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Is Childminding For You?

Is Childminding For You? 

So, you are thinking about becoming a childminder.  Here is the information you need before making an application and what to do next.

What is a childminder?

A childminder is a person who looks after one or more children under the age of eight for more than a total of two hours a day on domestic premises (other than the child’s own home), for reward.  ‘Domestic premises’ normally means your home.  ‘Reward’ can be money or payment in kind.  Childminders need to be registered by Ofsted or register with a childminder agency.

Does everyone who looks after children need to be registered?

No, you do NOT need to register as a childminder if you:

  • Are the parent or relative of the child you are looking after; or you
  • Have parental responsibility for the child;
  • Are a local authority foster parent in relation to a child;
  • Are a foster parent with whom a child has been placed by a voluntary organisation;
  • Foster a child privately;
  • Only look after the child between the hours of 6pm and 2am;
  • Look after the child in the child’s own home;

How do I find out more?

You should contact your Childcare Information Service 0800 085 2022 (Option 1) for information and the dates of the pre-registration Briefing Sessions where you will find out more about becoming a childminder and what it involves.  We will also provide information on the Pathways to Registration course and training available from the Early Years Service

Some of the questions you should ask before contacting us are:

  • Do I enjoy looking after children?
  • Can I offer children a happy and stimulating environment, with sufficient toys and equipment to meet their needs?
  • Am I willing to attend training to develop my knowledge and understanding of quality childcare practice and to meet the requirements of registration?
  • What hours am I prepared to work?  What effect will this have on my own family?
  • How do my spouse/partner and my own children feel about me looking after other children?
  • Do I feel capable of respecting the individual needs of children who have different family, ethnic and cultural backgrounds to my own?
  • Will I be able to get on with parents and share information about their children?
  • Will I be able to talk to them about any problems or concerns about their children?
  • Will I be able to develop and maintain the paperwork/documentation that is needed to meet the requirements of the Early Years Statutory Framework?
  • Am I willing to attend training, Borough Network meetings and drop-ins to keep abreast of the changes and good practice? 

What must I do to become a childminder? 

You need to apply to Ofsted to be registered.  If you act as a childminder without being registered, it could lead to prosecution. 

Although you do not need any special qualifications to be a childminder, you are expected to attend a 2hr pre-registration briefing session arranged by us here at Knowsley Early Years Service where the registration process will be explained, and all questions answered. 

In addition you will have to undertake an eight week (1 session per week) registration course and a 2 day first aid training course prior to being registered.  You will have to complete this training before you can apply to Ofsted to register. 

What happens once I apply? 

Once you have sent in the forms, Ofsted will carry out some checks to help establish whether you are suitable to look after children.  These will include information about your health from your GP and you will also need to obtain a DBS certificate through Capita for anyone over the age of 16 living in your home (£55 plus £13 annual fee for update service). These will include checks about your health and criminal record.  All checks must be completed before you and any assistant can begin to look after children.  

As well as these checks, an Ofsted inspector will visit your home to check whether it is suitable, safe and ready for children to be looked after. 

The inspector will also talk to you about how you will meet the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, how you will keep children safe and about your understanding of how to plan and assess for children’s learning and development. 

What are the EYFS Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements? 

This document sets out the legal requirements that you must meet.  You will need to purchase or download these requirements before you start your pathways course.  You will need to demonstrate to Ofsted how you will meet all the requirements before you can be registered. 

How many children can I look after? 

You can look after up to six children under the age of eight (including your own).  Of these no more than three children can be under the age of five.  Normally no more than one child can be under one year.  The space available in your home may affect the number of children you can be registered for.  You may be able to look after more children if you employ an assistant or work with another childminder. 

How long will it take to get registered? 

Ofsted aim to complete the registration process within 12 weeks of receiving your application form, however you do need to have completed a Pathways to Registration course and a 2 day Paediatric First Aid Course before you apply. 

What if Ofsted refuse to register me? 

You have the right to appeal against the decision if Ofsted refuse to register you. 

What happens once I am registered? 

After you are registered, an Ofsted childcare inspector will check the quality of your childminding through inspection after 30 months.  During the inspection you and your premises will be checked to make sure you continue to meet the statutory framework and that you continue to be qualified to provide childminding.  The inspector will write a report on your childminding and send a copy to you, which you must make available to parents.  You will have to pay an annual fee payable on the anniversary of your registration. 

Where can I get further information? 

You can obtain further information about the registration and inspection of childminding from:

Information about other forms of day care can also be sent from here at Knowsley Childcare Information Service, do not hesitate to call us on 0800 085 2022 (option 1) for further assistance.