Becoming a childminder
Childminders can provide flexible individual care in a home environment as well as linking with other services in your local community such as children's centres, toddler groups and libraries. They provide a valuable service to children and their families.
- Must be 18 years or older
- Have to register with Ofsted or a childminding agency and meet certain requirements
- Look after at least one child under the age of 8 for more than two hours a day - normally in their own home.
- May be registered on the Early Years Register, the Childcare register or both, or with a childminding agency to demonstrate the quality and standards of the care they provide.
- Are usually self-employed and run their own business.
- Can work with other childminders and/or assistants.
- Can spend up to 50% of their time running childcare from non-domestic premises (when approved by Ofsted to do so).
Applying to become a Ofsted registered childminder
To apply to become an Ofsted registered childminder you will need to:
- Complete a DBS check for yourself and anyone aged 16 and over who are regularly in your home, which includes members of your family. Ofsted will only accept a DBS certificate within 3 months of the issue date. Ofsted strongly recommends that you sign up for the DBS update service to keep your certificate up-to-date.
- Complete Ofsted's Health Declaration booklet.
- Complete the online Ofsted application form and pay the application fee.
- Have completed training which helps you to understand and implement the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Online training is available through Pacey (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years), National Day Nursery Association and the Early Years Alliance
- Have completed full paediatric first aid training (min 12 hours), preferably with an organisation that is nationally approved and accredited, for example Anubis, Collingwood First Aid Training, Hoople or the Red Cross. This training needs to have been completed at the time of registration. You may apply if you have details of the first aid training course that you'll complete within 8 weeks of applying.
- Understand that the registration process will involve a range of checks on you, those who live with you and those you employ.
- Contact your referees.
- Have suitable premises and equipment for looking after children.
Requirements for running a business
You may also need to contact the following agencies to see if you will be able to meet other requirements that may apply once you are running your business:
- Fire safety
- Planning permission and building control
- Information Commissioner
- Food standards agency
After your application form has been processed by Ofsted they will arrange for an Ofsted inspector to visit you in your home to make sure that:
- You know how to meet the learning and development, and safeguarding and welfare requirements of the EYFS
- You are suitable and ready to provide childcare.
Once you have received your Ofsted registration certificate, you can start work as a childminder.
Further information is available on the Ofsted website
Registering with a childminding agency
If you wish to register with a childminder agency, you will need to contact the individual agency to enquire about their registration requirements.
Nursery Education Funding
The government provides varying levels of funding to help parents and carers of children aged 2, 3 and 4 with childcare costs. Once registered with Ofsted, you can decide whether to offer the free early years entitlement (Nursery Education Funding) to parents as your business model. You can offer funded places to 2, 3 and 4 year olds for the universal entitlement of 15 hours of childcare, or the extended 30 hours (for eligible 3 and 4 year olds only), which has been available to parents since September 2017.
As a registered childminder you must register as self-employed with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within three months of starting work.
Free e-learning for childminders from HMRC
HMRC offer the following free e-learning courses: