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Information for childminders

Childminders look after other people's children in their own home. They 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.

Becoming a childminder

If you want to be paid to look after children aged under eight for more than two hours a day in your own home, you will need to register with Ofsted. To start that process you will need to attend an initial briefing session with us to find out what is involved. You can do that by contacting our early years improvement advisory team at earlyyears@herefordshire.gov.uk

You don't need to have formal qualifications to be a registered childminder, however, you must first go through training so you can understand and implement the Early Years Foundation Stage, which sets the standards those caring for under fives must meet. Rather than having to go to college you can get this training through e-learning courses with the National Day Nursery Association, Pacey or Childminding uk.

As a registered childminder you must register as self-employed with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within three months of starting work. This means you have to keep accurate tax and business records, and fill in a self-assessment tax form, if one is sent to you. You have to do this even if you think you have nothing to pay because your income is less than your tax allowance.

HMRC runs a tax advice for childminders e-learning course, provides a ready reckoner to help you budget for your first tax bill, and offers a range of free record keeping apps. It also puts on free monthly webinars that give basic guidance on key tax and National Insurance issues affecting self-employed childminders. You need to register for them in advance.

You may also qualify for tax credits.

First aid and food hygiene training

You will need to do a paediatric first aid course, preferably one that is nationally approved and accredited, like Anubis, Collingwood First Aid Training, Hoople or the Red Cross.

Though it is not compulsory for childminders to have food hygiene training, you must be able to prepare and handle food properly. So,it is recommended that you do at least a Level 2 food hygiene and safety course. You can get food hygiene training online from Pacey and the National Day Nurseries Association.

The Food Standards Agency also publish a 'Safer food, better business' pack for childminders This gives simple, straightforward advice on food safety, feeding babies, looking after a child with a food allergy as well as safety information on cooking, cleaning and chilling.


Email earlyyears@herefordshire.gov.uk to discuss this further and access application forms.

You can support parents to apply for available nursery funding with the online eligibility checker:

Online eligibility checker for 2 year NEF funding

Some two year olds are also entitled to the same number of free hours every year as three and four year olds. A two year old will qualify for free early education if they:

  • Have a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care plan
  • Receive Disability Living Allowance at any rate

Some two-year-olds may also qualify if the family claims one or more state benefits, for example Income Support or tax credits.

Safeguarding and welfare

You must take all necessary steps to keep children in your care safe and well. For information about safeguarding see the safeguarding in early years page.

Integrated review for two year olds

When a child in your care is two year olds you need to undertake an assessment of their development in conjunction with a review undertaken by a Health Visitor. Further information is on the integrated review for two year olds page.


For information about Ofsted inspections see the GOV.UK Being inspected as a childminder or childcare provider and Performance and inspection of childcare providers pages.

Inspecting early years: handbook for inspectors - Guidance for inspecting early years providers that deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage.