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Support for childcare providers

Registration and inspection advice

Children playing with paint

Advice for child care providers on Ofsted registration and inspection

Registration and Inspection Support Team

The Registration and Inspection Support Team is part of the Devon County Council Early Years and Childcare Service.

The Devon Early Years and Childcare Service aims to provide quality, accessible, affordable and sustainable childcare from 0-18 (19 for children with additional needs) across Devon.

What help is available?

The Registration and Inspection Support Team can offer free help and support in setting up and running a childminding business in Devon and can signpost to the relevant Early Years and Childcare Adviser for those wishing to start up other forms of childcare business.

Contact us on freephone 0800 056 36 66 or email for further details.

How can I proceed?

Starting from an initial enquiry the Registration and Inspection Support Team can:

  • provide you with information regarding the Ofsted registration process
  • advise on Ofsted regulations and requirements
  • provide you with the government guidelines for childcare on domestic premises, childcare on non domestic premises and Childminding
  • put you in touch with an Early Years and Childcare Adviser to look at suitable premises for your facility and carry out a site visit  
  • advise on all policies and procedures
  • put you in contact with your Early Years and Childcare Adviser to look at possible ways of funding and the need for childcare in your chosen area.

Where can I find out more?

Becoming a childminder

Starting up a day care setting

Do I need to register?

There are different types of childcare that are required to register under Ofsted:


A person who is registered to look after one or more children to whom they are not related on domestic premises for reward. Childminders care for at least one individual child for a total of more than two hours in any day. This is not necessarily a continuous period of time. For example if they provide care for the same child aged under eight for an hour before and an hour and a half after school then registration is required; however, if they provide care for one child aged under eight for an hour before school and provide care for a different child aged under eight for an hour and a half after school then registration is not required.

Childcare providers on domestic premises

People who provide care on domestic premises with at least three other people. The difference between childminding and childcare on domestic premises is the number of people involved. If four or more people look after children at any time, they are providing childcare on domestic premises, not childminding.

Childcare providers on non-domestic premises

Registered providers that care for children on premises that are not someone’s home. These premises can range from converted houses to purpose-built nurseries and are usually known as day nurseries, private nursery schools, pre-schools and before and after school clubs for children in the early years age group.

Home childcarers (registration with Ofsted is voluntary)

A person aged 18 or over who cares for the children aged birth to 17 years of no more than two families at any one time wholly or mainly at the home of one of the children. This includes nannies.

If I do not need to register with Ofsed - Where can I get guidance from?

The Good Practice Guide for those exempt from registration and those registered on the Ofsted Childcare Register (Voluntary or Compulsory parts) may provide you with useful information and guidelines.

I am already Ofsted registered - What help is available to me?

Registered childcare settings can receive the following help and advice from the Devon Early Years and Childcare Service:

  • when writing policies and procedures
  • prior to an inspection visit from Ofsted
  • regarding an action plan following an inspection by Ofsted
  • on how to market your services most effectively
  • provide you with a link to the training team to help with initial or further training for you and or members of your staff
  • provide guidance on recruitment, retention and selection of staff
  • provide termly network meetings held across Devon to include updates on regulations and Ofsted requirements


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