What does a child minder do?
A childminder would typically carry out the following tasks:
- make sure that the children being looked after feel secure, and are safe, warm and well fed
- plan, prepare and serve meals to the children
- change nappies and make up bottles for babies
- provide a range of play activities, both indoors and outside, to help children develop
- take children on outings to the park or to toddler groups, for example
- take older children to and from playgroup or school
You would need to carry out parents' requests concerning their children's diet, routines and religion, and share information about their children with them. You would also need to comply with registration requirements of Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills).
What do I need to do to become a child minder?
You do not need any formal qualifications to become a childminder but you do need to be aged 18 or over. You also need to be registered with Ofsted if you intend to care for a child or children under the age of eight for more than two hours a day.
Your first step to becoming registered is to contact the Families Information Services at your local council, who will tell you when there is a childminding pre-registration meeting in your area.
At the meeting, you will be given information about becoming a childminder, an application pack and details of the early years foundation stage (EYFS).
The EYFS sets out the standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to five years old. It focuses on areas such as communication skills, physical and emotional development, and numeracy and literacy. It also lays out the conditions you need to meet for the safety and wellbeing of the child or children under your care.
Once you have completed the application and returned it to your Ofsted regional centre, you will:
- have an Ofsted home inspection and an interview to make sure you are a suitable person to care for children
- have a medical check
- complete an introductory training course and a 12-hour paediatric first-aid course
If the course does not include the first aid certificate, you can do this at a local college. You will also need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for yourself and anyone else in your home aged over 16.
You may be able to get help with the costs of setting up your childminding business by applying for a childminder start-up grant if this is available in your area. To apply for a grant, contact the early years team at your local council.
Approval of your registration to work as a childminder can take up to three months.
Where to find out more
Where could I be working?
Your home will be inspected to make sure it is safe and hygienic, and you may need to make some changes, such as fitting safety gates.