Voluntary childcare register

The Childcare Act 2006 introduced a new Ofsted Childcare Register with two parts, a compulsory and a voluntary part.

Childcarers who are rewarded (paid) for looking after children aged under eight years, for more than two hours a day must by law register with Ofsted.

Other childcarers who do not have to register by law can choose to register under the voluntary part of the register. This allows eligible parents to use the childcare element of Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit or use childcare vouchers or Tax-Free Childcare to help with childcare costs.

Types of childcare who can choose to register include:
those providing care for children aged over seven, such as home child carers, breakfast clubs, after school clubs and holiday playschemes.
activity based care (sports, drama, language or art clubs)
care provided in the child's home such as nannies and au pairs or home based care for disabled children.