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'.

  • 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.

  • Childminders can achieve ‘quality assurance’ with schemes recognised by the Government e.g. PACEY Quality First


  • 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 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.