WHY DOES OFSTED HAVE A NEW REGISTRATION SYSTEM?
After prospective childminders reported long delays in registering as long ago as January 2019, Ofsted launched a new site in February 2020. As well as reducing backlogs and waiting times, it aims to quell the drop in childminder numbers (down 29 per cent between 2012 and 2018, according to Ofsted statistics). The site is also aimed at nannies and is used by settings that need to notify Ofsted of any changes or incidents.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE NEW SYSTEM?
Ofsted forms can now be viewed on mobile phones and tablets as well as desktop computers, and applicants will be contacted by email rather than messages that can only be viewed when applicants are logged in to their accounts.
Prospective childminders and nannies can now pay at the end of the online application process rather than being invoiced afterwards. There is a section for childminders to tell Ofsted about the people they live with, and the opportunity to declare information about other people in a childminder’s home, on the same registration form rather than a separate form.
There is also online guidance available during the registration process and a reduced use of jargon and acronyms.
HOW DO CHILDMINDERS REGISTER?
Before you start, you will need your UK criminal record (DBS) certificate, as well as DBS certificates for anyone aged 16 or over in the home. You will also need your first-aid and childcare training documentation, health declaration booklet and the contact details for two references.
The health declaration booklet can be downloaded and printed from the website. You must fill in two sections and your GP must complete the third, sign and stamp it, and then you must post it to Ofsted. Your original DBS certificate must also be posted, but will be returned by Ofsted.
You must supply the age group you will care for, times of care provided, place numbers, registered address, and details of other people in the house.
It costs £35 to register and the online form takes around 30 minutes to complete.
It will take up to 12 weeks after completing the form to successfully register.
HOW DO NANNIES REGISTER?
Prospective nannies must also provide details of a valid DBS and first-aid and childcare training qualifications, as well as public liability insurance.
First-aid training should be relevant to the age groups you will be caring for, and dated within three years, while childcare training must be Level 2 or higher and include training in common core skills.
An original copy of your DBS must be posted to Ofsted, who will return it.
A registration fee of £103 is payable at the end of the registration process, and on an annual basis thereafter. The application takes 20 minutes to complete, and you should be registered within 12 weeks.
HOW DO NURSERIES REGISTER?
You must provide details of your role, whether your setting will be located on domestic or non-domestic premises, details about your organisation, the registered number of the company, and details of the nominated individual.
If you have more than one setting, you must make a separate application for each.
HOW DO YOU ADD A SETTING?
Any setting that is ready to be opened, with all significant building work completed and key staff appointed, can be registered.
If you are purchasing a setting that is already registered, you will need its existing registration details, including its unique reference number (URN).
If you are moving one of your existing settings to a new address, you will need to provide the new details.
You must also provide details of the registered person, times that care will be provided, and whether your setting will be sole-use, on domestic or non-domestic premises, on school premises, or linked to a Children’s Centre.
HOW DO YOU REGISTER AN INDIVIDUAL CONNECTED WITH A SETTING?
If you are aged over 16 and living in the house of a childminder, you must fill in an application online, which was previously known as an EY2 form. If you are a director, partner, committee member or otherwise connected with the registration of a daycare provision, you must also register.
You must provide details of current or previous registrations with Ofsted or other regulatory bodies, a valid DBS, and declare any factors that may affect your suitability to work with children, such as involvement with social services linked to your own children, or any criminal convictions or cautions.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO ON THE NEW WEBSITE?
If you do not fit into one of the above categories, you can also use the new site to apply to join the Childcare Register (for those looking after five- to seven-year-olds).
Providers can also make changes to individuals connected with their setting, pay a childcare or social care invoice, pay their Ofsted annual registration fee, or report a serious childcare incident.
WHAT HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN TO THE NEW SYSTEM SO FAR?
Ofsted reported that between 85 and 95 per cent of people who took part in the pilot service rated it very highly.
However, Yoopies, an online company that matches childminders with families, said that while the updates were ‘desperately needed’, Ofsted had promoted them sparingly, aside from a set of YouTube tutorials (https://bit.ly/32SpJ3C) demonstrating what the new sites do.
- The new application sites can be found here