UK are entitled to be paid and includes apprentices.

Find out about safe recruitment e-learning training, information and guidance, and get example templates and support for managing your staff.

DBS check

All staff and volunteers must have a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check completed prior to starting work. Find out about Safety Net's checking service.

Becoming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

How to change an unincorporated association or trust to a charitable company or CIO, plus other types of conversion.

Other useful links

The following list contains useful links and resources:

  • Safety Net is "working with communities to keep children safe", Safety Net works to improve safety and well-being for children, young people and families at home, school and in their communities
  • Resource Centre is "a really useful place for community groups", Resource Centre provides an information service, equipment to hire and a self-service print and design service
  • Community Works "gives 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 is the government organisation that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales
  • ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) "supports good relationships between employers and employees which underpin business success and when things go wrong we help by providing conciliation to resolve workplace problems", ACAS provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law