Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in the Pink Book of Legislation, we regret that we cannot be responsible for any errors. This guide is not intended to be a definitive statement of the law in England. If you require precise or detailed information on the legislation mentioned in this guide, or on the legal implications for you in particular, you should consult a professional legal adviser.
- If you regularly provide day care for children under the age of eight for more than two hours in any day, then registration with Ofsted may be necessary.
- The registration process involves filling in an application form and providing details about other people associated with the care.
- Ofsted will need to be satisfied that you are a suitable person, and will expect certain qualifications or recommend some training.
Childcare Facilities and the Children Act 1989
Under Part X of the Children Act 1989, you are required to register with Ofsted if you are offering certain types of care facilities for children under the age of eight for more than 2 hours. This applies regardless of whether the child belongs to a member of staff (e.g., a crèche for employees) or a guest (e.g., a childcare service or kids’ activity group).
Does this apply to me?
- if the child is over the age of eight, or:
- if the child is in your care for less than two hours
- if the child is between five and eight years old and in your care for more than two hours – you have to be on the Ofsted Child Care Register
- if the child is under five years old and in your care for more than two hours – you have to be on the Ofsted Early Years Register
You can apply to join one register or both registers at the same time. You can also apply for voluntary registration with Ofsted if you are offering childcare that does not need to be registered.
It is important to note that the Act says that you have a duty to ensure that the children are well cared for, even if you are not required to be on a register.
Are baby-sitting and baby listening services covered?
Baby-sitting is not specifically covered by the Act. This is because care that is provided on the parent's own premises is not normally treated as childminding, unless you care for the children of more than two sets of parents in the home of one of them.
Baby-listening services do not come within the scope of the Act. However, if you provide baby-sitting services on a regular basis on particular premises, such as a hotel's baby-sitting service, then you may need to register.
If you need to apply for registration, or are in any doubt as to whether you need to register, you should contact Ofsted.