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How to Become a Registered Childminder

There are several different ways to register as a childminder or a nanny in England. This section explains who can join the Ofsted Childcare Register, the Early Years Register, how to apply, and the costs involved.

Other topics covered in this section include how to register as a childminder and what happens afterwards. Check what obligations and responsibilities you have once you start looking after children.

As a rule, you need to register with Ofsted or a childminder agency to get paid for looking after children under eight (8) years old.

But, the childminder registration process would become mandatory if all these circumstances apply to your situation:

  • The children are under the age of eight (8).
  • You look after them for more than two (2) hours a day.
  • Taking care of the children takes place in your own home.
  • You get paid for looking after them (includes payment in kind).

Note: Failing to register with Ofsted when you need to can result in a fine!

Note: Different rules apply for ‘daycare‘ (childcare conducted on non-domestic premises). For example, it is not uncommon for childcare providers to conduct daycare outside someone’s home (e.g. at crèches, nurseries, and playgroups).

But, you would not need to become a registered childminder if you are a:

  • Nanny
  • Babysitter (looking after the children between 6pm and 2am)
  • Family friend (looking after the children less than three hours per day)
  • Tutor

There are some benefits in choosing to register as a childminder even if you do not have to (e.g. you’re a nanny). Doing so can help the parents qualify for free childcare. See further details below on which register to join.

Who Cannot Register as a Childminder?

Childminding rules and regulations place certain restrictions on who can register as a childminder in the United Kingdom. Thus, you would not be able to make a successful application if you:

  • Are under the age of eighteen (18).
  • Are related to all the children that you are looking after.
  • Do not possess the legal right to work in the United Kingdom.
  • Have been barred (or disqualified) from working with children.
  • Are childminding in the same home as a disqualified person either living or working there.
  • Were refused a previous registration or had it cancelled (unless for non payment of the annual fee).

Note: You can get disqualified from providing early years or later years provision (including the management of). Use the Ofsted waiver application form if you are applying to waive disqualification as a childminder.

Which Childminder Register to Join?

There are several different ways to register as a childminder or nanny. In most cases, it would depend on:

  • How old the children are that you look after.
  • Whether you will be registering as a childminder or as a nanny.

Note: The application process is set up to prompt you into joining the correct register at the time you apply.

Registering to Look After Children (birth to age 5)

You would need to join the Early Years Register if you want to (both):

  • Become a registered childminder (details below).
  • Look after children aged between their birth date and the 31st of August following their fifth birthday.

Note: There is no mandatory requirement to join the Early Years Register if you plan on being a nanny.

Once you apply, and your checks are complete, Ofsted will send an inspector to make the registration visit. You would need to follow the Early years foundation stage statutory framework (EYFS) after you join the register.

Registering to Look After Children (5 to 8 years old)

You would need to join the Ofsted Childcare Register if you want to:

  • Become a registered childminder (details below).
  • Look after children from the 1st of September following their fifth birthday until they reach their eighth birthday.

You can choose to join the Childcare Register and make a voluntary registration as a nanny. In this case, Ofsted would not carry out the registration visit. But, the process involves being inspected as a childminder or childcare provider instead.

Childminder Registration Fee

There is an annual registration fee paid to Ofsted. The other costs also include DBS checks for childminders and childcare workers, insurance, and training.

  • Childminders caring only for children aged 5 or under: Annual registration fee is £35
  • Childminders caring for children of all ages: Annual registration fee is £35
  • Childminders caring only for children aged 5 or older: Annual registration fee is £103

Note: The annual cost to register as a nanny is £103.

Cost of Criminal Record and Health Checks

  • Cost of a criminal record check is £48.10 (for childminders and nannies)
  • Checks for adults in your home £48.10 each (not applicable for nannies)
  • Cost of criminal record check update service (recommended) £13 per year (for childminders and nannies)
  • Cost for a GP to fill in and sign a health declaration booklet is around £90 (not applicable for nannies)

Training Costs for Childminders and Nannies

  • Cost of a First aid course that covers the age groups you look after is £60 to £200 (for childminders and nannies)
  • Charges for childcare training on the type of care you provide (check with the council) £50 to £200 (for childminders and nannies)

Other Related Costs

  • Cost of public liability insurance is £25 to £100
  • Cost of the data protection fee with ICO to keep digital records of children is £40 (childminders only)


Registering as a Childminder or Nanny

The process of registering as a childminder or a nanny with Ofsted is not a complex one. Find out how to register online, how much registration costs, and how long the process takes to complete.

After Childminder Application

Ofsted will carry out several steps after you apply to be a childminder or a nanny. Check what will happen if they approve your application and how to object to a decision if they refuse it.

Working after the Registration

Ofsted set out key obligations and responsibilities for childminders who have registered to work. Besides keeping your details up to date, there is a specific form to use for reporting accidents and incidents.

How to Become a Nanny or Childminder in England