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Contact your local Health and Social Care Trust (HSCT) to apply for registration as a childminder, or to provide day care services.

You must register if you’re paid to look after children:

  • under 12
  • you’re not related to
  • for more than 2 hours a day
  • in a private home

All the adults living or working at the home where you’re based must also register.

You don’t have to register to do babysitting.

If you want to provide any type of day care service for children under 12, you must register even if you’re not charging any money. This includes playschemes, out-of-school clubs or creches.

How to apply

  1. Download ‘The Children Order: a guide to help you with registration’ (PDF, 54KB)’

  2. Contact your local HSCT for a registration form.

It’s free to register.

What happens next

Once you’ve submitted your application the HSCT will:

  • check your references
  • carry out checks on you with your doctor, your council and the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB),
  • do checks on anyone else who will be living or working at the home
  • inspect the home

Getting your registration

If you’re approved, you will receive a certificate that shows you’re a registered childminder. This usually takes between 2 and 3 months.

Displaying your certificate

You must keep your certificate of registration - or a copy of it - where it can be easily seen.

Fines and penalties

If you don’t register as a childminder, you can be fined £5,000, sent to prison, or both.