The Childcare Registers

Ofsted registers childcare providers on two registers: the Early Years Register and the Childcare Register. You must register on the Early Years Register if you intend to care for children with ages between birth and 5 (up to 31 August after they turn 5 years old) for payment or reward. You must register on the Childcare Register if you intend to care for children aged between 5 and 7 years old for payment or reward. You can apply to join one register or both registers at the same time.

Ofsted has published a Guide to Registration on the Early Years Register. This includes the requirement to adhere to the Early Years Foundation Stage framework (see below). Ofsted has also published a Guide to Registration on the Childcare Register on its website.

For details of those types of childcare for under 8's where registration is not required, visit the Ofsted website. Examples of type of childcare that are exempt from registration include if you provide care where any individual child does not stay with you for more than two hours a day, even if your childcare service is open for longer than two hours, or if you care for children under eight from specific premises for 14 days or less in any year and notify Ofsted in advance of the date the childcare commences.

If you are not sure whether your proposed business needs to register, you can ring the Ofsted helpline on 0300 123 1231 for more information or clarification.

If your proposed childcare service is exempt from full Ofsted registration, you may be able to apply to join the Voluntary part of the Childcare Register which will enable working parents to access tax credits/childcare voucher schemes to help fund placing their children in your care.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The Childcare Act 2006 established the EYFS as the framework for care and education of children in the Early Years age group (from birth until 31 August after their fifth birthday) that all providers registered on the Early Years Register must deliver.

The EYFS includes requirements for the provision of young children's welfare, learning and development that all providers must meet, as well as good practice guidance. You will need to adhere to the framework of the EYFS when delivering early learning and childcare via your proposed business.

The Foundation Years Website provides a number of resources for childcare providers, including the EYFS Framework. You will need to download this and be fully familiar with the framework before Ofsted can register your business.

Contact details

Early Years, Childcare and Children's Centre Service
10th Floor, Civic Centre
London Road
Morden
SM4 5DX

fsd@merton.gov.uk