To become a childminder you have to register with either Ofsted or a childminding agency. Ofsted stands for the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. Koru Kids is an Ofsted-registered childminding agency. This means we can carry out inspections for childminders who register with us. 

If you haven’t decided how to register as a childminder yet, here’s our quick comparison of Ofsted childminders and agency childminders.

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An ofsted childminder is playing with a boy outside in the forest
What’s the difference between an Ofsted and an agency childminder?

1. Structure and authority

Ofsted childminders

Ofsted inspects independent childminders directly, and they also inspect childminding agencies like Koru Kids

Childminding agencies

Koru Kids are an Ofsted-registered childminding agency. In short, we have the statutory power to inspect and manage childminders to the required legal standards. Our self-employed childminders are seen by one of our friendly assessors instead of an Ofsted inspector

2. Support before registration

Ofsted childminders

A childminder that registers via Ofsted has to find everything out by themselves. And, the training they get varies as Ofsted-registered childminders have to locate, and pay for, all training by themselves before they apply

Childminding agencies

A childminding agency like Koru Kids will support you every step of the way—from the moment you think about becoming a childminder, to the moment you pass registration and beyond. This means you get free, in-depth training so you can aim to be an outstanding childminder

3. Registration and application process

Ofsted childminders

After you have completed all your training, it takes up to 12 weeks from applying to register with Ofsted to arrange a visit. They will inspect your setting, and decide if you have all the necessary documents and knowledge to register with them

Childminding agencies

Agencies work differently, but with Koru Kids you can book a visit from an assessor as soon as you have completed your DBS check and health declaration. You can go from contacting us to being a trained and registered childminder in 12 weeks or less (if you want to!)

4. Post-registration support

Ofsted childminders

Ofsted do not offer further support or training to childminders. Childminders will have to carry on by themselves from here, and look for support from their local authority, or social media groups

Childminding agencies

Again, not all agencies are the same. But if you register with Koru Kids, you get further training; help to find families and fill spaces; ongoing support from our Koru Kids advisors; and our friendly childminder community on Facebook

5. Purpose and focus

Ofsted childminders

A childminder’s focus is to look after children in the best possible way. Ofsted’s purpose is to inspect childcare staff, and maintain standards in children’s education

Childminding agencies

A childminding agency like Koru Kids focuses on both the childminders working with them, and the children in their care. Our mission is to provide the best childcare in the world, and we do that by assessing and supporting childminders

6. Paperwork and taxes

Ofsted childminders

Since an Ofsted-registered childminder is independent they will have to deal with all paperwork themselves. They have to write and amend their own policies, learning journals, contracts, do their own taxes, find and pay for their own insurance etc.

Childminding agencies

A childminding agency can deal with most of the paperwork for childminders. That way, they can focus on being with the children. Koru Kids already has policies and insurance sorted for you, accountants to help with taxes, and pensions specifically created for childminders

How do I register as a childminder?

If you are thinking about registering via Ofsted, we have a handy article on everything you need to know about becoming an Ofsted childminder. If you’d prefer the support of an agency like Koru Kids, you can read more and apply here.

Ofsted and childminding agencies like Koru Kids both have children’s best interests at heart. But Koru Kids also care about the childminders’ wellbeing. We want it to be a rewarding career with room to develop, and support before, during, and after you register. 

Want to work as a childminder?