Since 1 January 2014, when registering their business, childminders will only have to provide Ofsted with details of how they plan to provide food as part of their service. These details, held by the inspectorate, will be available to view by local authorities.
Previously, childminders that supplied food on a regular basis had to register as a ‘food business’ with their local authority on top of registering with Ofsted.
The move by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), forms part of the Government’s commitment to reduce the burden on businesses.
It is a legal requirement for childminders that provide food to have their premises registered with the environmental health service of their local authority.
Once registered, a food safety inspection may be carried out by the local authority to look at food hygiene and safety procedures in place within a setting.
The change in requirements follows a consultation on the registration of childminders as ‘food businesses’ in England by the FSA in 2012.
Oscar Plummer, policy and communications manager at the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY), said, ‘PACEY has long argued that the requirement for childminders to register as a food business was unnecessary red tape, so we’re glad that this requirement will now be fulfilled automatically when a new childminder registers with Ofsted.
‘We have amended the pre-registration available on our website and PACEY staff on the ground have been briefed so they can inform people thinking of registering as a childminder.’