Childminders and childcare providers: register with Ofsted

The registration visit

If you apply to join the Early Years Register, we will arrange a registration visit. This will normally take place once all your checks are complete, but could happen earlier.

It’s important that you are ready to provide childcare at this point. An inspector will not normally make more than one registration visit.

Checks for all childcare providers

During the registration visit, the inspector will check:

  • proof of identity (your face must be clearly visible) and address
  • your training and first aid qualifications (if you’ll be looking after children)
  • that you have included all relevant details in your application
  • your work history
  • that everyone who needs to fill in an EY2 form has done so
  • that you have carried out a risk assessment to make sure that your premises and equipment and resources, such as high chairs, cots, buggies and car seats, are safe and suitable for children
  • that you and any staff or assistants looking after children have good enough English that they can develop children’s English language skills

You don’t need to have a full range of equipment at the time of the visit. However, you must be ready to provide childcare and able to show that you will have enough equipment to meet the needs of the children.

The inspector will also talk to you to assess suitability:

Documents to show the inspector

Document type Examples
Photo ID Passport or driving licence
Proof of address (2 pieces of evidence) Gas, electricity, water or council tax bill, or a letter from a government agency
  Credit card, bank or mortgage statement
Proof of any name changes Marriage certificate or decree absolute
Employment history CV or details of where you have worked
First aid Paediatric first aid certificate
Childcare training Certificates
Criminal record (DBS) checks Certificates for everyone aged 16 or older who lives or works in your home (if you’re a childminder)
Driving documents Driving licences, car insurance and MOT certificate (if driving children around)

Additional checks for daycare (childcare on non-domestic premises)

If you have applied to register as an organisation, the registration visit and interview will take place with the nominated individual. The inspector will check that you (as the nominated individual) fully understand the legal responsibilities of your role.

You must be accountable for meeting all the requirements. This means showing the inspector how you will make sure that the manager is running the setting properly (for example, setting suitable policies about safeguarding and recruitment).

As well as the points above, the inspector will check:

  • that you and your staff meet the EYFS qualification requirements for training and understand the childcare ratios
  • how much space you have for each child
  • that you understand the number and age of children you can care for (childcare ratios)
  • how you will organise your space to meet the children’s learning, development and welfare needs
  • your premises’ heating, ventilation, natural light and the general state of repair and cleanliness
  • that the children have access to outdoor play (this does not necessarily have to be on the premises), and any necessary arrangements for this
  • that there are enough suitable kitchen, toilet and nappy-changing facilities
  • that you and your staff will deliver educational programmes to help children learn and develop

The inspector will also check that you have suitable procedures for hiring staff, including:

  • recruitment processes
  • getting DBS checks
  • obtaining details of employment history, references and any other necessary checks, such as checks on an employee’s physical and mental health

The registration decision

At the end of the registration visit the inspector will let you know whether we will approve your registration or not.

If we approve it we will send you a registration certificate, together with information about the next steps.

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.