Ofsted Voluntary Childcare Register

There are two Ofsted registers: the Early Years Register and the Childcare Register. The Early Years Register is for providers caring for children aged from birth to 31 August after their fifth birthday.

They must meet all the Statutory requirements for the early years foundation stage. This includes requirements for safeguarding and welfare and learning and development.

Childcare Register

The Childcare Act 2006 introduced a new Ofsted Childcare Register. The register has two parts: compulsory and voluntary.


Childcare providers paid to look after children aged five to seven years for more than two hours a day must join the compulsory register. This is required by law.

Typically these are childminders or child carers who look after children before and after school or during the school holidays. There are some exemptions.


Childcare providers who are not required to register by law can choose to register on this part of the register. This allows eligible parents to use the childcare element of Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit or use childcare vouchers or Tax-Free Childcare to help with childcare costs.

The types of childcare that can choose to register include:

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