How to become a registered childminder

What is a childminder?

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

A childminder must register with Ofsted or a Childminding Agency. Ofsted or the Agency will inspect and regulate the childminding services.  Childminders can look after one or more children for reward in their own home for children under the age of eight but they may also care for older children. A childminder is expected to plan activities to meet the needs of all 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 and much more

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 formal qualifications are not required "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). And a Paediatric First Aid qualification is required prior to registration.

 “Providers must have sufficient understanding and use of English to ensure the well-being of children in their care. For example, to keep records in English, to liaise with other agencies in English, to summon emergency help, and to understand instructions such as those for the safety of medicines or food hygiene.”  Therefore to register as a childminder the applicant must understand English to a level 3 standard and if they don’t they may need to complete additional training before registering as a childminder.

What is the process and how long does it take?

From starting the process to registration with Ofsted or an Agency the process can take between 6 to 12 months and includes the following:

  1. Attend a two hour Information Session - Are you considering becoming a childminder? It’s not compulsory however you will be better informed if Childminding is for you.

    This information session will:
    • help you to decide if childminding is for you
    • provide an overview of what training is required to become a childminder
    • explain how to register as a childminder and Bradford Local Authority’s support packages
  2. Complete training which helps you to understand and implement the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) before registering.

    The Local Authority’s 2.5 day course - Training to register as a childminder  will enable you to meet this requirement and includes:
    • The Statutory Requirements and Learning and Development Requirements
    • Safeguarding children in your care
    • Establishing a safe and healthy home based environment
    • The importance of partnerships with parents
    • Providing play and other activities that will support equality and inclusion
    • Gain an understanding of how to market and run a successful business
    • Tools to use as a childminder

      All three dates must be attended to register as a childminder. 
  3. Gain a Paediatric First Aid Level 3 Award.
  4. Apply for Disclosure and Barring Service Checks for every person over the age of 16 that is living or working on the premises and register all of these on the update service within 19 days of receiving your DBS Check reference number. Please ensure when you apply for your own DBS you put “Childminder” for your job title otherwise Ofsted won’t accept it.
  5. Complete a Health Declaration Form to establish the applicant’s physical and mental suitability.
  6. The next step is to register with Ofsted or a Childminding Agency and this takes approximately 12 weeks from submitting the application form.

You should plan to complete the registration process as soon as possible and within a year of attending the information session to ensure that knowledge and training is up to date.

What does it cost?

As of January 2017, training costs are as follows:

Information session - are you considering becoming a childminder?

£5.00

 Course - Training to register as a childminder

£250

Paediatric First Aid (renewable every three years)

 

£108.90 

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.

How do I book a place?

To book places on the following;

  • Information Session - Are you considering becoming a childminder?
  • 2.5 day course - Training to register as a childminder
  • Paediatric First Aid

Go to the Local Authority’s training & development catalogue Learn & Develop Bradford site and search for the courses above. You are required to sign up for an account so you can login, see all dates advertised and enrol for a place on your chosen course date. If you need help with booking onto or paying for courses please contact The Workforce Development Team on 01274 434503 Monday to Friday, between 8.30am and 5pm.

Will I get support from the Local Authority?

If you decide to register with a Childminding Agency instead of Ofsted you will access training and support from your chosen Agency not from the Local Authority.

If you follow the Local Authority training route by attending the 2.5 day training to register as a childminder a named Quality Support Officer will be allocated to guide you through the Ofsted registration process and to ensure you meet the requirements to register once you have attend all three dates. If you decide not to attend the 2.5 day training to register as a childminder you won’t have access to a Quality Support Officer until you are registered with Ofsted.

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 training. To find out more about funding you must attend the Local Authority’s two hour Information Session.

You could get a childcare business grant to help with the costs of setting up a childminder business or agency (CMA) in England. You could get a one-off payment depending on the type of business you’re setting up. This scheme will run until March 2018. Visit https://www.gov.uk/childcare-business-grant for more information.  

Can I attend the course ‘Training to register as a childminder’ without attending the 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. The information session has been created to help you make an informed decision as to whether childminding is for you.

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.

Working with a co-childminder?

A co-childminder is someone who is registered with Ofsted or a Childminding 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?
  • You may need to apply for planning permission when increasing the number of children you care for.

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, Income Tax where appropriate, and Pension contributions for any staff you employ
  • You will need to meet the legal requirements of the EYFS in relation to supervisions and training

When can I start taking children for reward?

Only once you are registered by Ofsted or a 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 pets can I still be a childminder?

You 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 general queries about becoming a Registered Childminder:

Email: childminding@bradford.gov.uk
Telephone: Contact the Early Years Learning Admin Team on 01274 439611 and ask to speak to a Quality Support Officer

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