Ofsted Childcare Register

Tips on registering your nanny

Parents who want to use childcare vouchers or take advantage of the government's new Tax-Free Childcare Scheme to manage the cost of a nanny will have to employ a nanny who is registered or who is willing to be registered with the Ofsted Childcare Register (OCR) or equivalent registers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Letters are sent by the government to all registered eligible nannies. If a nanny does not receive this letter or has lost it, they can contact the Childcare Service Helpline on 0300 123 4097 for guidance.

For information on the childcare Ofsted registration of nannies in Scotland, please visit the Scottish Care Inspectorate for more information or contact your local Tinies branch for guidance.

In Wales, nannies need to be registered on the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales Childcare at Home Voluntary Approval Scheme or contact your local Tinies branch for guidance.

In Northern Ireland, nannies need to be registered on the NI Direct Government Services Home Childcarer Approval Scheme or contact your local Tinies branch for guidance.


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Nannies registering with Ofsted

Why should nannies register on the Ofsted Childcare Register?

  • It may allow parents to gain financial assistance with their childcare costs
  • Parents can redeem employer-supported vouchers against childcare costs or
  • Parents can benefit from government support towards their childcare through the new Tax-Free Childcare Scheme
  • It increases the nanny's professional status

Any nanny can register on the Ofsted Childcare Register who:

  • Has a recognised childcare qualification - this includes training such as the Caring for Children in their Own Home (CCOH) course and a current First Aid certificate
  • Is caring for one or more children aged from birth to 17, wholly or mainly in the home of one of the children, for a continuous period of at least two hours on any one day or for a period of less than two hours where the childcare provided is part of arrangements that start or end before or after normal school hours

Who applies for Ofsted Childcare Registration?

The nanny must apply as a "Home Childcarer" (it is important that they apply as this and NOT as a Childcare Provider on Domestic Premises which is different). The process can take up to 12 weeks for approval, so it is advisable nannies apply straight after the interview to avoid lengthy breaks in redeeming vouchers.

During the registration period, it may be feasible to claim backdated childcare vouchers - however, the parent would need to contact the voucher scheme company or their own HR department to seek additional information to see if they can back-date any vouchers.

The nanny must hold onto the certificate of registration as it is a condition of registration that the nanny shows parents his/her certificate on request. If it gets lost or damaged, a replacement must be applied for at the cost of £5.

Is there a charge for applying to Ofsted Childcare Registration?

All applicants pay a non-refundable application fee, and the application fee is £103.

Each year an annual fee will also be charged to remain on the register, which is set by Government. The annual fee is £103.

Who pays for all of the fees associated with registration?

In the first instance, the nanny is responsible as the applicant for paying the fees. However, we would recommend that as the employer gets the tax benefit, the employer pays all of those costs. The costs include:

  • Application fee - £103. This is also the annual fee
  • DBS check - if the nanny doesn't already have an Enhanced DBS check from Ofsted/Capita in the last 3 years, you/they will have to apply for another one through Ofsted/Capita. The cost is between £52-£60 depending on what method you want to choose to apply. Please note a nanny does not require an additional DBS check if he/she has had one completed in the last 3 years by Ofsted.
  • Public Liability Insurance - ranges between £70 - £90
  • 12-hour Paediatric First Aid - approx £120 (unless the nanny already holds a valid certificate in the last 3 years)
  • Caring for Children in their Own Home (CCOH) course (or equivalent course recognised by Ofsted) - costs £135 (if the nanny requires childcare training).

Both the nanny and the employer must discuss and agree on the paying of the costs, and we would recommend that a clause in the employment contract covers the agreement on costs.

It is also advisable to have a clause in the employment contract as follows:

"The nanny position has been offered on the condition that the Employee will register with the OCR, and that her application is submitted within 2 weeks of the job commencing, and that a successful registration is obtained. Failure to comply with this clause will result in the contract being terminated without notice.In addition, if the Employee leaves the Employer's employment within 6 months of registration with the OCR, then the Employer may recover any registration costs from the Employee by deduction from her final salary.""

How to apply for the Ofsted Childcare Register

The nanny must apply, and this can be done on Ofsted's website or by contacting Ofsted at 0300 123 1231.

