How To Register With Ofsted As A Childcare Provider
Ofsted stands for the Office for Standards in Education and they deal with inspections and raising standards within education and childcare. One of their primary concerns is ensuring that safeguarding measures are followed correctly.
Any person or group of people in the UK who want to set up as childcare providers need to register with Ofsted and abide by their rules and regulations or sign up with a childminding agency, who will in turn be covered by Ofsted rules.
Either way, the safeguarding principles and rules set out by Ofsted will apply, including the requirement for criminal background checks, known as DBS Checks (Disclosure and Barring Service).
In this article, we’ll explain the process of registering with Ofsted and how to make sure you meet their requirements.
How do you sign up with Ofsted?
If you are planning to work as a childminder or childcare providers and you’re not registered with an agency, you will need to sign up with Ofsted.
You can sign up with Ofsted online through the UK government website. All the information you need is here.
One of the fundamental requirements of signing up with Ofsted is to join the DBS Update Service.
What is the DBS Update Service?
As mentioned earlier, in order to successfully register with Ofsted, you must first subscribe to the DBS Update Service.
There are a number of benefits to joining the DBS Update Service. You get:
- All the DBS Certificates are stored online and can be accessed easily
- Any childcare provider can update their DBS quickly
- Everything is online so it reduces admin time and cost.
The DBS Update Service costs just £13 per year to join and is free for voluntary workers.
Are you allowed to start work in childcare before completing a DBS Check?
Ofsted do not allow people to register with them unless they have undergone a DBS Check. This means that you cannot start work in a role that is protected by safeguarding legislation, which childcare is, unless you are supervised at all times.
In other words, you can start work in a role where you are not left unsupervised in direct contact with children. This can be useful if the childcare provider you want to work for is short-staffed as they can get you started to help out, but will need to monitor you carefully to make sure that safeguarding rules are not broken.
Do students on childcare work placements need a DBS Check?
Yes, students that are on a work placement in a childcare environment will need to get an Enhanced DBS Check if they are to be left in direct contact with children in an unsupervised capacity.
In general, Ofsted takes a common sense approach to work placements, as they know that the students may not be unsupervised contact with children on a frequent basis, especially if it is a short-term placement.
Basically, the less likely it is that the student or volunteer will be left alone with children, the less likely it is that they will need a DBS Check.
Summary of registering with Ofsted as a childcare provider
Signing up with Ofsted as a childcare provider is fairly straightforward and the whole process can be done online these days.
One thing you need to ensure is that you have a recent DBS Certificate and that you have signed up to the DBS Update Service.
If you want to find out any more information about DBS Checks or the DBS Update Service then feel free to get in touch with one of our advisors today.