1. Overview

You must register with Ofsted if you want to set up a childminder agency in England.

Childminder agencies register childminders and give training, business support, advice and help finding suitable parents.

You can register as an individual, or as a private or public sector organisation such as a school or academy.

You must have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, and be interviewed and inspected by Ofsted as part of your application.

Which register to join

There are 2 registers. You must apply to join:

  • the Early Years Register to register childminders who look after children aged 5 and under
  • the compulsory part of the Childcare Register to register childminders who look after children aged 5 to 7
  • both registers to register childminders who look after children of all ages

The Early Years Register is for children from birth up to the 31 August after their 5th birthday.

If you’re on the compulsory part of the Childcare Register, you can also join the voluntary part. You can only register childminders on the voluntary part of the register if you’ve already registered them on the compulsory part.

How long it takes

Registration can take up to 16 weeks.

Fees

It costs £220 to register as a childminder agency.

It’s free to join the Childcare Register if you’re already on or applying to the Early Years Register.