Services for Young Children


Child age range

  • 0 – 8 years - registered with Ofsted

  • 9 years plus - registered on the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register


  • Childminders look after children, along with their own, in the childminder's home.

  • Registered to care for up to six children under the age of eight, including their own – but only three children can be aged under five. Usually only one child under 12 months except with multiple births where a 'variation' to the registration can be applied for.

  • Self employed so decide on their own working hours and services provided.  

  • All registered childminders undertake a training course and first aid, with further training and professional development available.

  • Children receive learning and development activities suitable for their age.

  • Childminders can ‘drop off’ or 'collect' children at schools, nurseries, pre-schools, etc.

  • Childminders can be 'babysitters'.

  • Some childminders who are members of the Hampshire branch of the Professional Assocation for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) Children Come First Childminding Network have been trained and supported to provide community care, for example, children with additional needs, social care referrals and teen parent mentors.

  • Parents need to ensure they have 'back up' if a childminder is ill/ on holiday. Some childminders will try where possible to provide this with another childminding colleague.

Quality assurance

  • All childminders who care for children under the age of 8 must be registered and inspected by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted).

  • Childminders who care for children aged 8 and over can be registered on the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register.

  • Parents can ask childminders for a copy of their Ofsted inspection report or find it on the Ofsted website.

  • Hampshire branch of the Professional Assocation for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) are responsible for supporting childminders through networks where childminders are monitored on service delivery.

  • Childminders can achieve ‘quality assurance’ with schemes recognised by the Government i.e. PACEY Quality First, CCF Networks.


  • Parents can negotiate with the childminder hours, terms and conditions such as holidays or occasional days off.

  • Parents will be asked to enter a contract with a registered childminder. (If no contract is in place there could be problems at a later date).

  • Rates vary from area to area – average cost in Hampshire is about £4.50 per hour. There may be different rates for evenings, weekends or overnight care.

  • Some childminders are 'accredited' and are on the Hampshire County Council ‘Directory of Providers’ to provide part time early years education for some 2 year olds (eligible families), and 3 and 4 year olds which is free to parents.

  • Financial support is available from Tax Credits or employer supported Childcare Vouchers depending on the family's income.

Times available

  • Can work from early morning to evening, providing full day care or sessional care.

  • Can work overnight, (specific registration required) weekends or holidays.

  • Flexibility to meet the needs of children and families.