When and how to register with Ofsted if you want to open or manage a children’s home or secure children’s home.


Introduction to children’s homes



This guide explains what a children’s home is and what you must do if you intend to open one.

You should also read our main guide to registration, which applies to all children’s social care services.

View Ofsted’s registration services and forms.

Published 12 April 2012
Last updated 22 February 2021 + show all updates

  1. Revised throughout for clarity.

  2. Minor updates to reflect a legislation change on exemptions from registration for 16 to 19 academies (p5), and to clarify existing guidance on unregulated and unregistered providers (p16).

  3. Updated this guidance to clarify that we do not register satellite children’s homes.

  4. Updated to make it clear when unregulated and unregistered services should register.

  5. Updated to bring in line with legislation changes in 2015.

  6. First published.