Becoming a Childminder

Professional Childminding in Calne

Would you enjoy being with young children during much of the week?

Do you have experience in caring for young children?

Well if you do, then maybe childminding is the job for you...

There are many points you must consider before applying to become a registered Childminder. You need to consider the impact that childminding will have on yourself, your partner and any other children in your home. You need to consider the change in routine, extra noise and how other children may react to having to share their home, toys and your time.

Extra children can mean additional wear and tear on furniture and toys, childminders can not worry unduly about mess and clutter.

Equipment such as toys, a cot, pushchair and a stair guard may also be necessary. Childminders must provide multicultural toys, books and an attitude which reflects the variety of cultures within our society, meeting any specific needs regarding religious persuasion, culture or linguistic background.

Any looking after children under eight years of age, for more than two hours per day and who are not the parents, or a close relative, for a reward must register with Ofsted. The penalties for illegal childminding are a substantial fine, imprisonment or both.

When you apply to become a childminder you need to have thought about:

  • How you intend to provide a childcare service;
  • The suitability of people who will care for the children;
  • The suitability of the premises where the children will be cared for.

You will have to complete a medical record form, and all members of the household over the age of 16 must have a police check. The names and addresses of two referees will be required; they cannot be family members or parents proposing to place children in your care.

If you do not own your own home you may need to get permission from the owner of the property, e.g. your landlord or local authority housing department. You will also need to ensure that your normal home or building insurance covers you for running a business from home. If you also employ someone to assist or care for the children other than yourself, or you take on work experience or students, you will need Employers Liability Insurance also - you are best using the NCMA's own insurance services for this as their products are tailored for the needs and requirements of childminders.

You can be registered for up to six children under the age of eight, although not more than three of these will be under five. These numbers must include your own children. The number of children you are registered for will be written on your certificate of registration provided by Ofsted.

Having more children in your care than you are registered for, could result in a cancellation of your certificate.

If you do not have a valid certificate of registration, you cannot legally care for children so it is vital tat you ensure all insurances and registrations are kept up to date.

First Aid Training

To meet Ofsted's National Standards, all childminders in England and Wales are required to undertake and pass a first aid course which includes training in first aid for young children when they register. This should ideally be taken while you are registering, but definitely within 6 months of receiving your registration certificate. This course must be recognised by your local authority. Wiltshire Collage run first aid courses as do the St John's Ambulance and Switch.

After Registration

Registered Childminders must keep records regarding the children in their care. These should include:

  • Childs name
  • Home address and telephone number
  • Name of guardian/carer
  • Childs date of birth
  • Parent/carers place of employment and telephone number
  • General practitioners name, address and telephone number
  • A record of accidents and injuries
  • Medication records
  • A daily attendance register

The NCMA Startup Pack contains all you will need to start up your childminding business. It has contracts, record sheet, medical books, accounts book, registers, and a fire blanket for your kitchen. The produce a standard contract which registered childminder's can use. It also contains public liability insurance cover in case of an accident whilst you are caring for other people's children. You must also check to see whether you need to pay income tax or national insurance, these both depend on the amount of profit you make over a specific sum. Therefore, it is important to keep accurate business records in order to complete your yearly Self Assessment Tax Form.

Start Up Grants

These are available to all new childminders. They cover the cost of your

  • ICP training and first aid training
  • £100.00 for start up expenses, such as toys, stair gates, safety covering for glass. You must keep original receipts though. Please contact TRIO Childcare Connections Ltd for information on these.

Notifying Changes

If you cease to provide a service, in addition to informing Ofsted you also need to inform TRIO Childcare Connections Ltd so that your records can be deleted from their database, and avoid unnecessary mail being sent to you. Your local Inland Revenue Tax Office should also be informed.