What is a childminder?
A childminder is a person who looks after children for reward in their own home. Childminders provide safe, caring home environments where children can play and learn. As a childminder no two days are the same, but typically childminders provide varied play and learning activities, healthy meals and snacks, outings, and take children to and from school.
All childminders caring for children under eight must be registered by Ofsted. If you care for any children under eight as an unregistered childminder for more than two hours, you can be prosecuted.
Childminders are registered with and inspected by Ofsted to ensure that they are able to meet the requirements for care and education, as described in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework 2014 and Ofsted's Compulsory Childcare Register Requirements.
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)?
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a statutory framework setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five.
The EYFS document contains information about the duty placed on providers to comply with the statutory learning and development requirements, assessment, safeguarding and welfare requirements for all children up to 31 August following their fifth birthday.
Before you can be registered on the Early Years Register you will need to demonstrate to Ofsted how you will meet these statutory requirements and how you will promote good outcomes for children. This will be covered in more detail in EYFS Pre Registration Course.
What are the childcare register requirements?
The compulsory childcare register requirements set out the statutory requirements a childminder needs to meet when caring for children over the age of five years. Before you can be registered on the Child Care Register you will need to demonstrate to Ofsted how you will meet these statutory requirements. This will be covered in more detail on the Pre-Registration course.
Is childminding for you?
We've provided answers to some of the questions you may have about childminding.
How to become a childminder
1. Attend our information session - sign up.
2. You will then be asked to attend a Literacy Assessment with Adult Learning at Hackney Learning Trust. Dates will be confirmed at the information session.
3. If you reach the required criteria of level 2 in literacy, you will be invited to attend and complete EYFS Pre Registration Course (7 days on a weekly basis) and the Home Based Child Care level 3 award – HBCA (6 days on a fortnightly basis) and complete the required coursework, these courses will help you understand and implement the EYFS and the legal requirements before you can register with Ofsted. These courses run termly during the day, dates are confirmed at each information session.
4. You will need to obtain a copy of the full EYFS pack for the EYFS training - buy the EYFS pack from PACEY. You will also need to obtain a copy of the HBCA book for the HBCA course - buy the HBCA book.
5. You will be required to complete an approved paediatric first-aid course (2 days) prior to registration. These run throughout the year, dates are confirmed at each information session.
6. Once you have passed the HBCA coursework assessments, and have prepared your home, you can then apply online to register as a childminder with Ofsted.
7. Prior to applying to Ofsted to register as a childminder you will need to have a DBS check carried out on yourself and each person over 16 years of age that lives on the premises - there is a cost for each DBS check. Use Ofsted instructions to apply for a DBS.
8. You will need to ask your GP to complete the Ofsted health declaration form to make sure that you are physically and mentally fit to care for children.
9. You will then be able to submit your application to register with Ofsted through the Government Gateway. You will be told how to do this during the training. There is a fee to become registered and an annual fee after that. Ofsted will then contact you to arrange a registration visit when your references and further checks are back. You will need to demonstrate at the visit how you intend to meet the legal requirements. You should be registered within 12 weeks of Ofsted receiving your form. For further information please read the Ofsted Early Years and Child Care registration handbook.
How much will it cost to become registered?
Estimated costs without equipment and toys:
- £35 Ofsted application
- £65.10 for each DBS check including update service
- £50 plus for Health check-GP’s can charge their own rates
- £200 for Home Based Child Care level 3 Award
- £80 for Paediatric First Aid course
Please note that you will be able to apply for a small childcare business grant once registered with Ofsted to reimburse you for the costs of setting up your childminding business. You can apply for £500 or £1000 if you intend to offer a service for children with Special Educational Needs or disabilities.
What happens after you are registered?
Once you are registered Ofsted will carry out Inspections to ensure that you continue to meet the requirements. The Inspection is graded and the report goes on the Ofsted website for parents to see.
On-going advice, support and training
Hackney Learning Trust childminding team offers a range of support and training for childminders.
Our Hackney Quality Assurance Childminder Network (HQACN) are a group of registered childminders who have shown they can provide high quality care for children. They are assessed and monitored by Childminding Network Co-ordinators. Network Co-ordinators provide support to parents in seeking a quality assured Network childminder to meet their needs.
Hackney childminders have access to a comprehensive training programme as well as Forum meetings, professional development workshops and an Annual conference. We also provide childminder drop-ins throughout the borough as an opportunity for childminders to gain peer support, and take part in stimulating play activities together.