A nursery or kindergarten is a care and learning establishment for children from their first years of age until the beginning of their basic education stage. These places have gained great importance in society due to the diversification of the economy during the last century. Well, with the wave of job opportunities, both men and women spend less time at home. Therefore, they require a reliable place to leave their children in care.

This has sparked the interest of hundreds of entrepreneurs in how to set up a nursery and respond to this high demand. And, likewise, contribute to the comprehensive training and development of early childhood

With the aim of solving all these doubts, today we will talk in detail about how to set up a nursery in Nigeria. We will delve into the requirements, legal procedures and key steps to start this venture.

Requirements to open a nursery in Nigeria 



It is well known that nurseries are centers for the care of children aged 0 to 6 years. Therefore, they must comply with a series of legal and administrative conditions that guarantee the integral well-being of infants. Among these, safe spaces, qualified personnel, hygiene and health standards, formality and operating licenses are contemplated. 

These conditions usually vary depending on the legislation of the country in which the establishment operates. However, there are certain common elements regarding the registration procedure. Next, we will see some of the requirements related to how to set up a private nursery in Nigeria. 


1. Legal form


Within the regulations to set up a nursery, we find a procedure common to the creation of any type of business. It is about choosing a legal form in order to catalog the enterprise within a legal structure (natural or legal person). The most common form in these cases is to register as a company (legal person), but what type of company is recommended for a daycare center?

Well, the most recommended type of company for a nursery is the Limited Company, as it is the structure most used by small self-employed entrepreneurs. This is made up of one or more partners who participate equally, so the liability is limited to the capital contributed by each one. In this way, the debts and financial obligations fall on the capital of the company but not on the personal assets of the partners.


2. Commercial register


When opening a nursery, it is necessary to process the commercial registry, which allows all entrepreneurs to carry out their commercial activity. As well as publicly accrediting their quality as a merchant and accessing business information. Having the commercial register is mandatory to carry out the following steps.


3. Registration for Tax


Another of the essential procedures in how to set up a nursery is to make the registration corresponding to the payment of Taxes, which are charged for the execution of any activity that generates income.

4. Census declaration of start of activities


After having met the above requirements, it is necessary to make the census declaration for the start of activities. To do this, you must have the commercial registry, as well as acquire and legalize the guest books.


5. Nursery registration with the Ministry of Education

This is an administrative procedure typical of a daycare center. Here the registration of the establishment is carried out in the Center for Non-University Teachers of the Ministry of Education. The foregoing in order to verify that it meets the requirements for the training of children in the early childhood stage and that it has professionals in early childhood education. In other words, it refers to the registration of educational centers of non-university origin.


6. Activity license


Finally, in the process of setting up a nursery you will have to request the operating or activity license. With which, the entity in charge, valid if the establishment meets the required hygienic, sanitary, acoustic, habitability, safety and accessibility conditions. In addition to kitchen, playground, dining room and classroom units for children of different ages.

This permit grants the power to start the activities in the chosen facilities, be it a local or your own home.


What is needed to open a nursery?




In addition to meeting the requirements to set up a daycare center, it is necessary to cover another series of elementary aspects for its operation. These are related to location, supplies and budget. So let’s see what it takes to set up a standard nursery in Nigeria. 


1. Location and space


Whether you want to set up a nursery at home or rent a place for it, the regulations require that the place have differentiated spaces. These must be demarcated, signposted and in perfect physical and structural condition. In order that children are comfortable and can develop different playful and learning activities. The intended extension area will depend on the number of children received there, but how many children can you have in a nursery?

It is true that this depends on the type of nursery, since some large ones serve more than 30 children a day and other smaller ones only 10 or 15. However, it is necessary to establish classroom units for each age range . Which must have a minimum area of ​​30 m2 and be occupied as follows:

  • Children under 1 year: maximum 8 children
  • 1 to 2 years: maximum 14 children
  • 2 to 3 years: maximum 20 children
  • 3 to 6 years: maximum 25 children

For its part, the regulations allow nurseries with less than 3 classroom units to group children of different ages in the same space. This without exceeding 15 children per unit.

In addition to classrooms, opening a nursery requires other types of spaces, such as:

  • Multipurpose room: It is mandatory if the space has more than 3 classroom units
  • Patio: It must have indoor areas so that children can also enjoy the outside on rainy days.
  • Bathrooms in each classroom.
  • Rest area: For children under 2 years old and isolated from the kitchen classrooms.


2. Furniture and equipment


To answer questions about how to set up a nursery, it is essential to place special emphasis on the furniture, supplies and equipment necessary for it. Therefore, below we will see all the essential elements for each space of the nursery.

  • Reception: Chairs, desk, computer, telephone, printer and office supplies.
  • Classrooms: Chairs, tables, blackboards, mats, television, sound equipment, shelves and cabinets.
  • Bathrooms: Toilets, sinks, towels, diapers, soap and bathtub.
  • Rest area: Cots, hammocks, duvets, blankets and wardrobe.
  • Kitchen and dining room: Cutlery, plates, glasses, bottles and basic supplies to prepare food.

