Thinking of Opening a Home?

A requirement for membership of ICHA is to already have a registered children’s home, or have an application pending.

If you are looking at opening a home, have a look at the following information.

First see the information in the FAQ section of our website re setting up a children’s home. It is important to be aware that registration can be a lengthy process.

ICHA would caution anyone who is not experienced in residential child-care to be aware of the current regulatory and market conditions, and to have researched the need in your proposed geographic location very carefully.

The sector is highly regulated and you will need to meet stringent requirements before you can operate. The lead-in time to establishing a children’s home is substantial and you will be faced with significant setup costs, You must ensure that you have significant capital to last you through to accepting children.

Initial consideration will need to be given to the type of property required, whether you will rent or buy, where it is located both for safety reasons and in relation to neighbours, and whether you will need planning permission.

Staffing will be your most significant initial and ongoing cost. You will need an initial cohort of staff with a degree of sector experience and you must employ a suitable Manager-who will be key to your future success. They will need to be experienced and knowledgeable and have the ability to demonstrate this to OFSTED, in order to become registered.

All of this and more must be in place before you can submit your application to Ofsted which must be complete before they will process it. It is probable that Ofsted will then take around 16 weeks before registration is granted.

We therefore strongly advise that before taking any steps, you first do a substantial amount of background work to familiarise yourself with the sector and its requirements.

Specialist Help

If you’re opening a children’s home, having the right insurance to protect is essential. Having specialist care consultancy on hand to help you with running the home, will prove invaluable too.

Our sponsor, Markel UK, a specialist insurer to the charity and care sector with over 25 years’ experience and, Wilby, a care sector insurance broker, can provide these services at competitive rates for ICHA members.

Members can also obtain care consultancy services from Janjer who advise on a wide range of care-specific issues, including business management, risk management, and business continuity planning. This includes a pay as you go service and a monthly subscription service.

We are also in the process of developing a separate consultancy list and these will be added to the website as they become available.

Please note: You should always undertake your own ‘due diligence’ of any companies/services.

ICHA Membership

ICHA requires members already have a registered home, however, if you have an application already ‘submitted to Ofsted’ awaiting finalisation, you would be eligible to apply to become an Associate ‘Holding’ Member with a proviso that you are required to notify ICHA, once your registration is finalised.

You would then become a ‘full ICHA member’.

ICHA is also compiling a list of specialist care consultancy services. Please contact for further details.


You are advised to refer to the OFSTED website, and consult carefully the regulations, as they pertain to the running of children’s homes.

Ofsted now offer a guide explaining in more detail what the law says anyone intending to open a children’s home must do in order to apply for registration:

The sector is highly regulated and you will need to be aware of the need to employ staff experienced in childcare and not least, a Registered Manager who meets OFSTED requirements. The lead-in time to establishing a children’s home is substantial and you will be faced with significant setup costs, not only in terms of the property but in terms of recruitment of staff, training, establishing written procedures etc.


You must undertake your own due diligence when contacting Consultants.


If you are a Consultant and would like to add your details on this page or in listed in the ICHA Handbook, please contact for further discussions.


Andrew Roberts, Changing Outcomes



Telephone number: 07716475325

Andy has worked in the social care sector for over 17 years. He has a background in psychology, has been a registered manager of a children’s home, and works closely with a number of our members.


  • Opening up children’s homes
  • Management support / mentoring
  • Formulating action plans for Ofsted compliance notices
  • Reg 44’s and audits