How To Become A Childminder
If you love children and want to give them the best start in life, then being a childminder could be your perfect job. As a childminder, you will look after children in your own home, providing a happy and inspirational environment for children while their parents are working or studying. Being a childminder involves making children feel safe and secure, providing engaging play activities to help children learn and develop, preparing and serving meals, changing nappies, taking children on trips and taking older children to and from their school or playgroup. To be a childminder, you need to be patient, flexible and a good communicator. You will also need to know about health, nutrition, hygiene and child protection issues.
Childminders must be aged over 18 and, in most cases, must be registered with Ofsted before they can look after children aged under 8.
No formal qualifications are required, although it will help to have GCSEs (A*-C) in English and maths.
The first step to becoming an Ofsted registered childminder is to attend a pre-registration meeting (details will be available from the Families Information Service of your local council). At this meeting you will be given information about becoming a childminder, along with an application form and details of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which sets the standard all registered early years providers must meet.
The next step is to take pre-registration course approved by your local authority plus a 12-hour paediatrics first-aid training course. As part of your training, you will normally take a unit from the Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce. This unit, Understand how to set up a home-based childcare service, includes modules on childcare legislation, setting up play and learning activities and working with parents.
Once you have completed your training and had satisfactory outcomes in the necessary checks you can register as a childminder with Ofsted.
Further information, including key documents, is available from Ofsted. The Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) offers guidance and support for childcare providers, including childminders.
Average Working Hours Per Week = Varies between 35-40
Common Working Pattern
Time Taken To Qualify
Average of 3 months
What Next/Career Development
Once you have registered as a childminder you could take additional short courses to develop your skills. Options include: child protection, equal opportunities, special educational needs and business skills. You could also take the full Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce, which is one of the industry-standard qualifications for childcare providers and allows you to work in other childcare settings, such as a nursery or a reception class in school.
Facts And Figures
•Anyone being paid to care for children for more than two hours a day must be registered by Ofsted.
•Ofsted registration includes a home inspection and an interview.
• You will also need clearance with a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), both for yourself and anyone living in your home over the age of 16.
•You will need Public Liability Insurance to work as a childminder.
Note: if you are seeking information about becoming a childminder in Scotland or Wales please contact Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales or, for Scotland, The Care Inspectorate.