Concerns about childcare providers

If you are concerned about anything you see or hear at an early years or childcare provider, then you should raise this directly with the provider.

If you cannot resolve matters this way, or if you think we should be made aware, you can contact us

We assess all the information we receive against the details we already hold about the registered provider or setting to decide on the appropriate action to take. If a concern is deemed sufficiently significant, an inspection or investigation may be triggered. All reports are published on the provider’s BFEYS webpage.

If information is received from an anonymous source (except from a whistleblower), the matter will be referred directly to the provider. If we receive the information by telephone, we ask the information-giver for their contact details. This is so we can get in touch with them if we need to; for example, to verify what they have told us or ask for further information, or pass their information on to other child protection agencies. The inspector will take all reasonable steps during the inspection or investigation to protect the identity of any person who has given BFEYS information, even if asked to do so by the provider.

Since October 2014, when, as a result of a concern we have received, it is established by the provider or us that the provider failed to meet the requirements of the EYFS,  a ‘Summary of Complaint’ is published on the provider’s webpage. Prior to this, complaints were addressed within the inspection reports, also on the provider’s page.

Concerns about Unregistered childcare

Registered childcare providers in BFG hold a valid MOD Certificate of Registration. This ensures providers are qualified, experienced, insured and vetted and allows parents to use childcare vouchers or tax credits to help with the costs of childcare. Not all childcare needs to be registered, for example if no payment is received, or care is for less than 2 hours a day. For more information please refer to Become a registered early years or childcare provider in England and look for the document 'Registration not required'.

If you believe somebody is operating unregistered childcare from their SFA, you should contact us

Concerns about a BFEYS inspection

You can complain about a BFEYS inspection if you are a childcare provider inspected by BFEYS and you think there was a problem with:

  • the inspection process
  • how the inspection was conducted, e.g. the behaviour of an inspector
  • the outcome of the inspection, including the report


You can also complain if you are a parent or member of the public with concerns about any of these issues.

BFEYS is unlikely to stop the publication of a report or remove an existing one while a complaint is being investigated.


Before you complain

You should raise any concerns during the inspection by speaking to the lead inspector.

Concerns can often be addressed before the report is drafted or published.

See the contact us page for details

How to make a formal complaint

You should complain to the DCYP Early Years Lead, British Forces Early Years service if your concerns were not resolved during the inspection.

You can complain at any time at any time up to 30 working days after the report has been published.

DCYP Early Years Lead

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What happens next

The DCYP Early Years Lead will contact you to discuss the complaint. They will investigate using:

  • evidence from the report
  • feedback from the team that carried out your inspection

You will get a written response, normally within 20 working days of BFEYS getting your complaint.


If you are still unhappy

If you would like someone external to review your complaint you should contact

Principal Social Worker 


Queen Elizabeth House

4 St Dunstan's Hill




020 7463 9229

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BFEYS and SSAFA Forces Help are accredited by the Secretary of Defence to regulate childcare overseas in accordance with the criteria set out in the Tax Credit Regulation 2002.