Who needs to be registered?
Ofsted registers childcare providers (this means any form of care for a child including education or any other supervised activity). They have 2 different registers that they register providers on and these are the Early Years Register or the Childcare Register.
The Early Years Register is for all childcarers that provide care for children from birth to the 31 August following their fifth birthday (known as the early years age group). They must register with Ofsted on this register and deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage.
The Childcare Register has two parts: a compulsory part for those caring for children aged 5 to 8 years; and a voluntary part where those who do not need to register can choose to register if they want (i.e. nannies, activity groups, creches and those that care only for over 8 year olds).
What does registration involve?
For those on the Early Years and/or Compulsory Register the following are some examples of what providers will need to complete before being registered:
- Enhanced Disclosures / Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) Checks - to ensure that staff working with children are suitable, Ofsted carry out Enhanced Disclosures on childcare group managers and childminders. Groups are then required to CRB check all staff. Others working with a registered childminder, and any household members over the age of 16 will automatically be checked through Ofsted.
- Inspection - All settings are inspected prior to being registered to ensure they are ready to care for children and that the premises are safe and suitable. Providers will then be inspected at regular intervals after registration and these reports can be found on the Ofsted website or you can request a copy from the provider.
- Training - Providers must have the qualifications required in the guidelines. Childminders must undertake a basic training course. Childcare groups must have a certain number of qualified staff. All childminders and a certain number of staff within childcare groups must have an appropriate first aid certificate
Please note that those on the Voluntary part of the Childcare Register will have different requirements. Some of the requirements are:
- All staff with unsupervised access to children must undergo a check with the Criminal Records Bureau
- Staff, premises, equipment and care provision must be safe and suitable
- At least one member of staff who is caring for children must have an appropriate first aid certificate
- The registered provider must have public liability insurance
You can find more information on Ofsted registration policies and other useful information for anyone looking for, or using, a childcare service on the Ofsted website.