Early years and childcare: For Parents and carers

About the two early years and childcare registers

An early years and childcare provider can apply to join one register, or both registers at the same time or separately.

The Early Years Register

The Early Years Register is for providers caring for children from birth until the 31 August after their fifth birthday – this is known as the early years age group. These providers must follow the Early Years Foundation Stage; this is the framework for children in the early years age group. The Department for Education website has more information on the Early Years Foundation Stage.

The Childcare Register

The Childcare Register has providers who care for children from birth to 17 years. It has two parts:

  • the compulsory part
    Providers must register if they care for one child or more from the 1 September following their fifth birthday until they reach their eighth birthday for a period of more than two hours in any day.
  • the voluntary part
    Providers who are not eligible  for compulsory registration may choose to register here. These are mainly people looking after children aged eight and over, or providing care in the child’s home like a nanny.

Registration not required

Most providers caring for children aged under eight must register with us; however, the law does say that some providers are not required to do so.

Our Registration not required factsheet explains which types of providers do not have to register with us.

Are you registered?