Childminders

What is a childminder?

  • A childminder works from their own home, looking after children of any age including before and after school and in the school holidays.
  • They can choose to open different times usually somewhere between 7am and 7pm for most of the year and are able to offer places quite flexibly.
  • If they are paid to look after any children under 8 years old, for more than 2 hours a day they must register with Ofsted or a childminder agency and be inspected regularly to ensure they are meeting the minimum standards to provide a safe and suitable environment and have a current child First Aid certificate.
  • Checks are also carried out on all other people in the house 16 years or over.
  • They offer a range of activities/outings and some go to local groups so your child can play with children their age.
  • Some childminders work with assistants too.

How much do childminders charge?

Childminders are self-employed and can set their own fees - you may be able to get help with your childcare costs. As part of being registered, they must provide a written agreement with the parent to cover:

  • Hours, Fees (what is included in the fee eg meals, drinks, snacks, nappies, outings, playgroup fees) and payment dates.
  • Overtime/emergency cover fees.
  • Fees for holidays and sickness for both your child and them.
  • Notice period to be given for both changes to the contract and to end the contract (four weeks is a reasonable notice period for both parent and childminder).
  • The contract should be signed by you and the childminder and reviewed when changes are needed.

How do I find a childminder?

You can look for any type of childcare provider by using our simple childcare finder. You can also contact our Families Information Service using the details on the right-hand side of this page.

Some things to consider:

  • Always use a registered childminder and ask to see their Ofsted certificate
  • Take your child with you when you visit, how does the childminder interact with your child? 
  • If other children are present during your visit, are they happy, settled and busy
  • How many other children does the childminder look after?
  • Who else is in the house when your child is there? Can you meet them?
  • Ask to see public liability insurance and check expiry date
  • What training or experience do they have? And can they show you certificates and references/feedback from another parent?
  • How would the childminder deal with difficult behaviour? 
  • What procedures do they have in place in the event of an emergency? 
  • Do they have risk assessments and policies in place?  
  • What happens if your child or the childminder is ill? 
  • Take your child with you when you visit, how does the childminder interact with your child? Can the childminder take/collect your child to and from school? If they do, how many other children do they take and collect from school?
  • Always use a registered childminder and ask to see their Ofsted certificate
  • If other children are present during your visit, are they happy, settled and busy
  • How many other children does the childminder look after?
  • Who else is in the house when your child is there? Can you meet them?
  • Will the children walk, use the bus or be driven?
  • Does the childminder drive? If so do they have business insurance and car safety seat?
  • Ask to see a food and drink menu, is there an additional cost?
  • Is the play space welcoming with room inside and outside to play? 
  • What toys, books and other resources available for children to play with?
  • Does the childminder take the children out on outings such as libraries, play groups, children’s centres and parks?
  • How does the childminder ensure the children in their care are treated equally, but at the same time taking into account children’s needs, cultural background and any disabilities?
  • Are there any pets that the children will come into contact with?
  • Are there regular activities planned for the children?
  • Does the childminder offer Early Education places to 2, 3 and 4 year old children?

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Contact details

Families Information Service

Telephone helpline : 01274 437503
Polish/Slovak/Czech Helpline : 01274 434905
Urdu/Punjabi Helpline : 01274 431252
Mobile : Text 'Childcare' to 07781472076 and we will call you back within 5 working days
Email : fis@bradford.gov.uk

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