Children's homes, defined by the Care Standards Act 2000 as establishments providing "care and accommodation wholly or mainly for children," are required to be registered with Ofsted. However, most children's homes provide some form of health service ranging from basic first aid to high level healthcare. The provision of higher level healthcare may mean that the provider is in effect offering a "regulated activity" which requires registration with Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The guidance clarifies when the provision of health services in children's homes becomes a regulated activity by explaining that the distinction is between those health activities that, with appropriate instruction, a competent lay person could perform and those that must be undertaken by a qualified healthcare professional. The latter will be classified as the provision of a regulated activity and the provider should also register with CQC.

The guidance also explains that where a healthcare location is providing a service which is in effect a children's home, CQC and Ofsted will co-ordinate their approach to the location and agree the most appropriate registration arrangement.