Childminders must be registered with Ofsted in order to look after children under the age of 8 years old.

Childminders caring for "young children" (until the child has reached the end of the reception year in school) must register on the Early Years Register

Childminders caring for children aged 5-7 years must register on the compulsory part of the Childcare Register

Childminders caring only for children over 8 years may choose to register on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register.

Childminders should display this Ofsted parent poster.

Ofsted Inspections

There are two types of Ofsted Inspections. For pre-registration childminders, the registration inspection will determine the suitability of your home and yourself for the role of Registered Childminder.

For childminders who are already registered, the inspection will be graded. Ofsted inspection of early years providers will focus on children’s education and their personal and emotional development and the progress children make in their learning.The results of the graded inspections are published on the Ofsted website. Inspectors will check a sample of your documentation as well as observing you working with minded children.

Preparing for your Registration Inspection

  • read the EYFS document
  • read the Requirements for the Childcare Register; childcare providers on non-domestic or domestic premises.
  • look at the document 'Preparing for your Registration Visit' which can be found on the Ofsted website
  • risk assess your home and garden (if you have one), reduce any hazards and make sure you have any necessary safety equipment. A blank risk assessment pro-forma is available on the good practice page. Childminding UK's Duty of Care pack includes a comprehensive risk assessment.
  • make sure you have all the resources that you need
  • decide on what documentation you will be using. Consider if you would prefer to create your own documentation or purchase ready made products.
  • know how you are going to communicate with parents about your childminding service and share children's development.

Preparing for your Graded Inspection Visit

  • make sure that you have all necessary documentation in place. This may include a written risk assessment (if you choose to use one) with evidence that you regularly review them.You will also be asked to provide information regarding your Policies (written or verbal): Childminding UK's Duty of Care pack includes a comprehensive risk assessment and our policy pack contains all the policies you would need. A blank risk assessment pro-forma is available on the good practice page.
  • you will need to demonstrate that you regularly observe the children in your care and that you take steps to plan their future learning and development
  • you will need to show Ofsted that you are aware of the procedures to follow to help safeguard children
  • you will need to demonstrate how you work with parents, sharing information about their child's development
  • read the Ofsted factsheet " Conducting Early Years Inspections' which can be downloaded from the Ofsted website
  • read the Ofsted factsheet 'Evaluation Schedule for Inspections' of registered early years provision which can be downloaded from the Ofsted website
  • Reflecting on your childminding practice is very important and you can show that you regularly reflect on your practice by completing the Self Evaluation Form (SEF) available on the Ofsted website

If you have any actions imposed by Ofsted at your inspection, you will be sent a form that will need completing and returning to Ofsted once you have completed the actions by the date given.

Written records

There are certain written records that you will be required to keep dependent on which registers you are on. The Early Years Register and the Childcare Register have different requirements. Childminders on both registers must meet the requirements for each of the registers. Your graded inspections will include checks to make sure that you are complying with statutory requirements of the EYFS or the Childcare Register.

Written records required for Childcare Register

If you are registered on either the Compulsory part of the Childcare Register - to care for children from the first of September after their 5th Birthday to 8 years - or the Voluntary part of the Childcare Register, you will need to keep the following written records:

  • personal information about each child
  • name, home address and telephone number of a parent/carer/guardian for each child who is looked after on the premises
  • register of attendance including actual hours of attendance
  • record of accidents which occur on the premises where childcare is provided
  • record of medication administered to a child while in your care, including the date, circumstances, and who administered it, including medicine which the child is permitted to self administer
  • written permission from parent/carer to administer medication
  • name, address and telephone number of every person living or working on the premises where childcare is provided
  • written statement of procedures to be followed for the protection of children, intended to safeguard the children being cared for from abuse or neglect
  • written complaints procedure
  • record of any complaints made including the outcome and shown to Ofsted on request.

Written records required for the Early Years Register

The Early Years Foundation Stage specifies that certain records need to be kept in writing. While it suggests that childminders do not need to have their policies in writing, and that the childminder can decide if risk assessments are recorded or not, it can be deemed good practice to have these documents in writing too. This will demonstrate how you pass information to parents and others who need to know. It is a requirement that you maintain the records you need and share with parents, carers and other professionals including the police, social services and Ofsted as appropriate.

  • Personal information about each child including full name, date of birth, name and address of every parent and/or carer who is known to the provider (and anyone else who is known to have parental responsibility for the child)
  • Parents/carers' contact details and details about which parents/carers the child normally lives with
  • Name, home address and telephone number of anyone else who will regularly be in unsupervised contact with the children attending
  • A daily record of when the child attends including actual times and name of key person
  • Records about vehicles used to transport children - including insurance, driving licence and MOT if applicable
  • Emergency contact details for parents/carers
  • Information about a child's need for medication and permission from parents to authorise the childminder for each and every medicine before any medication is given
  • A record of any medication given while the child is in your care, including information about the medicine, the dosage given and who administered it
  • A record of any accidents/ injury that happen while the child is in your care and any first aid treatment administered
  • Record of any physical intervention used when managing children's behaviour
  • Record of any complaints made and their outcome
  • Information about each child's development, likes and dislikes before you start caring for them
  • Written observations of children's development including parents comments
  • 2 year progress check

Other written records you may wish to consider

  • Records of fire drills carried out
  • Written permission about which adults are authorised to collect the child
  • Details of who has legal contact with the child if applicable
  • Permission to seek emergency advice or treatment
  • Permission for child to be included in outings
  • Written policies and procedures
  • Written risk assessments
  • Written contracts with parents stating hours, conditions and payment terms agreed
  • It is important to show records of how you self-evaluate your practice. If you choose not to use the Ofsted Self Evaluation Form (SEF) you will need to produce an alternative method of showing how you reflect and improve your practice
  • Visitors' book. Some childminders choose to have a visitors' book to show how they keep the children safe from unvetted visitors
  • Written permission to take photographs of children.

There is no set way of recording the information above. It is perfectly acceptable to produce your own way of recording, providing the information is accurate and legible. However you may wish to purchase the following to help you:

  • Duty of Care pack- including consent forms, child record forms, risk assessments, fire drill records, attendance record and much more
  • Policies and Procedures pack- including ideas, logo's and straplines to help you personalise them
  • Building your development file- including guidance, observation forms to use and information and forms to complete the 2 year progress check
  • Supervision and appraisals pack for those of you who employ others

The items listed above are a small selection of the childminding resources we have produced for you. They have been produced by a team of childcare professionals who have many years’ experience of childcare including childminding and are qualified up to Early Years Professional Status. They have been designed to keep you informed and up to date and to save you the hours it would take to produce them for your self. Visit our shop to see more information about these products and to view our whole range.