Nannies and babysitting

What are nannies and babysitters?

  • Nannies and other home-based childcarers usually employed by parents or carers to provide care for children, usually in the child's home.
  • They may work flexible and unsociable hours and or even live in. Some may agree to do additional jobs around the house (cooking, tidying).
  • Shared nannies work for one or more families.
  • Nannies may have a recognized childcare qualification or nursery nurse training, but this is not compulsory.
  • Nannies and Babysitters are not required to register with Ofsted.

Read the Daycare Trust's Factsheet for parents - Finding and choosing a nanny(pdf, 145KB)

Registration of childcare

The registration of childcare for children under the age of eight comes under the Childcare Act 2006. The Childcare Act introduces two new registers, which will be operated by Ofsted: The Early Years Register (EYR) and the Ofsted Childcare Register (OCR). Childcare providers caring for children aged 0 to 5 will be required to join the Early Years Register, unless exempt.

The OCR has two parts:

  • The Compulsory part - Providers of childcare to children aged five to seven must be registered on the compulsory part of the OCR, unless exempt. Find more information about the Compulsory Childcare Register.
  • The Voluntary part - Providers of childcare to children aged eight and over, and care for children of any age that is activity based or provided in the child's own home, can choose to be registered on the voluntary part of the OCR if the provider meets the requirements.

The Benefits of joining the voluntary register include:

  • Parents will know that the carer has met basic standards designed to safeguard children
  • Parents will know that the carer has undergone an enhanced criminal records check
  • Parents know that the carer has completed the common core skills training  
  • Eligible parents will be able to get help with the costs of their childcare through Working Tax Credit and employer – supported childcare schemes.

To join the voluntary register contact Ofsted on 08456 404045

Contact the Family Information Service

Family Information Service (FIS)
Education, Children's Services and Culture

Civic Centre
44 York Street

Telephone: 020 8831 6298
Text message: 07624 819 000

Our hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. There is an answer phone service outside these hours.

See a map of how to get to the Family Information Service.

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Updated: 18 March 2014