Register as a childminder in England

Remember, before you register you need to have undertaken training and suitability checks. Read more about them here.

If you want to be paid to look after children under 8 in England for more than two hours a day, you must register with Ofsted on one or both of the following registers.

  • Apply to the Early Years Register if you plan to look after children aged 5 and under - that is from birth up to the 31 August after their 5th birthday
  • Apply to the Childcare Register to look after children aged 5 to 7.

If you want to look after children of all ages, you must apply to both registers.

Registration is essential if you want to be paid to look after children. You can receive an unlimited fine, be sent to prison, or both if you're providing childminding or daycare services without being registered.

Can I register?

Before you register, you must ensure that you:

  • have the right to work in the UK
  • are aged 18 or over
  • are allowed to work with children - you’ll need to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check beforehand, along with everyone else you live with over 16
  • are physically and mentally capable of caring for children. Your doctor will have to sign a health declaration booklet to confirm this.

You can’t register if you’re disqualified, for example:

  • if you're barred from working with children
  • if you've been refused registration previously
  • if you have had your registration cancelled for a reason other than for not paying your annual fee
  • if you live in the same place as someone else who is disqualified.

How long will it take to be registered?

For childminders, it can take up to 12 weeks to become registered.

Once you've applied to be registered as a childminder, Ofsted will visit your setting to assess and approve your application for registration. At this visit, the inspector will expect you to be ready to begin childminding, so you should ensure that you have everything ready.

If you want to work from more than one place you will need to state your request to use different settings in your application. You can also add additional premises to an existing registration, without having to complete a new registration application.

During their visit, the Ofsted inspector will:

  • check your identity, premises and equipment
  • ask to see your DBS disclosure certificate
  • ask you how you plan to deliver all of the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage
  • assess how you will help children to make good progress with their learning and development while they are in your care
  • assess how you will meet safeguarding and welfare requirements.

All this helps them to decide your suitability as a childminder.

The inspector will usually tell you soon after the visit whether or not Ofsted is prepared to register you as a childminder.

Once you're registered

Congratulations! You’re now able to begin your career as a registered childminder, providing high-quality childcare and education for children.

Once you receive your certificate of registration from Ofsted, you must display it in your childminding setting where parents and carers can see it.

You must also have appropriate public liability insurance (PLI) in place as soon as you are registered. PACEY’s PLI insurance, underwritten by Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance PLC is designed especially for childminders. Call us on 0300 003 0005 to upgrade your free learner membership to the full childminder package plus PLI.

PACEY's insurance offers PLI cover of £10,000,000 and professional indemnity cover of £100,000.