Agency or Ofsted?

Ofsted Registered Childminder Agencies are able to register childminders directly.

Like Ofsted, Ofsted Registered Childminder Agencies register, regulate and inspect childminders. Unlike Ofsted, they also support their registered childminders to provide high quality early education and care.

Like those registered with Ofsted, an Agency registered childminder will receive an individual inspection grade. They will be able to offer funded education for two-, three- and four-year olds. Families can use Tax Credits, Universal Credit, Care to Learn Credit, Tax-Free Childcare and Childcare Vouchers to pay for childcare from Agency Registered Childminders.

An Ofsted Registered Childminder Agency is a great choice for Childminders looking to offer high quality childcare provision. If you register as a Childminder with a Childminder Agency, you will:

  • Get regular, helpful and friendly support support from a regulation body that really wants to see you succeed;
  • Receive an annual inspections with practical help to provide the best quality childcare;
  • Receive at least 16 hours of CPD and training to help you develop your childcare provision;
  • Get support with your childcare business to help you provide the best service to children and families.


Before registering a childminder, the Agency will ensure that the applicant has a good knowledge of the Early Years Foundation Stage, child protection, child development and more.

All childminders and assistants will be thoroughly vetted with the DBS. The Agency will carry out Local Authority checks, Ofsted checks, references and more. The Childminder will need to get a GP health check. This all ensures that Childminder Agency Childminders will be suitable to work with children


Well trained and supported childminders improve children’s education in the early years and beyond.

Unlike Ofsted, a Childminder Agency will provide a comprehensive package of support enabling the childminder to focus on getting the best outcomes for the children.

First Year

Following their registration visit, in their first year, an Agency Registered Childminder will receive at least two more visits from their Agency: one monitor visit and one inspection. This helps the childminder know that they are doing things properly and gives families peace of mind. On the other hand, an Ofsted registered childminder is unlikely to see Ofsted for two or three years.


Childminders registered with Ofsted are normally only inspected every 3 to 5 years. This means that a child may be looked after by a childminder who has not been inspected the whole time they are being cared for. We believe that it’s too long. All childminders registered with a childminder agency will be inspected every year and more often if needed. That’s on top of regular support and feedback to help.

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