If you want to be paid to look after children under 8, you might need to register with Ofsted or a childminder agency.

You can get a fine if you do not register when you need to.

You must register as a childminder if all of the following apply:

  • the children are under the age of 8
  • you look after them for more than 2 hours a day
  • you look after them in your own home
  • you get paid to look after them - including payment in kind

You can register with Ofsted online. To register with a childminder agency, contact them directly.

There are different rules if you want to provide daycare outside someone’s home - for example a nursery or creche.

You do not need to register if you’re:

  • a nanny
  • a tutor
  • a babysitter and if you look after the children between 6pm and 2am
  • a family friend and if you look after the children less than 3 hours a day

You can still choose to register if you’re a nanny or in other situations. This helps the child’s parents qualify for free childcare.

Check which register to join if you’re not sure.

Who cannot register

You cannot register if you:

  • are under 18
  • are related to all of the children you look after
  • do not have the legal right to work in the UK
  • are barred from working with children
  • have been disqualified
  • have been refused registration in the past or had your registration cancelled - unless it was because you did not pay your annual fee
  • are childminding in a home where a disqualified person lives or works

If you’ve been disqualified, you may be able to apply to waive your disqualification