Providing childcare services in England

Find out what you must do to register as a childcare provider with Ofsted, as well as how you must run certain parts of your service.

There are 4 sets of guides, telling you what you need to do if you want to apply to:

  • be a childminder
  • be a nanny
  • be a nursery or other type of daycare
  • register on the Childcare Register, if you do not fit into one of the above categories

Each set also has important information for running that type of childcare. This includes:

  • adding a setting where you can look after children
  • which people you need to tell Ofsted about, including joiners or leavers
  • reporting serious childcare incidents such as temporary closures, or a child’s illness or injury
  • paying an Ofsted invoice


To register as a childminder with Ofsted, you will need to be looking after other families’ children in someone’s home. This can be your home, or someone else’s.

You can only have a maximum of 3 adults, including yourself, working at the same time.


You will need to be looking after only 1 or 2 families’ children at the same time in order to be registered as a nanny with Ofsted. This will have to be in one of those children’s homes.

Nurseries and other daycares

You will need to register as a daycare if you will be looking after children aged between birth and the 31 August following their fifth birthday.

You will be doing this in either:

  • a place that is not someone’s home
  • a home where 4 or more people will be working with the children at the same time

Childcare registrations

If you do not meet the requirements for any of the above 3 types of childcare, you might still be able to join the Childcare Register.

This will usually be if you are running a sports club for children or before and after school care.

Published 30 January 2020
Last updated 2 March 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated to include information on paying the annual registration fee by direct debit.

  2. Updated to include information and links to new digital services for childminders and nannies. There is no change in law or policy.

  3. First published.