Childminding between friends

If you look after someone else's child in their own home you will not usually be required by law to register with Ofsted. You can also care for a friend's child either in your own home or any other home provided you are not paid or rewarded to do so.

You also do not have to register if you have an agreement with your friend to look after each other's child instead of payment.

However, you will need to register if you receive payment or reward to care for a child for more than three hours a day either in your own home or someone else's (not the child's home). It doesn't matter if this is a regular payment, a one-off payment, or full or part payment for the total amount you are charging.

Ofsted define payment as a 'payment of money or money's worth' so if your friend pays you in:

  • cash
  • cheques
  • vouchers, for example to use in a supermarket or department store
  • or makes a payment towards the cost involved in childcare, such as a contribution towards heating or lighting then you would need to register.

However, if your friend buys you an occasional gift such as a box of chocolates, a bunch of flowers or a bottle of wine this will not count.

If you are unsure whether you should register or not you can call the Ofsted helpline on 0300 123 1231 or email for advice.

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