After you apply

When you submit your application Ofsted will:

  • do background checks with local authorities
  • check your references
  • give you a reference number to use if you have questions about your application

If you’re a childminder

An inspector will visit you to check:

  • your identity and qualifications - including first aid qualifications
  • your house and garden are safe for children
  • that you’re familiar with the early years foundation stage (EYFS) requirements and know how to put them into practice
  • your level of English

You will not usually get a registration visit if you’re only looking after children aged over 5.

Find out how to prepare for your registration visit.

If your application is approved

You’ll get a certificate of registration if your application is approved. You will need this to start work as a childminder.

Ofsted will publish your unique reference number (‘URN’) and inspection reports online. If you’re a childminder they will also publish your name and address - unless you tell them not to.

If your application is refused

Ofsted will send you a letter called a ‘notice of intention’ which will tell you why you’ve been turned down.

You’ll be disqualified from applying again in future.

Object to a decision

You can object to a decision if you’ve been sent a ‘notice of intention’.

You must object within 14 days of the date on the notice.

Ofsted will consider your objection, then tell you if:

  • you’re still refused registration
  • you cannot look after children in a particular home
  • your decision is overturned

If you do not object, or Ofsted does not change its decision, you’ll get a second letter called a ‘notice of decision’. This is the final decision to refuse registration or approval of a certain premises.

Appeal a decision

If you disagree with Ofsted’s final decision, you can appeal to an independent tribunal.

You must appeal within 3 months of the date that you’re sent the notice of decision.