Registering with OFSTED

This applies to nannies in England.  If you work in another country then this guide is unsuitable for you as your registration scheme has a different process.

There are three steps to registration:

1.       DBS Check with Update Service

2.       Government Gateway Registration

3.       Ofsted Childcare Register Application

A downloadable guide with screenshots is available here: ofsted-registration-2016

DBS Check with Update Service

Applying for a DBS check is a requirement for new applications for the Ofsted Childcare Register.  Since September 2014 the requirement is that all applicants must have a DBS check which is on the Update Service and the check must be of a type which Ofsted can accept. To register on the Update Service you will need your DBS Application Form Reference.

You can apply online for a DBS check by completing the form online and printing out an ID check form and finding a suitable person (the form includes a list of suitable occupations) to check your ID.  If you do not know anyone suitable to perform this ID check then you can pay for the check to be done at a Post Office.  As part of the process you must register on the DBS Update Service.

The online application form starts by asking you for your Capita Organisation Reference.  As you are registering as a Home Childcarer you need to use:  OFSTEDP

Your DBS check may take several weeks to arrive.   Once you have the Certificate you can start the Ofsted application form. You will need to enter your DBS number and confirm that it is registered with the Update Service in order to submit your application to Ofsted.


Government Gateway Registration

To use the Ofsted online application system you need to have a Government Gateway login. If you do not have this already, such as having used other Government online services, then you can create this via the Ofsted Portal.

Once you have clicked on Register you will be taken to a form to complete for creation of your login.   It is very important to remember your login details as if you lose these then you will need to re-register and restart any Ofsted application form you may be part way through completing.

Ofsted Childcare Register Application

Once you have a Government Gateway login you can proceed to login to the Ofsted Online system.  Enter your UserID and Password you will be logged in to Ofsted Online. To start a new application, select Online Applications.

You are applying to be a Home Childcarer on the Childcare Register, so select CR1 application. The application has 5 main sections.  On the left side of your screen you will see these listed.  If you see more than these 5 sections then check that you have selected the CR1 form. At the top of the page you should see the heading Application form for the Childcare Register (form CR1).

Section A

In this section you tell the system that you are a Home Childcarer providing care in the child's own home.

If you are working in a nanny share, legislation defines a share as caring for the children of two families at the same time.  If you were to care for the children from three families or more at the same time you would need Childminder registration. This includes your own child(ren).

Having ticked Home Childcarer on question A1 you will find that question A2 disappears leaving question A4.  If this is your first time registering with Ofsted as a childcare provider, then select No.

Section B

This part is all about you, such as your name, date of birth, contact details.

If you have previously been a registered with Ofsted in a different capacity select Yes for question B1.

You are applying for registration as an Individual.

You need to include all your middle names, and if you have changed your name at any point in the past, for example adoption, marriage or deed poll, then indicate this at question B7 even if you are currently using your birth or maiden name.

You will be asked for the dates for name changes. If you do not have these to hand you will need to find the details before you can proceed.

Question B9 is giving Ofsted permission to send you email to your personal email address.

For question B10 if you have lived outside the UK in the past 5 years select Yes. The form will add additional fields asking you for details about where you have lived which you will need to provide in order to proceed.

If you have not lived outside the UK in the past 5 years (even if you lived outside the UK prior to that) select No. Travelling, such as a gap year or round the world trip, does not count as living outside the UK. An academic year staying as a student or an au pair in a foreign country would be considered living abroad.

The form then asks for your current address. This address will be used to send you an invoice and your registration certificate so make sure it is accurate.

You need to provide your address details spanning the past 5 years. Make sure that there are no gaps in the dates you provide.

Ofsted also require your phone number and if you change it at any time during the time you are registered you must notify Ofsted of that change.

There is no section C

Section D

Complete the address details for where you will be working for question D1.  If you do not have a place of work at this time then enter your home address and inform Ofsted of your work address as soon as it is known.

For question D3 select 'Yes'.

The next question should now be D9. The choices may not fit exactly with what you will be working so select the one which fits best or a couple if necessary.

Question D10 is asking if you will be working all year, terming time only or school holidays only. Select the option which fits your situation best. If in doubt select 'All year round'.

As a nanny you do not have to stay within the same ratios as childminders do as long as you do not exceed 2 families at the same time. This includes any of your children you bring to work so you may have your own children and 1 other family, or children from 2 different families, but as long as you do not exceed the terms of your insurance you may have more than 6 under eight years old, of which more than 3 may be under five years old and more than 1 under one year old.

Section E

This section is confirming your suitability, you need to answer all the questions.

Question E2 is asking if your DBS check was completed using the Ofsted/Capita system. If you have a suitable DBS certificate issued by someone other than Capita, then select No at question E2 and read the instructions the form provides.  Your certificate must be registered on the DBS Update Service and it must be for the Child Workforce.

If you have not received your DBS certificate you will not be able to proceed with your application so select Save and wait for your DBS certificate to arrive.

If you did obtain your DBS check that way, then select Yes for question E2 and question E2b will appear.  Here you enter in your certificate number as it appears on your DBS certificate.  You MUST be signed up to the DBS Update Service and this must be done during the application stage of the DBS check or immediately when the certificate arrives.

If you obtained your DBS check via a nanny agency or by working in a nursery, then select No for question E2.  Question E2a will then appear which explains which checks Ofsted will accept.

This is part of the form which often raises queries.  If you get an error, then double check that you have answered question E2 correctly.  If you get an error about the disclosure number being too long, then count how many digits long the number is on your certificate. If it is 12 digits long and the first two digits are zeros the try entering the remaining 10 digits.

Further questions in section E are asking about your criminal record, involvement with social services and about any other situation which may make you unsuitable for registration.


Section G

Here you will confirm that you will meet the requirements for registration.    The full requirements can be found in this document.


Read each of the requirements carefully.  Part of the requirements for registration cover qualifications and insurance. As a Home Childcarer you are required to have liability insurance in place at all times when caring for children throughout your period of registration.

Before you register you must have completed a qualification at level 2 or above in an area of work relevant to childcare OR training in the common core skills for the childcare workforce. You must also hold ‘an appropriate First Aid qualification’ obtained within the past three years.

Section H

Here you give Ofsted consent to carry out checks using the information you have provided.   These checks can take quite a long time to complete. Ofsted state that they aim to complete the process in 3 months, it can be quicker than that and it can be longer.

Once you submit the form, you will get notification of there being a message to read.  This message can be found on the Messages tab of the Online Applications section of the Ofsted online portal.  Ofsted will allocate you a temporary URN (Uniqure Reference Number) which is used if you need to send Ofsted any additional information that they request.

Keep an eye on the messages section, checking in every few days and if Ofsted request to see any documents, send those quickly to Ofsted.
Once checks are complete Ofsted will send an Invoice to your Contact Address.   This invoice can be paid via the online system, follow the instructions provided on the invoice.   It is always a good idea to print out (or save to PDF) the payment confirmation page, plus keep e-mail from the payment processor.

You are not registered until you receive your Ofsted Certificate. This certificate contains your URN (Unique Reference Number) which is the reference that is needed for parents to be able to use Childcare Vouchers, Tax Credits or the Tax-Free Childcare Scheme to pay part of your wages.  This is often the same as your temporary URN but it could be different so only use the URN that is printed on your certificate.

Ofsted may contact you to confirm details and request either a copy of certificates or the original of certificates.  When sending original documents send them using Recorded Delivery.  Ofsted will then return the documents as quickly as they can, often within 7 days.