The Childcare Act, which regulates childcare in England, passed into law on 11 July 2006. This legislation replaced Part 10A of the Children Act 1989.
Measures in the act formalise the important strategic role local authorities play, through a set of duties. These duties require authorities to
The act also lays out registration and inspection arrangements, providing for an integrated education and care framework for the Early Years and general childcare registers. The sufficiency, information and outcomes duties came into effect on 1 April 2008 and the remaining provisions came into effect from September 2008.
The Early Years Register (EYR) and the General Childcare Register (GCR) provide a regulatory framework for childcare under the act. Ofsted regulates the two registers – the EYR for people caring for children aged from birth to 31 August after their fifth birthday and the GCR for childcare over this age.
The GCR has two parts: the compulsory part (for providers of childcare for children aged five to seven) and a voluntary part (for providers of childcare for children aged eight and over or childcare that is exempt from registering on a compulsory basis).
Further information about the requirements for registration of childcare, and details of childcare provision that is not required to register, can be found on Ofsted’s website. This includes a list of frequently asked questions. Alternatively, contact Ofsted for more information.
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