What is a childminder?
A childminder is a person who looks after one or more children for more then a total of two hours a day in their own home, for reward.
What do I need to do to become a childminder?
From September 2012 before you apply to Ofsted to be registered as a childminder, you must complete local authority approved training. This includes a pre-registration course as well as first aid and food hygiene courses. Hampshire County Council’s approved pre-registration course is the PACEY CYPOP5 course which covers all of the basics of starting a childminding business (see How do I start?).
From September 2012 until March 2014, Hampshire’s chosen approved first aid provider is St Johns Ambulance.
Food Hygiene courses are available in Hampshire on line as an E –Learning package and newly registered Childminders should complete this within 6 months of registration and prior to their first Ofsted grading visit.
This course is available as an e-learning course and takes about 2 hours to complete.
The Food Standards Agency has developed a Childminders pack for registered childminders or childcarers on domestic premises, who provide meals and drinks for the children in their care and who now have to register with the local district council.
This pack is called ‘Safer food, better business for childminders’, and enables childminders to meet regulations with as little paperwork as possible.
To obtain a free copy of this pack, please contact the food standards publications line on 0845 606 0667 or by email at email@example.com or alternatively to view the pack:
How do I start?
For more information about working as a childminder contact the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) on 0845 200 3890 or firstname.lastname@example.org. PACEY will explain the process to you, and book you onto the pre-registration course.
- You can also download the leaflet Become a registered childminder 208kb
- Read about a day in the life of a childminder
- Read the PACEY blog for registered childminders in Hampshire for inspiration
What is involved in the registration process?
- You need to apply to Ofsted to be registered. If you act as a childminder for children under eight years old without being registered, it could lead to prosecution.
- Once you have sent in the forms, Ofsted will carry out some checks to make sure you are suitable to look after children. These include health and criminal record checks. An Ofsted inspector will also visit your home to check whether it is suitable, safe and ready to take children.
- The whole registration process can take between three and six months. Please do not start the registration process until you are ready to offer childminding services. If you are not yet living in the house you intent to childmind from, are currently pregnant and not planning on working as a childminder immediately or are having work done to your house which means that it is not practical to look after children, it is advisable to wait.
Please see information and guidance on the support available from PACEY - http://hantschildminding.wordpress.com/become-a-childminder
What are the benefits to becoming a childminder?
- Great job satisfaction that comes with the pleasure and enjoyment of working with children.
- Flexibility – you can set your own working hours and decide how many children you take.
- You are your own boss.
- Professional status with the opportunity to gain recognised qualifications and develop skills
- Defined career path - progression available by becoming a support childminder (mentoring new childminders), offering free nursery education places, hosting professional support sessions or becoming a SPACE childminder offering community placements.
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 and no more then one child can be under one year old. The space available in your home will affect the number of children you can be registered to look after. You may be able to look after more children if you hire an assistant.
The financial side of childminding?
- As you will be self-employed you can set your own rates of pay – the amount you earn will depend on how may children you look after and for how long.
- You can deduct business-related expenses from your income before you pay tax.
There may be certain circumstances where you don't need to be regsistered as a childminder, for example if you are looking after a friends child(ren).
Please note, this guide gives general information only. It is not a complete statement of the law.