Extension of childcare regulations

As of 1 April 2016 the age limit for registration of childcare and play in Wales was extended from 8 to 12 years.

What are the changes?

All childcare and play provision - including (child minders, day care services, after school clubs, holiday play schemes and play provision) - for children under 12 years old, operating for 2 or more hours a day, are now regulated and inspected by us.

The changes brought the requirement for registration in Wales in line with other parts of the UK, and align with the new Tax Free Childcare scheme to be introduced in 2017.

  • What we have sent to providers

    Earlier this year we sent you a legal Notice outlining the proposed changes to your conditions of registration. This meant you could apply to vary the maximum number of children you look after.

    If we did not receive a response to this Notice you will have received a second Notice confirming your new conditions of registration.  If you submitted an application to vary the maximum number of children you look after, we are continuing to process these applications and will respond to you once your application had been determined.

    If you have applied to vary your conditions of registration or are content with the conditions in your legal Notice and do not need to do anything you must read the updated regulations and changes to National Minimum Standards.

    If you want to increase the maximum number of children you can look after

    If you still want to make an application to increase the maximum number of children you are registered for, you can do this at any time. You must submit the application form for increasing the number of children you look after. Information and the form are available on our 'Apply to vary your conditions of registration' page. Guidance about filling in the form is available from our ‘How to complete your variation form’ page.

    If you are looking after more children than you are registered to look after, you may be doing so in breach of your conditions of registration. Breaching your conditions of registration is a serious matter and may lead to civil or criminal enforcement action.

    If you need to vary any other conditions of your registration

    You can apply to vary other changes to your conditions of registration such as change of address for child minders at any time using our forms.  However, you must await our approval of your application. Failure to do so may amount to a breach of your conditions of registration.

  • What to do if you are not registered with us

    If you operate a childcare or play service for two hours or more for children aged up to 12 years, you may need to register with us. More information is available on our ‘Not currently registered with us page’.

  • Services exempt

    There are circumstances where a person is not required to register with us.

    These include where the carer is, for example, providing coaching or tuition for sport, performing arts, arts and crafts, study or homework support, and religious or cultural activity.

    The full list of exceptions is available from the legislation website. (External link)

  • National Minimum Standards (NMS) for Regulated Childcare from 1 April 2016

    The main changes to the NMS effective from 1 April 2016 relate to staffing ratios. More information for child minders, day care and open access play services such as playschemes is available from our ‘Regulation and National Minimum Standards’ page.

  • New inspection framework

    We are changing the way we inspect childcare and play, and the frequency of our inspections. Read more information about the framework here.

  • Local planning

    We no longer require evidence about the planning status of child minders premises and do not require any declaration in respect of planning. This applies to those applying to register with us for the first time, or those making a variation to conditions in respect of maximum number of children cared for any one time.

    Applicants/providers are responsible for making sure that their premises comply with planning and building control, environmental health and fire safety regulations.

    Our role is to ensure that the premises are safe and suitable for the provision of care, taking into account the maximum number of children you will care for at any one time and the available space for each child. 

    Compliance with child care standards is different from planning permission, therefore local planning authorities will continue to consider the character of the property in relation to all children cared for, not just those aged up to 12.

    You have a duty to ensure you comply with other laws and regulations that affect your premises and your business, such as planning and building controls.

    Read Welsh Government’s letter (External link) on changes to planning for more details.

  • Frequently asked questions

    Already registered with us

    For further information please read a list of our frequently asked questions.

    Not currently registered with us

    For further information please read a list of our frequently asked questions.


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