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Sam Boulter
Lady Jane grey Primary School

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In England, the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates services that care for children and young people. If you plan to start an Out of School club or similar childcare service, understanding and fulfilling the registration requirements with Ofsted is an essential first step. This article explores the process and criteria for registration, providing clear guidance to help you meet these important standards.

  1. Understanding the Need for Ofsted Registration:

    As a starting point, you must understand whether your out-of-school club requires Ofsted registration. Generally, if you will be taking care of children under the age of eight for more than two hours a day, on more than 14 days a year, you will need to register your club with Ofsted under either the Early Years Register (EYR) or the Childcare Register (CR).

  2. Preparing to Register with Ofsted:

    Before you start the registration process, there are several steps you need to take, these include:

    • Drafting a Written Statement of Purpose: You should articulate a clear vision for your club, detailing the services you intend to provide, the age range of children you will cater to, and how you plan to meet their needs.

    • Creating Policies and Procedures: You’ll need a comprehensive set of policies and procedures to ensure the safety and well-being of the children in your care. These should cover areas such as safeguarding, health and safety, equal opportunities, behaviour management, and emergency procedures.

    • Ensuring Appropriate Qualifications and Checks: Anyone who will be working or volunteering at your club must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. In addition, at least one person must hold a current paediatric first aid certificate, and there must be a staff member who has completed child protection training.

  3. The Ofsted Registration Process:

    Once you have everything in place, you can start the Ofsted registration process, which is as follows:

    1. Filling out the Application: Complete the online application form on the Ofsted Online portal.

    2. Health Declaration Booklet: You’ll need to complete a health declaration booklet, which requires you to make a declaration about your physical and mental fitness to look after children.

    3. Fee Payment: Pay the non-refundable registration fee. Fees vary depending on which part of the register you’re applying to.

    4. Inspection: After receiving your application, Ofsted will carry out a pre-registration inspection to assess whether you are ready to operate.

    5. Registration Decision: Finally, Ofsted will make a decision about your registration at the end of the registration visit. If successful, you’ll receive a certificate of registration, and your details will be listed on the Ofsted register.

  4. Maintaining Compliance with Ofsted:

Being registered with Ofsted is not a one-off event. You need to maintain compliance with Ofsted standards and be ready for ongoing inspections to ensure the quality and safety of your service.

Registering an out-of-school club with Ofsted requires careful preparation and adherence to high standards of child care. Understanding the requirements and process is the first step to establishing a club that is safe, fun, and beneficial for the children it serves. To help simplify this process for you, we’ve created a free registration checklist guide that will ensure that you are prepared for your OFSTED Registration the right way.