Unregistered childcare

You should be clear about the law surrounding unregistered childcare. All childminders must be Ofsted-registered, but if you make your own arrangements with an unregistered friend, you could be breaking the law.

Anyone, who is not a close family member, who cares for a child under the age of eight, for more than two hours in one go, for 14 or more days a year, for payment or reward, must register as a childminder. Reward does not just mean money - it also covers the supply of free childcare in arrangements where friends take it in turns to look after each other's children.

Close family members (brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles) can provide childcare as much as they like without needing to register as a childminder.

Non-family members don't have to register if:

  • the children are aged eight and over
  • the childcare only takes place between 6pm and 2am
  • it takes place fewer than two hours a day, or 14 days a year
  • it takes place in the parents' home
  • no payment or reward is received for the services