Also, it is important to have enough didactic, teaching and entertainment material, such as:

  • Books and Stories
  • Board games and puzzles
  • Notebooks, pencils, colors, crayons and paints
  • Toys, stuffed animals, dolls and figures
  • Balls and play mats


3. Staff


Working with children in early childhood is a job that requires a vocation, experience and love for the profession; in addition to certified skills, knowledge and abilities. Therefore, a degree is required to set up a nursery school, that is, the educators who work there must have specialized training

For example, professional degree in early childhood education, bachelor’s degree in pedagogy, specialization in education, among others. This in order to guarantee optimal learning processes, comprehensive care and inclusive and quality education.

For their part, the kitchen staff must have a certificate or accreditation document in food handling . Also, it is possible to hire an external catering service that complies with the required regulations.

As for the administrator , manager or director, they do not have to meet a strict qualification requirement , since anyone can start this business. As long as he complies with all the requirements and procedures mentioned above.


4. Budget to set up a nursery


At this point you must be wondering how much it costs to set up a nursery. Well, the investment budget depends on several factors:

  • Location
  • rental value
  • suitability of space
  • Furniture and equipment
  • Cost of legal procedures
  • Among others


Likewise, this will be determined by the type of nursery that is going to be started , that is, by its size and the number of children that will be received.

On the other hand, said budget must also contemplate the fixed costs corresponding to the first months of operation of the nursery. With this we refer to staff salaries, materials, payment of public services, rent, maintenance, inspections, etc.

Taking all of the above into account, it is possible to project an estimated value of between #100,000 thousand to #1,000,000 million naira for a medium-sized nursery or standardized nursery in Nigeria. 


Steps to open a nursery in Nigeria 



Now that you have knowledge about the requirements and necessary aspects of this business, it is time to take note of the steps to set up a daycare center. Here we share an elementary guide to plan and execute the actions to follow to start the enterprise.


1. Pedagogical project


Thinking about how to set up a nursery in Nigeria is not just about visualizing a profitable and lucrative business. While it is true that child care services are in high demand in Nigeria, the work goes beyond that.

It is about providing safe and quality spaces for the development and growth of children in their first stage of life. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a pedagogical project that clearly defines the educational approach of the establishment.

Here, basically, times, activities, teaching materials, identity and added value of the nursery should be considered. In other words, to specify an entire care and learning program where the well-being of children, equality and respect are prioritized. For this, teachers must work together in the construction of the project, thus achieving quality, timely and organized processes.

We recommend that you prepare the project based on the age range of the children. In this way, it will be possible to define personalized activities, schedules and materials for each group.


2. Business Plan


A business plan is the roadmap that outlines and describes the actions to be followed to start up a business. Therefore, its development is vital in the process of opening a nursery. Well, it will be the guide to fulfill the business objectives and move forward more intelligently. The following aspects should be included in the business plan

  • Market research: It is prepared in order to analyze the environment, the competition and the behavior of the childcare market. In addition, it is the cornerstone for knowing the target audience and focusing strategies on their preferences and needs.
  • Services: Here you specify the offer of services of your nursery, in order to provide a more complete picture of its focus and mission. Dining room, laundry, classes and psycho-pedagogical guidance are some of the common services provided in a nursery.
  • Marketing plan: It refers to the strategies that will be implemented to promote your daycare and make it known to the target audience.
  • Financial summary: It is the planning of the initial investment budget, the fixed maintenance costs of the business and the projection of income.


3. Adaptation of the space and security measures


Throughout this guide on how to set up a nursery we have seen the importance of space and facilities. Since it is a place intended for the care of young children, it requires certain adaptations.

First of all, focus on making sure that all the areas are comfortable, welcoming, fun and that they have decoration according to the age ranges. To do this, try to use warm colors and set the scene with lights and figures of animated characters.

Also, take advantage of the space on the walls to teach , for example, paint the vowels, colors or words in English. So children can indirectly capture this information.

On the other hand, make sure that the place is 100% safe. Among the details to take into account to ensure the safety of children are:

  • Buy a first aid kit (include contact information for each parent of the children).
  • Install non-slip flooring .
  • Cover sockets with rubber protectors.
  • Cover sharp corners with rubber protectors.
  • Include locks on door frames to prevent children from getting their fingers stubbed if they close.


4. Marketing and promotion


The last step, but not least, refers to the promotion strategies. These will be the means to attract customers and get parents to hire your services. Therefore, within the process of setting up a daycare it is essential to plan marketing and advertising strategies and tactics, in order to promote and position the business in the market. 


These must be included in the business plan and executed before, during and after start-up.

Here the options are varied, since you have the possibility of combining traditional marketing and digital marketing actions. This will help you increase effectiveness and reach a larger number of users. Some of the techniques you can apply are:

  • Merchandising, radio spots and flyers
  • Loyalty campaigns and promotions
  • Website, paid search engine ads and SEO positioning
  • Email marketing and social media marketing


Final words


It is clear that childcare centers, beyond being a lucrative business, fulfill a social task. These are establishments to which hundreds of parents entrust the care of their children at an early age. Therefore, to carry out this business it is vital to have a vocation, favorable facilities and a solid educational program. In addition to providing added value and han having an expert and trained staff.

We hope that with our guide on how to set up a nursery you will be encouraged to take the step to entrepreneurship. Do not forget to train, plan and analyze all aspects of the business. Good luck on the way!