Childminders must, by law, register with the Care Inspectorate. 

The legal definition of a childminder is a person who works with children for more than two hours a day in the childminder’s own home for reward.

We regulate childminders using the Health and Social Care Standards and the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010.

Before you apply to register as a childminder you should read: 

You can also visit The Hub, our ‘one-stop-shop’ website which has a wide range of resources aimed at supporting improvement in social care and social work by sharing intelligence and research-led practice.

What to expect from the registration process

You can now apply to register a care service online, using our new, secure system.  The online application is simple to complete and only asks you questions that are relevant to your service type.

You can manage your application easily.  You can save it as you go and return to it later so you can complete and submit at your own pace.  You can go back to previous stages to check, change and add to your application.  The new application allows you to upload supporting documents and pay your application fee.

Read our guidance for applicants on applying to register a care service and online registration application form - user guide before applying. 


The registration fee for a childminder is £28.00.  This must be paid before we can consider your application.  An annual continuation fee of £17.00 is also applied for every year that you are registered.  

All application fees are non-returnable.

Find out more about our fees.

Fire safety information

The Chief Fire Officer Association on behalf of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has produced guidance on the fire precautions childminders should take.

You should complete the following documents and return them to the relevant organisation when you are ready to do so.  As the checklist is a declaration that everything is in place you may wish to wait until later in the process to do this.

Membership of the PVG scheme and criminal records checks

You must pay an additional fee for the cost of a Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme record checks as appropriate.  We will determine from your application who this will be applicable to and be in contact with you to provide the relevant disclosure documentation.

You can find out more about the fees for PVG applications on the Disclosure Scotland website.

The Care Inspectorate must be a counter signatory to your own scheme record, and as such we require you to progress your PVG application through us.  Once we complete the first part of the PVG application, you’ll receive an email with a link to complete your section.

Please be aware that, in addition to the PVG check, the Care Inspectorate also run online searches of publicly available information.  If we have concerns about the information we find, we may contact Police Scotland.

Registering with Disclosure Scotland

For you to countersign PVG or disclosure checks for your staff or volunteers, you must be registered with Disclosure Scotland.  You can find out how to register with Disclosure Scotland on their website. You will have a number of responsibilities after your register, including:

  • following Disclosure Scotland's Code of Practice
  • referring individuals to Disclosure Scotland when harmful or potential harmful behaviour and you dismiss the person as a result (or would or might have done had they not otherwise left).

You can also use an umbrella body to countersign PVG or disclosure checks on behalf of your organisation.  A list of umbrella bodies is available on the Disclosure Scotland website.

Contact Disclosure Scotland if you need help:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 0300 020 0040
Monday to Thursday: 9am to 4pm
Friday: 9am to 3:30pm

What happens next?

Once we have received your completed application and all the documentation we have asked you for, and you have paid the fee, we will contact you.  We aim to assess applications for a childminding service within three months and all other services within six months.  However, this presumes that you supply us with a competent and fully detailed application, as well as any additional information we request.  It is in your interest to give us all the information we ask for in the application form to prevent any delays or the risk of us closing or refusing your application.

Once you have submitted your application form our national registration team will assess and check:

  • that the information you give us in the application form is appropriate and comprehensive
  • that the correct fee has been paid
  • whether you are fit to provide and manage the service
  • if your premises (where the service is to be provided) is fit to be used for that purpose
  • that the proposed service will make all the proper provisions for the health, welfare, independence, choice, privacy and dignity of everyone using the service.

We may also check the financial viability of the service.  Any information we ask for during this process is in accordance with the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010.

Successful registration

If your registration is successful, we will confirm this and also provide you with a certificate of registration, (electronically via our eForm portal), detailing the conditions of registration.  You should print the certificate and display it so that anyone who uses your service can read it.  The conditions of registration are also available on our care service list.

You will also see a list of records that you must keep and a list of notifications that you must make to the Care Inspectorate within our eForms portal.  See our guidance on records childminding services must keep and guidance on notification recording.

Decisions on an application to register a service

Following an application for registration, under Section 59(1) of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 ("the Act"), the Care Inspectorate can in terms of


  • grant the application unconditionally, s60(1)
  • grant the application subject to conditions, s60(2)
  • refuse the application, s60(1).

If we propose to refuse your registration, or to grant registration subject to conditions that have not been agreed in writing, we must give you notice of our proposal to do so.  Such a notice, where sent by post, is deemed (by section 101 of the Act) to be received on the third day after the day it was posted. 

If you wish to dispute any matters, you must do this in writing within 14 days.  The notice of proposal will state where these must be addressed to.

If we propose to refuse registration, or to grant registration subject to conditions that have not been agreed in writing, you have a right of appeal to the sheriff.  This right is set out at section 75 of the Act.  Any appeal must be made within 14 days (17 days if we have sent this in the post). 

The Scottish Childminding Association

The Scottish Childminding Association is an organisation dedicated to supporting childminders in Scotland.  From helping you with your application to register, to offering courses to help you keep up with latest developments in childcare, you can get lots of helpful advice and information.  Visit their website or call them on 01786 445377.

Create an account to begin your application

Sign in to see an existing application 

If you need the application form in an alternative format, please call our contact centre on 0345 600 9527.