If you need help with the registration process, go to: Become a registered early years or childcare provider in England

Ofsted will write to the nanny to let him/her know that they have received the application

The letter will include details on how to:

  • Obtain an enhanced DBS disclosure through Ofsted (unless the nanny already holds a disclosure carried out by Ofsted within the past three years)
  • Get identity, the first aid qualification, insurance documentation and any other information Ofsted require checked. (Documentation is checked at the local post office)
  • Pay the non-refundable application fee
  • Provide any further information Ofsted requests to deem the nanny suitable to provide childcare.

How does Ofsted decide if the nanny is suitable?

Ofsted will assess the nanny's suitability by considering the information on the application form and DBS disclosure (formerly DBS check).

If the nanny has lived abroad in the past three years, they should tell Ofsted of the countries they have lived in on the application form. The DBS has reciprocal arrangements with some countries that allow them to check on criminal history.

Where there is no such arrangement, Ofsted will normally require the nanny to provide some extra evidence of suitability - this may include:

  • A certificate of good conduct from the embassy of the country, in which the nanny lived, accompanied where necessary by a certified translation into English
  • A reference from someone of standing in the country, in which the nanny lived, such as a doctor or lawyer
  • Evidence to support any work permit
  • References from past employers

Ofsted will contact the nanny if they need additional evidence. If the nanny is unable to supply sufficient evidence, Ofsted may have to refuse the nanny's registration. Please note this may delay the process.

Can the nanny be refused registration?

Yes, the nanny can be refused if he/she has already been disqualified, is unsuitable, fails to pay the fee or does not agree to the requirements of the register or lives with someone who is disqualified.

This is why it is essential that the nanny completes the form carefully and accurately so that a decision can be made on the information given and subsequent checks that are carried out.

What will happen if the nanny is refused registration?

If Ofsted refuses an application, they will first write to the nanny and let him/her know of their intention. The nanny does have a right to object to the refusal, and details of how to do this are documented in the letter sent.

If the nanny is refused registration, parents will not be able to redeem part of the nanny's salary against any employer-assisted voucher scheme or working tax credits.

Can the nanny withdraw from the registration process?

A nanny can withdraw their application at any time during the registration process up to the granting or refusing of registration, but the application fee is not refundable.

The nanny must inform Ofsted in writing if he/she decides to stop the registration process. If the nanny does not tell Ofsted that he/she wants to withdraw their application, then Ofsted will continue the process and may have to refuse the nanny's application for registration. Refusal of registration is a serious step which disqualifies the nanny from providing childcare in the future.

What happens after a nanny has Ofsted childcare registered?

Once the nanny has been granted registration, a certificate is issued. This is proof that the nanny is registered on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register and must show the certificate to parents on request. As mentioned, if the nanny loses the certificate, they must apply for a replacement.

Sometimes Ofsted restricts registration in some way, for example, because parts of the home are not suitable for looking after children. These restrictions are known as 'conditions of registration' and are shown on your registration certificate. Ofsted can add new conditions, change existing ones or remove conditions at any time during the nanny's registration. If the nanny does not agree with any conditions, he/she has the same rights of objection and appeal.

Once the nanny is Ofsted registered, he/she must continue to meet the requirements relating to people, premises and provisions. Ofsted will send a list of these requirements with the registration certificate.

Will the nanny get inspected?

Once registered, Ofsted may inspect the nanny at any time and will always inspect if a complaint is received about the childcare provision that relates to the requirements of registration or any conditions that may have been imposed on the registration. Ofsted will always seek permission from parents to enter the premises.

Following any inspection, the nanny will either receive a letter confirming that he/she is meeting the requirements for registration or a letter detailing what must be done in order to remain registered.

If the nanny no longer wishes to be included on the register...

If the nanny no longer wishes to be a registered childcare provider, they need to resign their registration. The nanny must put their resignation in writing, and Ofsted will confirm receipt of the resignation letter. Resigning registration does not affect any future application to provide childcare. Please note there is no refund payable.

The nanny may not resign if he/she has been served with a 'notice of decision' to cancel his/her resignation or if he/she is awaiting the outcome of an appeal.

Where can the nanny gain insurance?

Nannies can take out an insurance policy which will cover them for up to:

  • £5,000,000 limit of indemnity for an annual discounted fee as a registered Tinies candidate from £57-£77*, depending on whether the nanny is registered on the Ofsted Voluntary Register.
  • Additional cover and premiums are also available for live-in nannies if they wish their personal possessions to be covered. No discounts apply for additional cover.

Click here for further information.

* Conditions apply


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