Childminding for friends

Things to consider when using friends to childmind, such as whether they need to register.

If you look after someone else's child in their own home you will not usually be required by law to register with Ofsted. You can also care for a friend's child at home as long as you are not paid or rewarded to do so.

You also don't have to register if you and a friend have agreed to look after each other's children instead of paying each other.

However, if you receive payment or reward to care for a child for more than three hours a day, either in your own home or someone else's (not the child's home), you need to register with Ofsted. This can be a regular payment, one-off payment or full or part payment for the total amount you are charging. 

Payment includes cash, cheques, vouchers (for example, to use in a supermarket), or a payment towards the cost involved in the cost of the childcare, such as a contribution towards heating or lighting. If you receive any of these then you would need to register.

Occasional gifts from your friend, such as a box of chocolates, a bunch of flowers or a bottle of wine, do not count as payment.

If you are unsure whether you should register or not you can call the Ofsted helpline on 0300 123 1231 or email for advice.

Last updated:
7 September 2023
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