As a parent or guardian you are your child’s most important carer, and it’s what you and your child do together at home that gives them the best start in life. Care from friends, grandparents and other relatives plays a vital role too.
However, choosing early learning and childcare outside the home, that’s right for your child, will help to prepare them for primary school and the challenges that life will bring.
Ofsted register childcare for children under 8 years of age.
Childcare providers need to be registered with Ofsted (unless exempt) and hold valid insurance if they offer to look after children under eight for more than two hours a day, without the parents being present. Ask to see their Ofsted registration and insurance certificates before making any arrangements. There is a link to their Ofsted inspection report at the bottom of each record (this will be the inspection report for their school if exempt).
Parents who have a serious concern about a childcare service or activity and are unable to resolve it directly with the provider should contact Ofsted on 0300 123 1231.
Ofsted list the provision types exempt from registration within Annex A of the Early years and childcare registration handbook.