Apply for this licence

Start now on the Care Inspectorate website


You must register with the Care Inspectorate if you want to run a day nursery in Scotland.

You must register to provide day care where all the following apply:

  • the children are under the age of 8
  • the nursery is on non-domestic premises
  • sessions are more than 2 hours in any one day
  • the service is provided at least 6 days a year

Day care includes all nursery classes, crèches, after school clubs and play groups.

It doesn’t include services that are part of school activities, sports clubs or uniformed activities, like Scouts or Guides.

About your application

As part of the application process you’ll be asked for detailed information like:

  • personal details and financial records
  • references
  • building plans and surveys
  • manager details
  • staff recruitment and training
  • day care arrangements

Read the guidance below for more information about the registration process and fees.

How to apply

You can apply online or by post.

To apply online, register with the Care Inspectorate.

To apply by post, contact the national enquiries line for an application pack.

Care Inspectorate enquiries
Telephone: 0345 600 9527
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Displaying your registration certificate

You must keep your certificate, or a copy of it, in a prominent place in your nursery.


The ‘Care Inspectorate’ can inspect your nursery. If they find problems they’ll tell you what to do to put things right. If you don’t do these things they can close your nursery down.

For more information about the standards you must meet, read the guidance below.