Childcare providers caring for children under the age of eight, must be registered with Ofsted. Registration includes a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) which is a criminal records check on anyone involved in providing childcare and an inspection of the premises to look at health and safety issues. We can tell you whether the childcare provider is registered, or you can ask to see their registration certificate. All registered childcare providers must display their registration certificate and insurance details on the premises.
The following types of care do not have to be registered with Ofsted:
• Care for children aged eight and over
• Care where children stay for less than two hours
• Activity based groups
• Care that is provided in the child’s home (e.g. nannies, Au Pairs, Babysitters)
However, if the provider meets Ofsted’s requirements and wishes to register voluntarily, they can do so, unless the childcare is provided directly by a school.
Childcare is inspected by Ofsted regularly (first inspection is within 30 months of registering and then they are inspected during a six year cycle depending on their last inspection grade). Inspection reports for all childcare providers are available on the Ofsted website: To look at Ofsted reports, please visit their website. You can search by provider name, postcode or their unique reference number. If you have a concern or a complaint you cannot resolve with your registered childcare provider, you can call Ofsted’s compliance team on 0300 123 4666 or put your complaint in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ofsted general enquiries line is 0300 123 1231. Ofsted does not usually become involved in complaints over fees and contractual arrangements.
Day nurseries, pre-school playgroups, crèches, out of school clubs and holiday play schemes must have;
• one member of staff for every three children under two years old
• one member of staff for every five children aged two years old
• one member of staff for every eight children aged three to eight years old