Childminders and childcare on domestic premises: registration
How to register if you want to look after children at home as a childminder, including what you need to do before you apply, fees, and working elsewhere for up to half your time.
You are a childminder if you are caring for children in your or someone else’s home for payment or reward. It does not count as childminding if it is the home of one of the children being cared for, unless the care is for more than 2 different families at the same time.
There are some situations when you cannot or may not need to register with Ofsted.
You can work alone or with up to 2 childminders at any one time. Each childminder (often known as co-childminders) must apply to register separately.
If you work with 3 or more other childminders or assistants, you are providing childcare on domestic premises.
You may also want to work in different settings as well as being a childminder.
You only need to apply once, even if you work from a number of different homes. However, you must tell us about all of the homes where you will work.
You can apply either as an individual or as an organisation (for example Jenny Smith or Jenny Smith trading as SuperStars (Ltd)) but for Ofsted registration purposes you will be treated as an individual registered person. If you become a company after you register, you will not need to apply again.
You can have assistants but can only leave them alone with children for up to 2 hours a day (with parental permission). If you want to leave children alone with assistants for longer periods of time, the assistants must register as childminders in their own right.
Your assistants need to get an enhanced check with barred lists from DBS. You will need to use the Childminder: report new adults in the home service. They cannot work unsupervised until they have received their suitability letter from Ofsted.
Childcare on domestic premises
If you want to work with 3 or more other adults in someone’s home, this counts as childcare on domestic premises. “Domestic premises” means somewhere that’s used entirely or mainly as a private home. You can have 4 or more childminders or any mix of childminders and childminding assistants.
You cannot work as a childminder and offer childcare on domestic premises under the same registration. If you want to work part of your time as a childminder, and part as childcare on domestic premises, you need to register separately for each. You will need to pay 2 fees and have separate inspections.
How to apply
Before you apply
We cannot accept DBS checks done via other organisations, or Ofsted DBS checks older than 3 months, unless you’re on the DBS Update service.
Anyone aged over 16 in the home also needs an enhanced check with barred lists from DBS. This includes:
- anyone who lives in that home
- anyone who works there during childcare hours
- any assistants who will be working with you
Find out more about household members or regular visitors that we need to know about.
You’ll also need to:
- know which registers you need to join
- do a training course (check with your local authority for details)
- get a first aid qualification suitable for the ages of the children you look after
- ask your doctor to fill in the healthcare declaration booklet
- do a risk assessment in your home to spot any potential risks to children’s health or safety – including from any equipment or activities you will provide
When you start looking after children you’ll need to have public liability insurance.
How to apply
You need to use the Apply to register as a childminder service.
You need to tell us about all adults and childminding assistants and anyone aged 16 or over who lives in your home or works there during childcare hours when you make your application. We will contact them to complete a health declaration form and confirm their details.
Childcare on domestic
You will need to have a Government Gateway account. You will be prompted to sign in or create an account when you start to apply.
Make sure that everyone who needs to has filled in an EY2 form and got an enhanced check with barred lists from DBS.
Following your application
You will receive a unique reference number, or URN, by email.
We aim to register you within 12 weeks of sending you the URN, but it can take longer in some situations.
If you’re joining the Early Years Register, we will visit you. This is called the registration visit.
You may be able to put your application on hold in some circumstances.
If your application is approved, you will get a registration certificate. If you are working on non-domestic premises for up to 50% of the time, we will only send you one certificate, but this will contain the details of all premises.
Ofsted will publish details about your registration online unless you ask us not to.
If we refuse your application
If you cannot show us that you are suitable to be registered, we may refuse your application. If so, we will send you a ‘notice of intention’ to refuse. If you do not respond to this within 14 working days of the notice date, we will send a ‘notice of decision’ to refuse registration and information on how to appeal.
You will need to follow all requirements for childminders or childcare on domestic premises. We will inspect you if you have joined the Early Years Register, and may inspect you if you have joined the Childcare Register only – find out more about inspections.
Childminders pay £35 to join the Early Years Register. It’s free to join the Childcare Register at the same time. Read more about the different registers.
If you’re only joining the Childcare Register, it costs £103.
There are also costs for training, checks and insurance. View a full list of estimated costs.
Childcare on domestic premises
It costs £220 to join the Early Years Register. It’s free to join the Childcare Register at the same time.
If you’re only joining the Childcare Register, it costs £114.
You pay a reduced fee of £35 to join the Early Years Register if you work for less than any of the following:
- 3 hours a day
- 5 days a week
- 45 weeks a year
About Ofsted’s fees
Once you’re registered, you must pay the same fee annually. This is due on the anniversary of your registration and covers the previous year. See more information about Ofsted registration fees.
Working in different settings
If you want to start working as a childminder in another home as well as your own, you need to let us know.
However, you can work outside your registration as an employee for a registered childcare provider, like a nursery or other daycare, for any amount of time. You do not have to let us know.
Working as an Ofsted-registered nanny
You can do this under your childminder or childcare on domestic registration but you need to let us know. You can tell us about this when you first apply to register or contact us after you are registered.
Setting up childcare on non-domestic premises (the 50% rule)
Under your childminder or childcare on domestic premises registration, you can apply to spend up to 50% of your time running childcare from non-domestic premises. Non-domestic premises include places like nurseries, church halls, parts of a school or classrooms. You need to follow the same requirements as your original registration.
You do not have to pay an extra fee but you must apply for approval to work on non-domestic premises using the ASA form. You can do this when you submit your main application or once you are registered. However, we will not review this until we have confirmed your initial registration.
You can decide how you will divide your work between the different settings, as long as you only spend up to 50% of your time working on non-domestic premises. For example, you can work from different settings on a daily basis, or on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis. However, you must describe how you will divide the work between each setting in your childminding application.
We will need to approve your non-domestic premises before you can work there. However, you can still offer childminding/childcare on domestic premises under your registration.
If you want to spend more than 50% of the time providing this type of care, you need to register separately with us as a provider of childcare on non-domestic premises. It is an offence to provide this care for more than 50% of the time without our approval.
Telling Ofsted about changes
You must keep your details up to date and report any changes within 14 days of them happening. You also need to tell us about any serious incidents.
Contact us to report changes to:
- where you are working
- your contact details
- your childcare hours
Tell us about any changes to the staff who work with you or people aged 16 or over in the home using the EY3 form.
Resigning your registration
If you want to resign your registration, contact us or tell the inspector during a visit.
Household members and regular visitors
We must check people who live or work with you in the home. This includes:
- anyone aged 16 or over who lives in the home (household members)
- anyone who works there regularly during childcare hours, such as a cleaner or childminder’s assistant
If you provide a ‘childcare on domestic’ service, these people will need to complete an EY2 form online.
If you are a childminder, you will need to use the Childminders: report new adults in the home service.
For more information, see People connected with Ofsted-registered childcare.
Visitors include people who are doing building work or repairs in your home.
We do not normally do checks on regular visitors, but you are responsible for these people and should not leave them alone with children. You should also have a procedure for checking the IDs of visitors like tradesmen and builders who are working in your home.