All childminders in England need to be registered with Ofsted. The registration process is fairly time consuming and there are several steps to take. The whole process may take up to 6 months.

You will need:

  • a UK criminal record certificate (DBS check) for yourself and anyone aged 16 or over living in your home
  • Paediatric first aid training
  • Childcare training
  • Health declaration signed by your GP
  • Contact details for 2 references

Once these things are in place you must register with Ofsted. There are two registers that you can join, or you can join both.

Early Years Register – to look after children aged 0-5 you must join the Early Years Register. You will receive a pre-registration inspection from Ofsted when you apply and once registered you must follow the early years foundation stage (EYFS) framework.

Childcare Register – to look after children aged 5-8 you must join the childcare register. There is no pre-registration visit associated with this register but Ofsted will carry out regular inspections once registered.

Once your registration application is submitted Ofsted will do background checks with authorities and check your references. If applying for the Early Years Register a pre-registration visit will be arranged where an inspector will check your identity and qualifications, check that your house and gardens are safe for children, check your level of English and make sure that you are familiar with the EYFS requirements and that you can put them into practice.

Once your application is approved you may start practising as a childminder. You will need to update home and car insurance and purchase public liability insurance. You will also need to register as self employed with HMRC.