What is a childminder?

A childminder provides childcare for children in their own home for more than two hours a day and charges a fee (which can include Tax-Free Childcare or Early Education Funding) or receives some other form of reward.

Childminding requires a considerable time commitment. You will not only work directly with children during your hours of operation but will need to set aside time to complete paperwork, accounts information and training.

Things to consider before becoming a childminder

  • Check if you need planning permission and agreement from your landlord to run a childminding business from your home
  • Think about the hours you will work (weekdays, evenings, weekends)
  • Will you offer school drop offs/pickups and if so where from?
  • The impact on your home and family life of operating a business from your own home
  • Do you have any specialist knowledge that will appeal to families e.g. experience of working with children with special educational needs and disabilities or being able to speak languages other than English
  • Start-up costs for Ofsted registration, insurance, training, resources
  • Timescales - it can take up to 12 weeks to complete the Ofsted childminder registration process.
  • Download our information booklet here

Want to find out more?

First of all you need to attend a childminder recruitment event. This free, two-hour briefing session is run by our Quality and Sufficiency Team and will give you an insight into childminding and the Ofsted registration process to become a childminder.

Childminder recruitment events are run once a term at venues around the city from 6.30pm-8.30pm. Please email the Family Information Service at  fis@portsmouthcc.gov.uk  or call 023 9268 8830 for further details or to book a place on the next session.

Next session:

Wednesday 14 November 2018, 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Landport Family Hub, 221 Arundel Street, Portsmouth, PO1 1NF

Registering as a childminder

Childminders must be registered with Ofsted if they plan to care for children aged under eight for more than two hours a day. Ofsted provides the quality standards which childminders and other childcare providers must comply with.

Before you register you need to do the following:

  • Get a criminal records check (enhanced DBS check). If you are working in your own home, anyone over 16 who lives with you will also need one. It usually takes up to six weeks but it can sometimes take longer. You will get a certificate in the post. There’s more information in this criminal records check guide.
  • Fill in the health declaration form and get it signed by your GP. Your GP may charge for this.
  • Complete a first aid qualification for people who work with children. You need to do a full pediatric first aid course if you will be working with children under five. Ask your local council or look online for courses in your area.
  • Find out if you need any training. You don’t have to do a particular course, but if you’ll be looking after children under five you need to show Ofsted you can meet the requirements of the EYFS statutory framework. Organisations like the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) or Childminding UK can also help.

Before you start childminding you should also make sure you have relevant childcare insurance and knowledge of local safeguarding procedures. Guidance is available on the PSCB website.

Support available through the registration process

The quality and sufficiency team offer up to five hours of fully funded new provider support per provider.

This can be used in a variety of ways including:

  • Attendance at the Childminder Recruitment Event
  • Advice and support via telephone/email:  eydelivery@portsmouthcc.gov.uk
  • Visit to you to discuss planning your business, early years funding processes, size and suitability of premises, resources and routines, policies and procedures, safeguarding and safer recruitment.

You will also need to do your own reading and learning to prepare for registration and launching your business. The following list provides a range of materials we recommend that you read thoroughly and understand as part of your role:

While the majority of new providers find five hours of support offers them everything they need, some find they want more time which can be purchased at £100 for a two hour visit.

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