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Childminding between friends

The law requires people to register with Ofsted as childminders when they provide care for children under the age of eight, in a home that is not the child or children’s own, for more than two hours a day for reward.

The law says that people who care for a child or children of friends do not need to register as childminders if the childcare is not in exchange for payment.

Payment is defined as a payment of money or money’s worth. If your friend pays you for caring for their child or children, you must register as a childminder. This is if one of the children is under eight, the care is for more than two hours a day in your own home, or another home that is not your friend’s home.

Money or money’s worth – what does this mean?

If your friend pays you in cash, cheques or vouchers, for example for use in a supermarket or department store, this is counted as payment. It does not matter if this is a regular payment, a one-off payment, or full or part payment for the total amount you are charging. If you receive any such payment you need to register as a childminder.

Money’s worth means a payment towards the costs involved in the childcare such as a contribution to heating and lighting, or paying for food or repairs to the place where the childminding happens. If your friend pays you for this type of thing then you need to register as a childminder.

If your friend buys you an occasional gift such as a box of chocolates, a bunch of flowers, or a bottle of wine; this does not count as payment. If this is all you receive in return for providing childcare for your friend’s children, you do not need to register.

You do not need to register if your friend gives you goods or services in exchange for childcare. Goods and services are things like repairing your friend’s washing machine or car; or buying a bag of groceries.

However, if you provide childminding for someone who is not your friend and they offer goods and services in return for childminding, this is counted as reward and you must register.


The law does not give any definition of ‘friend’ and Ofsted will accept its normal meaning as people who hold each other with mutual affection and regard.

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