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The Beginners Guide: All The Legal Bits When Starting Your Baby Business

It’s exciting to start up and run your own baby or toddler class, but knowing all the legal bits and regulations can be a bit of a headache.

For ease of mind we’ve compiled a digestible list of all the basic essentials you need to consider when starting/running a baby or toddler class.

Looking for an easy-to-use booking system to list your new classes on? Happity could be the best choice for you!

The essentials when starting a baby or toddler class - a baby chews on a document with a bar graph on it.

The essentials that you need to legally run your baby and toddler class

Tax and National Insurance

When starting up your own business, one of the first things you need to ask yourself is whether you want to set up as a limited company, or a sole trader.

The difference?

Limited companies have more complexity and upfront cost in setting them up, but the structure helps limit your liability and protect you as an individual, so is better in the long run.

You might start off as a sole trader if you’re just testing the waters initially with a few ‘pop up’ sessions, but incorporate once you’re sure about building your business.

Deciding on this will help guide you in which direction you will need to register. If you set yourself up as a sole trader and self-employed, you will need to visit and go through the process on their set-up wizard. If you want to register as a limited company, then you will need to register with Companies House.

Insurance on venues and equipment

Most venues will have an insurance policy in place for use by providers. Make sure that you enquire what their policies are if they haven’t told you! If you are providing a venue yourself, then you should look into what insurance you might need.

T&Cs & Privacy Policy

As a business, you will need to set terms and conditions in place as well as a privacy policy. This is where you can set your terms for refunding, payment terms and also inform your customers of what you will be doing with their information/data. These are quite a handful, and you aren’t expected to write them all manually from scratch. A useful site to help get this set up for you is someone like KoffeeKlatch.

An understanding of GDPR (and registering with ICO when necessary)

Make sure you understand the basics of GDPR and handling personal data to ensure your privacy policy is all in working order. You will be handling sensitive information, and therefore will need to ensure that you are following the correct legal reason for storing the data you are using.

Ask yourself the following:

  • Am I storing their data correctly?
  • How am I collecting consensual data?
  • Is the data I’m storing only the current/up to date version?
  • How would I handle a data breach?
  • How will I handle the data of clients that do not wish to be contacted?

If you are planning on collecting any information from your classes participants, then make sure that you register with the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office), as you will be responsible for looking after personal data.

DBS checks and safeguarding

If you want to work with children or young people, you need a DBS check! You apply through the government website and is low-cost. You also need to do Safeguarding training, to ensure that your company is protecting young people from harm. Either enquire with your local council or search up “Safeguard training” to find out more.

Qualifications for your class type

If the activity you are running/planning to run requires expertise (e.g. fitness instructor, baby massage, coach or consultant) then you need to have a qualification in order to run that activity. You can find lots of training courses for these online.

If you are looking to become a part of a franchise: an initial investment

If the activity you want to run is a part of an already established franchise, then you must apply through their site. Most franchises expect an initial investment, but there are a lot of perks to becoming a part of a franchise.

Find out more about franchises (as well as all the ones that we strongly recommend!) here

potential actions to consider when starting a baby or toddler class -a baby is offering a pen to their mother.

More specific baby & toddler class regulations

Music licenses and copyright on any materials you want to use

if you are planning to use music recordings of popular music, you may need to get a music licence from PPL. Some popular insurers for the baby & toddler industry include Moreton Michel, Early Years Alliance and Hiscox!

Ensure all venues are safe/accessible & have the correct facilities

When finding a venue for your classes, you need to make sure that you and your customers feel safe in the environment they’re in and that they have all the facilities available to cater towards them. Your customers are probably going to be parent, young children, and (possibly) pregnant women. Before using the venue, have you checked fire exits and accessibility entrances? Will people be able to push buggies in to the venue, or is it stairs access only? This is all information that you and your class attendees will need to know!

First aid training

Whilst not an obligatory regulation for running a baby or toddler group of your own, it is still better to be safe than sorry. You can find a baby and child first aid course near you through a quick online search, and there are many charities or non-profit organisations who offer this training (such as Red Cross or St. John’s Ambulance).

Food hygiene certificate

Depending on your business, and what kind of food you want to bring to your baby/toddler group, you may need a food hygiene certificate. This would be more likely to be the case if you were to offer goods you baked yourself, or if you were offering a lunch at your class. If you are unsure as to whether or not you need a food hygiene certificate, it’s a good idea to check with

Clear activity and company details on Happity

To avoid any confusion, ensure that any details on your class listings are clear and provide concise information about what you provide with your classes. Make sure that people know exactly what your class is about and what to expect when attending.

Find out more about listing on Happity

Consent forms from parents when needed

Do you want to take photographs of your classes for marketing and social media? You must make sure that you have received signed consent forms from the parents of any children that might be attending and could be in the photographs.

Frequently asked questions about baby and toddler class regulations - a baby holds its chin in thought

FAQ’s about baby and toddler class regulations

Do I need a food hygiene certificate to serve tea/coffee at my baby/toddler group?

According to, If you supply food on an occasional and small-scale basis, it is unlikely you will need to register. However, it’s probably good practice (if you want to offer tea & cake) to regularly check for allergies. This might become something you could ask all the parents who attend in case of nut, seed, dairy allergies etc

Do I need permission to read a book aloud to my baby & toddler group?

In short, the answer is yes.

Schools and a lot of community areas (such as libraries) are usually allowed for educational purposes. However, if you run a business that intends to make a profit, then you need permission

You will be able to apply for permission through the publishing houses site, for example Usborne’s looks like this. Many publishing houses ask you request permission one book at a time, and warn that you could be waiting up to 16 weeks for a response.

An exemption to this answer however would be if the children’s book you have in mind is now public domain. Books become public domain 70 years after it’s author has passed away, which means a lot of public domain stories are quite a deal older than that of the Gruffalo. But, this does includes an endless amount of fairytales and a lot of the children’s classics, such as Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame), Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll), and, very recently, Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne).

Note: be sure to sense-check any public-domain stories before you choose to read them in a baby or toddler group. There may be some socially incorrect depictions (e.g. racism, sexism, homophobia etc.) in some of these older works.

Do you have a question you want to ask those running a baby and toddler classes?

The perfect place to get in touch with like-minded individuals in the same field as you would be the Happity activity provider Facebook group. Find/offer support and network with other providers easily.

Join the conversation

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