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Childminders able to use alternative premises from January, without additional registration

Under new Government policy, childminders in England will be permitted to work from ‘suitable non-domestic premises for up to half their time’, without the requirement for additional registration.

The policy comes into effect from January next year as part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act. PACEY contributed to a Government consultation on the proposals back in 2013.

It is hoped that the change will facilitate greater flexibility for childminders to base themselves at different sites to the one at which they are registered, for some of the time - for example, at a local community hall, or working with other childminders at a school, during the school holidays.

Ratio requirements will remain the same, though childminders will be permitted to run larger groups by working together in groups of two or three.

The move also aims to reduce paperwork. Currently, if a childminder wishes to base their setting at a different location from the one at which they are officially registered, they must complete a separate registration application to Ofsted.

From January 2016, those wishing to use alternative premises will only have to make a single application, stating their request to use different settings. It will also be possible to add additional premises to an existing registration, without having to complete a new registration application.

Ofsted approval will still be required before a provider can base themselves anywhere other than their registered setting. 

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