3. How to apply

  1. Contact your local council to find out about Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) training courses and becoming a childcare provider in your area.

  2. Apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check through the Ofsted portal.

  3. Join the DBS update service and agree to Ofsted checking your DBS certificate at least every 6 months. If you haven’t joined the service 19 days after getting your first certificate, you must get a new one.

  4. Fill in and submit a health declaration booklet if you’re applying as a childminder on the Early Years Register, working directly with children, or a manager in charge of the day-to-day running of childcare on domestic premises.

  5. Apply online - you’ll need a Government Gateway account to log in. If you’re applying to both registers apply using the Early Years application form.


You must pay a fee to be registered.

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

Type of childcare Early Years Register Childcare Register (compulsory or voluntary) Both registers
Childminder £35 £103 £35
Home childcarer - £103 (voluntary only) -
Childcare on domestic or non-domestic premises £220 £114 £220

Childcare providers on domestic or non-domestic premises pay a reduced fee of £35 for the Early Years Register if they work for less than 3 hours a day, or less than 5 days a week, or less than 45 weeks a year.

Get help and advice

Contact your local council if you have any questions about becoming a childcare provider.

Contact Ofsted if you have any questions about the application process.

Telephone: 0300 123 1231
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges