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Childminding - How to become a childminder

Childminders work on domestic premises, usually their own home and provide care and learning opportunities for children of all ages in a family setting. 

Do I have to register?

Anyone working in their own home and rewarded for looking after children aged under 8 years of age, for more than two hours per day must normally be registered with the Office for Standards in Education, Children's services and Skills (Ofsted), or registered with a childminding agency.

If you are planning to only look after your grandchildren or other children who you are related to, you do not normally need to register.

For further information visit the website (external link).

Is there a minimum age?

The minimum age for childminder registration is 18 years old.

What is the Early Years Register (EYR)?

If you intend to care for children aged 0 to 5 years of age (birth to the 31 August following the child's 5th birthday), then you need to register on the Early Years Register (EYR).

Childminders on the EYR are required to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This is to ensure whatever settings parents choose, they can be confident their child will be safe and well cared for whilst receiving a quality experience that supports their child's development and learning.

There are safeguarding and welfare requirements and learning and development requirements set by the government that each childminder must meet. Each requirement describes a particular aspect of childminding, for example, child protection.

The pre-registration and business briefing session will provide you with more information regarding these requirements. In order to comply with the requirements of the EYFS you need to demonstrate fluency in both written and spoken English. You will need to demonstrate to Ofsted how you will meet the requirements of the EYFS before you can register.

What is the Childcare Register (CCR)?

A register of providers who are registered by Ofsted to care for children from birth to 17 years. The register has two parts:

  • The compulsory part - providers must register on this part if they care for one or more children following their fifth birthday until they reach their eighth birthday.
  • The voluntary part - childminders may choose to join the voluntary strand if they wish to care for children aged eight years and over.

What is involved in the registration process?

You need to apply to Ofsted to be registered or a childminder agency. If you act as a childminder for children under eight years old without being registered, it could lead to prosecution.

If you choose to register with Ofsted, once you have submitted your application forms, they will carry out additional checks to make sure you are suitable to look after children. You will also be required to complete a health declaration and an enhanced disclosure check (DBS). An inspector will also visit your home if you register on the Early Years Register, to check whether it is safe, suitable and that you are ready to take children. You may need to make some adaptations, such as installing safety gates and making sure any glass conforms to current safety requirements. You need to complete a 'risk assessment' covering all the areas of your home you intend to use for childcare purposes. You also need to obtain an enhanced disclosure form from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for anyone else in your home aged over 16 years.

The whole process (training and registration) can take several months. If you are not yet living in the house you intend to childmind from, are currently pregnant and not planning on working as a childminder for some time, or have extensive work carried out on your home which means it is not practical to look after children, it is advisable to wait.

You will have to pay an Ofsted registration fee and an annual fee to remain registered. As a childminder your details will be shared with Rochdale Environmental Health. You do not need to complete any additional forms. You will normally be classed as a 'low risk' food provider. You will need to obtain Public Liability insurance, further details are provided during the local authority childminder training course.

What are the benefits to becoming a childminder?

  • Great job satisfaction comes with the pleasure and enjoyment of working with children.
  • Flexibility - you can set your own working hours.
  • You are your own boss.
  • You will be a recognised professional and will have the opportunity to attend additional training to develop your skills and knowledge.
  • You may be able to offer government funded places for eligible children.
  • You may also care for additional children aged 8 years and older and can choose to join the childcare voluntary childcare register.

How many children can I look after?

Normally you can look after up to six children under the age of eight (including your own).

Of these, normally no more than three children can be under the age of five and no more than one child can be under one year old.

The space available in your home may 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 or if you work with another childminder.

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 many children you look after and for how long.

You can choose to work full time or part time depending on your own family commitments. Some childminders offer unsociable hours and childminders can register to provide overnight care. You can deduct business-related expenses from your income before you pay tax.

Further information relating to the financial side of childminding is provided during the pre-registration session and as part of your training.

How do I start the process?

Please contact the Training Team on 01706 927851 to express your interest in becoming a childminder.

The Training Team will send you an email which includes details around ‘How to Apply to Become a Childminder', who to contact regarding funding eligibility and support with Numeracy and Literacy training if required.  The letter briefly explains Introduction to Childminding Practice (ICP) and includes a date for the ‘Becoming a Childminder’ Zoom briefing.

After reading the letter, when you are ready to start the training, please contact the Training Team to book onto and pay for; ‘Becoming a Childminder’ Zoom briefing, priced at £15. These are held once per term (usually September, January and April).

Attend the Zoom briefing and if you want to proceed with ICP, contact the Training Team to book on the next available start date (September, January or April).  The ICP is priced at £120.

You have a term (3 months) within which to submit the first attempt at all four of the task booklets and a further half term (6 weeks) to complete the ICP course.

Following completion of the course and application to Ofsted, an Early Years Advisor will contact you to arrange a pre-registration visit before Ofsted come to register you.  Ideally these would be face to face, but in the current climate they might be done via video call or a combination of phone calls and sharing photos of the provision via email, to ensure you are fully prepared.

When you have successfully registered with Ofsted, you will receive two visits from the Early Years Advisory and Childcare Team (ideally these would be face to face, but in the current climate they might be done via video call or a combination of phone calls and sharing photos of the provision via email) to prepare you for their first inspection.  The first visit/video call is between 6 and 12 months after registration, the second visit/video call is between 18 and 24 months after registration.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Early Years Training Team
01706 927851

Where to go

Name of venue
Number One Riverside
Venue address
Smith Street
OL16 1XU

Time / Date Details

When is it on
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.45pm
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