Our early years and childcare work

Our early years and childcare work

From 1 September 2014 we will register childminder agencies. A childminder agency will:

  • encourage more people to become childminders
  • support training and development of childminders
  • help parents find and work with a childminder
  • improve the quality of childminding.

For more information on how to register to as a childminder agency, go to the Register as a childminder agency page.

From early January 2015 we will inspect childminder agencies.

GOV.UK has more information about childminder agencies.

Regulation of childcare

Ofsted regulates and inspects four types of early years and childcare provider.

  • Childminder
    A person providing care for one or more children aged between birth and 18 to whom they are not related for reward in someone’s home – usually their own.
  • Home childcarer
    A person providing care for children from birth up to the age of 18 at the home of one of the children. The children must be from no more than two families at any one time. Nannies and au pairs are the most common examples of home childcarers.
  • Childcare on domestic premises
    A group of four or more people working with children in someone’s home.
  • Childcare on non-domestic premises
    A person or organisation providing care on premises that are not someone’s home, such as a purpose-built nursery or a village hall. This covers private and voluntary nurseries, pre-schools, out-of-school clubs and holiday playschemes.

What we publish

We publish as much information as possible about providers on the Early Years and/or the Childcare Registers.

We do not publish detailed information about providers where their details are confidential, such as women’s refuges, or if they are a childminder who refuses consent to publish their name and address.

Inspection reports, and other details about the provider, remain online until five years after a provider closes.

Safeguarding children

All staff who visit nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges on behalf of Ofsted as part of an inspection, have undergone appropriate employment checks and an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosure.

All Inspectors carry official Ofsted photo identification badges so that schools and other providers know they have passed these rigorous safeguarding checks.

Ofsted inspectors work to government legislation and statutory guidance, which is based on the Department for Education's Safeguarding children and safer recruitment in education.

If you want to make a complaint, or you have a concern about any service we inspect, go to the How to complain page.

If you want to report concerns about practices and procedures for the safeguarding of children and young people in local authority services go to the Whistleblower hotline page.

Annual Report 2012/13

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