Childcare quality and standards

Care for children

At school

Any childcare for children aged three and over that is provided by a school does not need to be registered on the EYR or the GCR. Instead, the school will be inspected as part of the school inspection system, which is also carried out by Ofsted.

Schools providing childcare have to meet the same standards as registered childcare providers.

Under fives

All childcare providers caring for children from birth to 31 August after their fifth birthday, must register with Ofsted on the Early Years Register (EYR). All providers on this register must deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which sets the standards for early learning, development and care.

Five years and over

Providers of care for children aged five and over can register with Ofsted on the General Childcare Register (GCR), which is split into two parts:

  • the compulsory part - for providers of childcare for children from the end of the EYFS to age seven
  • the voluntary part - for providers of care for children aged eight and over

Some providers who look after children between the end of the EYFS and age seven don't have to join the compulsory part of the GCR. Those who don't need to register include nannies or providers offering activity-based childcare like sports, arts and crafts, or dance and drama clubs.

Page last updated: 24 November 2017