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Child minders

Child minding is regulated by separate legislation in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The legislation is similar but details differ. There are exceptions from registration for certain relatives and in other circumstances and the detailed definitions in the legislation should be consulted.


The Childcare Act 2006 Part 3 regulates child minding in England.

A person must register with Ofsted in order to provide “early years” child minding for children from birth until 31 August following their 5th birthday. Such childminders must show that they meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). For “later years” children after such age up to and including the age of 7, child minders must be registered with Ofsted in the later years register. For further information, visit Ofsted
Useful information is also available from the National Childminding Association

What's new:
26/06/2013: Early Years provider loses case v Ofsted
Cambridge Associates in Management v Inspector of Schools in England
[2013] EWHC 1157 (Admin)
 CDN challenged in the High Court Ofsted's decision to issue the Notice to Improve and Ofsted's decision to publish its finding on its website (for a period of 5 years). The court ruled that the claimant's challenge to Ofsted's decision to issue a notice to improve was a ‘Wednesbury’ reasonableness challenge, which would fail. Ofsted had been entitled to conclude that the period of five minutes, albeit short, had been nonetheless significant, rather than minimal and that the incident had indicated a lack of effective staff deployment on that occasion. Accordingly, the February decision had been a proportionate and reasonable one in all the circumstances.

Northern Ireland
The Children (NI) Order 1995 regulates child minding in Northern Ireland. A person acts as a child minder if he looks after one or more children under the age of twelve for reward and the period, or the total of the periods, which he spends so looking after children in any day exceeds two hours. A child minder should register with the local Health and Social Services Trust.
For further information, visit
and the Northern Ireland Childminding Association

Under the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 Part 5 Chapter 3, a person who seeks to provide a child minding service must apply to the Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (SCSWIS) .

“Child minding” means looking after one or more children (under the age of 16) on domestic premises for reward.
For further information, see the Scottish Care Inspectorate
and the Scottish Childminding Association

In Wales, the Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010, the Child Minding Day Care (Wales) Regulations 2010 and Child Minding and Day Care Exceptions (Wales) Order 2010 apply to child minders. A person must not act as a child minder in Wales unless he is registered as a child minder by the Welsh Ministers.

A person acts as a child minder if the person looks after one or more children under the age of eight on domestic premises for reward; and “child minding” is to be interpreted accordingly.

For further information, see the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales website
and  the National Childminding Association pages for Wales.

[Page updated: 27/06/2013]


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