100's of childcare settings are ignoring this important rule - Find out if your provider is too.

Updated: Dec 17, 2019

If you have a four year old, you may already know how difficult it can be to find a childcare provider to take them for a full day.

Most holiday club providers will take four year olds, but only for up to four hours a day. However there are some that can accept four year olds for the full day but before you book, there are some things you must know.

Here are some steps to consider when booking your four year old into childcare this summer:

Step 1: Ask if they are Ofsted registered

Ofsted regulate childcare services in the UK, and all childcare providers have to abide by their regulations. By not doing so, is breaking the law. First of all, ensure the company has an active Ofsted registration for the address of the venue you are interested in. Each venue has to have its own registration with Ofsted. Even if the provider has other venues registered with Ofsted, it doesn’t mean your selected venue is registered. (There are some criteria that mean some providers do not have to register, but generally all holiday clubs providers should be registered.)

Step 2: Ask if they have an ‘early years’ registration

Childcare providers have two options when registering, selecting an ‘early years’ registration or opting to go onto the childcare register. The clubs that offer four hours or less are on the childcare register. The childcare register registration allows children five and over to attend for full days, but has restrictions on four year olds. When Ofsted visit providers on the childcare register, they conduct their checks and decipher whether the provider is compliant or not. This type of registration does not generate an Ofsted report. This type of registration is usually what you will find when looking for a holiday club.

Early years registrations are what nurseries and schools have to be able to accept under fives for the full day. These type of registrations are the ones you can view reports on, and have deeper more scrupulous checks. Early years settings will get graded either outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate. To accept four year olds for the full day, your provider MUST have an early years registration active with Ofsted. If they do not, they are not abiding by Ofsted regulations. If reported, this could result in a fine, their insurance being void and even closure of the venue.

Step 3: Search their most recent Ofsted report

They may have an active early years registration, but are they a good provider? As you would when selecting a school, ensure you check the Ofsted report for the provider you have chosen. You can view this on the Ofsted website, or contact the company direct to ask for a copy of their most recent report.

To any good childcare provider, ensuring to abide by the regulations set to keep our children safe is paramount. By following the above steps, you can ensure you are selecting the right childcare provider for your circumstances.

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