Children's home: do you need to register?

What you need to know about registering with Ofsted if you want to open or manage a children's home.


Introduction to children's homes

Introduction to children's homes

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


All children’s homes must register with Ofsted unless they are exempt. This guide explains to those who want to open or manage a children’s home what they must understand and prove to be registered with Ofsted.

Published 12 April 2012
Last updated 24 April 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated this guidance to clarify that we do not register satellite children’s homes.
  2. Updated to make it clear when unregulated and unregistered services should register.
  3. Updated to bring in line with legislation changes in 2015.
  4. First published.