Ofsted Early Years Education and Childcare Registers

All childcare providers are inspected against set guidance and regulations

For those childcare providers offering government funded early education to two, three and four year olds, they are checked to ensure that they meet the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for care, learning and development.


Early Years Register

Childcare providers must join the Early Years Register and deliver the EYFS if they care for children in the 0 - 5 years age group. Some services will not have to register which may include:

  • some crèches
  • activity based settings such as sports clubs
  • care provided in the child’s own home such as a nanny
Childcare Register

Compulsory part – childcare providers must join the Childcare Register if they care for children who are older than the EYFS age group but who are under eight.

Voluntary part – some types of childcare provider are not required to register, but can choose to do so. 

These are:

  • care providers who work in the child’s own home, such as a nanny, au-pair etc
  • activity based settings such as sports, art and computer clubs etc
  • short term care, including some crèches
  • care which is only for children aged eight and over
  • childcare providers, who work with children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) (0-5) age group and also with children up to eight, must join both registers
Further information about Ofsted.
Quality assurance schemes

Some childcare providers have undergone extra checks as part of a quality assurance scheme to prove that the service they are providing is of the highest quality.

There are many different quality assurance schemes and some schemes are available nationally.

Childcare, early years education and the law

Knowing what to expect from an early years or childcare service can help parents have confidence in the service they choose.

Legal regulation framework

This sets out standards for most kinds of childcare and early education.

Education Acts

These apply to state nursery schools, state nursery classes and maintained schools.

Information for families

The Childcare Act 2016 gave Local Authorities a duty to provide information, advice and assistance for parents and carers with children and young people up to the age of 20 regarding a wide range of services and support to families