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.

New childminders who complete their childminder registration on or after 15 March 2023 may be able to apply for a grant to reimburse some of their start-up costs. For more details of what is currently available and how to apply, view GOV.UK’s childminder grants scheme update.

Things to consider before becoming a childminder

Want to find out more?

The council has a video about registering and working as a childminder. The video will give you an insight into childminding and the Ofsted registration process involved with becoming a childminder.

You can view the Ofsted guidance here

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:

  • 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: