Ofsted is a government department that registers, inspects and regulates services that provide education and childcare in England.

Ofsted register, inspect or regulate the following services:

  • Childminders
  • Full and sessional day care providers such as nurseries and pre school playgroups
  • Out of school care such as breakfast clubs, after school clubs and holiday playschemes 
  • Ofsted voluntary childcare such as crèches or a home child carer
  • All maintained schools
  • Some independent schools

All registered providers and those associated with them, such as employees or people aged over 16 who live in a house where childcare takes place must have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.  More information on Disclosure and Barring Service for childcare

Ofsted registers

Anyone who cares for children under the age of eight for more than two hours a day in England must register with Ofsted unless they are exempt.  There are two registers:

Early years register

For providers caring for children aged from birth to 31 August following their fifth birthday.  Providers on this register must meet the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Childcare register

This has two parts:

  • Compulsory – for providers caring for children from 1 September after the child's fifth birthday up until their eighth birthday
  • Voluntary – for providers caring for children aged eight and over, and other providers who are exempt from compulsory registration, such as nannies.

Ofsted inspection reports

Ofsted publishes its findings of inspections that it carries out on childcare settings. The inspection reports give information of how well the setting is meeting the standards set in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).  Search for an inspection report

Making a complaint about childcare

If you have a complaint or concern about your childcare you can contact the Ofsted helpline on 0300 123 1231 or email them at enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk. 

Concerned about a child's safety

If you are concerned about the safety and welfare of a child in Leicester, contact Children's Social Care on 0116 454 1004 or the police on 0116 222 2222.