How to become a registered childminder

What is a Registered Childminder?

Childminders are self employed professional child carers who work in their own homes caring for children from other families

What do childminders do?

As a childminder you will either be registered with Ofsted or a Childminding Agency. You could be self employed or employed by an agency. You will look after one or more children for reward in your own home for children under the age of eight (must meet the statutory requirements outlined in EYFS for under eights), but you may also care for older children. You will plan your own activities to meet the needs of the children following guidelines set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This will include:

  • Planning fun and stimulating learning experiences, in a home based environment. These will be around the EYFS areas of learning and development and include playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically
  • Meeting the care needs of all the children in your setting
  • Providing wrap around care for nursery and school age children
  • Working in partnership with parents to encourage children’s learning and development at home.

Who registers and inspects childminders?

Childminders are registered and inspected by either Ofsted or a Childminding Agency to ensure they and their home meets legal requirements. Anyone working or living on the premises over the age of 16 must apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service Check to ensure they do not have a criminal record or any other issues that may affect the care of the children.

Do I need to have qualifications?

Although you don’t need to have formal qualifications, you need to be able to understand English to a level 3 standard. "Childminders must have completed training which helps them to understand and implement the EYFS before they can register with Ofsted or an agency" (Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, September 2014). You must also obtain a Paediatric First Aid qualification prior to registration.

What is the process and how long does it take?

These are the steps you need to take to register as a Childminder in Bradford. More information is given at the Initial Information Session.

  1. Apply to attend the optional Information Session (2 hours) 
  2. If required, attend appropriate training. 
  3. Attend First Aid Paediatric Level 3 Award if required
  4. Bradford Council runs a range of courses appropriate for practitioners working in the Early Years, Childcare and Play sector. Please contact our Workforce Development Service
  5. Receive 1:1 support visit from Quality Support Officer. This visit will cover: preparing for you registration visit and applying for registration. This process can take between 4 and 6 months. The gaps between the training sessions give you the opportunity to prepare your paperwork for registration, to risk assess your home, to develop your marketing, to write policies and procedures and to prepare your equipment/activities.
  6. The next step is to register with Ofsted or a Childminding Agency and this takes approximately 12 weeks.

You should plan to complete the registration process as soon as possible and within a year of attending the information session. Support may be withdrawn if you delay the process.

What does it cost?

As of September 2016, training costs are as follows:

Information session including Business


Understand How to Set Up a Home Based Child care Service (Unit 79)


Paediatric First Aid

(renewable every three years)


You will also have to pay:

Ofsted Registration fee

£35 (annual cost)

Child Minding Agency (CMA)

Varies (one off cost)

Doctor’s fee for health check

Varies (one off cost)

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check

Approximately £52.80 per person over the age of 16 years living or working on the premises

Yearly subscription service to keep the DBS check up to date

£13 per year, per person

Public liability insurance

Cost varies (annual cost)

Information Commissioner's Office registration fee (if applicable)

£35 (annual cost)

*Please note there are many other costs that you need to consider when delivering professional childcare.

Can I get help with paying for set-up costs?

If you meet the Local Authority criteria based on the childcare needs in your area you may be eligible for funding to help with the costs of registration. To find out more about this, you must attend the Initial Information Session.

Can I attend the course ‘Understand How to Set Up a Home Based Child care Service (Unit 79)’ without attending the Initial Information Session?

Yes you can, but you would not be eligible to apply for funding to support set-up costs and you would be expected to pay full course costs.

Are you thinking of working with another person?

Some childminders want to work with other people either to increase the number of children they can care for or to have extra help in the workplace. You have two options in these circumstances and you will need to decide which will work best for the setting.

What is a co-childminder?

A co-childminder is someone who is registered with Ofsted or a Child Minding Agency as a childminder and has the same level of legal and professional responsibility as the childminder whose home is the setting. They can either be self–employed or employed by the other childminder or the Childminding Agency.

You will need to think about:

  • Whose home you are going to work from?
  • Will you employ the childminder or will you work independently?
  • How will you divide key person responsibility?
  • What will you do if the number of children is reduced?
  • If working independently how you will split finances and costing for heating, lighting and food etc?

What is an assistant?

An assistant does not have the same level of legal responsibility as a childminder and is usually an employee. Assistants need to go through thorough checks with Ofsted before you can employ them. They can only be left alone with children (with Ofsted’s permission) for short periods, such as school runs. However if you do leave assistants alone with children you must ensure they have a current paediatric first aid certificate.

You will need to think about:

  • You will be an employer – you will have to pay National Insurance and Income Tax where appropriate, for any staff you employ
  • You will need to meet the legal requirements of the EYFS in relation to appraisals and training.

When can I start taking children for reward?

Only once you are registered by Ofsted or an Childminding Agency and received your certificate of registration and have public liability insurance in place.

I don’t want to care for children under 8 years – do I still register as a childminder?

You cannot register as a childminder, but you can join the Voluntary part of the Childcare Register. This requires you to complete a basic childcare course, have a Paediatric First Aid and apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service Check. There are different costs associated with this type of registration.

I want to care for children like a nanny does – not in my home.

You can choose to join the Voluntary part of the Childcare Register – see above. You could register as a home childcarer and care for the children of up to two families at any one time in the home of one of the children. However, the Local Authority does not fund people to register solely as home child carers.

I only want to care for my relatives

You will be unable to register as a childminder to care solely for your relatives eg grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and those related by marriage or civil partnership.

I have a dog, can I still be a childminder?

You will need to provide a safe environment for the children and access to pets will be under supervision and with parents’ permission.

Will my home be suitable?

You will need written permission from your landlord to run a business and the deeds or covenants on your own home will indicate whether you are restricted form running a business from home. You will need to consider whether you may need planning permission to run your business.

Do I have to have a garden?

Access to outdoor play will need to be provided daily for children, either in your own garden/ yard or by visits to local parks etc.

Useful contact numbers

If you have questions about access to the training sessions:

Telephone 01274 432797

If you have general queries about becoming a Registered Childminder:

Telephone: Contact the Early Years Learning Admin Team  01274 439611 and ask to speak to a Quality Support Officer

Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY)

Telephone: 0800 169 4486

Ofsted general helpline

Telephone: 0300 1231231

Morton Michel

Telephone: 0845 2570 900

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