Monday, March 30, 2020

Although registration requirements remain the same Ofsted have made changes to their online system ...

Changes to Ofsted’s registration website

Currently, people who wish to become childminders or nannies, open new nurseries and provide some other kinds of childcare or children’s social care need to register with Ofsted using Ofsted Online, the system for Ofsted registration forms.

 Registered providers also use the site to tell us about changes or incidents, and all this remains the case.

 Now our online system is changing. Ofsted Online is old, and new browsers, platforms and standards for websites mean that it’s difficult to use.  

 People using the service will notice some changes, but the overall registration requirements are NOT changing. We aren’t changing guidance to providers either – just making the processes of applying and telling us about changes more straightforward.

 Childcare providers and applicants will see changes first. Children’s homes and other social care registration processes will be changing over to the new system later in the spring - we’ll keep you updated.

 Here are some useful videos to help you see what the new site can do:

 What’s changing?

 Accessing the new services

The new services will be accessed via GOV.UK, right next to all the Ofsted guidance on registering. Anyone using the old system will be redirected smoothly to the new pages.


The services meet modern website standards and are easy to use on mobile and tablet as well as desktop. Applicants will get more contact via email, instead of having to log into their account to see messages.



Childminders and nannies will be asked to pay at the end of the online application process rather than being invoiced afterwards. There is no change to existing payment or invoicing arrangements for nurseries or other daycare.



  • Childminders and nannies will no longer need a Government Gateway login to access the new registration site. They will use an email address and mobile number. Childminders using this new log-in method in our pilot find this very easy.
  • Daycare and social care providers will still need to use their existing Government Gateway logins or create one.

 Less jargon

Users will notice changes to the form names. For instance, form EY2 for daycare is now called ‘Apply to join a nursery or other daycare (EY2)’ – much more straightforward for people looking for the right form. We’ve removed jargon in the forms and made the language as simple and clear as we can. Customer satisfaction from people using the new childminder application service is very high, between 85-95%.

 If you’ve used GOV.UK you’ll be familiar with the clarity and ease of use of these services.

 Linking childminders and the people in their homes

Childminders still need to tell us about the people in their homes, but it will be more straightforward. When they are applying, they’ll be able to see when that part of the application is complete and when we’ve received all the information we need. This prevents delays.


 From January to March 2020, we will direct people to use the new site, so if users have bookmarks in place they will be redirected smoothly to the new service.

Between April – June 2020, we’ll then start to close down Ofsted Online. Improvements will continue up to May 2020.


There will be a short freeze period on daycare applications between 15/1/20 to 29/1/20. This will be made clear to users on Ofsted Online. We will be also be communicating this to provider groups. If this causes any significant problems, please contact

You will still be able to report a serious childcare incident and pay an invoice as usual, without interruption.


From 5 February 2020


  • Childminders and nannies will not be able to use the application forms on these pages from this date.


  • You will still be able to report a serious childcare incident and pay an invoice as usual, without interruption.


We will not be accepting application forms for 2 weeks from 15/1/20 to 29/1/20 to allow us to check forms that providers have already submitted.


You will find more specific information on these deadlines when you access the individual forms themselves.

 Replacement forms

 You will be able to access the replacement forms, along with guidance, on GOV.UK on the page 'Providing childcare services in England'. These will be available for:

  •  nurseries and other daycare, from 29 January 2020
  • childminders and nannies, from 19 February 2020

 You will need to start any forms again on the GOV.UK system if either of the following apply:

  •  you have not completed and submitted by the relevant date for your type of childcare
  • we must return it after the relevant date due to missing information in that form you have submitted

 What are we asking our stakeholders to do?

 We would like stakeholders to remove or update any references or guidance on Ofsted Online from websites or libraries. Training materials may need to be updated. Anyone logging on to Ofsted Online will be redirected as necessary.

 Here’s the new site: