From September 2008, childcare providers must join the early years register if they care for children up to the end reception class age or the compulsory childcare register if they care for children aged 5 to under 8 years.

They may join Ofsted’s voluntary register if they only care for children over 8 years or they provide after school activities that do not count as childcare.

They do not register with Ofsted if they are provided by a school on school premises but parents who are eligible for the childcare element of Working Tax Credit may claim for childcare at after school provision in schools.

All Ofsted registered Childcare providers must meet requirements, whether the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) or Requirements for the Childcare Register, or sometimes both, depending on the age and stage of development of children in attendance.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Requirements for the Childcare Register

Providers offering care exclusively before and after school or during the school holidays for children who normally attend Reception (or older) class during the school day (see paragraph 3.40) do not need to meet the learning and development requirements. However, providers offering care exclusively before and after school or during the school holidays for children younger than those in the Reception class age range, should continue to be guided by, but do not have to meet, the learning and development requirements. All such providers should discuss with parents and/or carers (and other practitioners/providers as appropriate, including school staff/teachers) the support they intend to offer.

All requirements and further details of all three registers can be found at:

Ofsted website