Becoming a childminder
Childminders are childcare practitioners who are self-employed sole traders that work in their own home. They generally provide care for young children. They offer a home-from-home childcare setting, looking after small groups of children of different ages and from different families. Any person who provides care for under 8s for more than 2 hours a day from their home, and is paid or rewarded for doing so should register as a minder.
In England, childminders register with Ofsted, the regulatory body. They follow the same legal framework, the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework, as any other childcare provider (such as pre-schools and nurseries), so should offer the same quality experience.
A childminder can care for a maximum of six children under eight years old, of which usually no more than three may be under the age of five, and no more than one of these may be under one (although Ofsted may grant an exception, for twins). These numbers will include the childminder's own children. Childminders can also care for additional children over eight but they will have to demonstrate to Ofsted that they can meet the varying needs of all children being cared for.
The available space will also impact on the number of children you can care for. EYFS states childminders 'must meet the following indoor space requirements. Children under two years: 3.5m2 per child; Two year olds: 2.5 m2 per child; Children aged three to five years: 2.3 m2 per child'
However, childminding is a dynamic and evolving career. Many minders in Waltham Forest are expanding their business and employing assistants or working alongside other registered minders, so they can care for more children at once. If you employ assistants, you must meet all the legal requirements regarding being an employer; see also Waltham Forest Council's step by step guide for using childminder assistants.
Childminding offers fantastic career opportunities - from making a difference to a child's life, to being your own boss and working from home. If you have your own children, you will be able to care for them alongside minded children.
As you will be self-employed, you are able to set your own charges, there is no national rate. Childminder fees vary, depending on the service offered. As a childminder you can also register to offer the Free Early Education Entitlement to families.
You can choose your own hours, however the more flexible you are the more likely you are to get work.
Have a think about the following:
Do you want to work from home? Are you willing to be flexible with the hours you work? Could you provide a range of planned stimulating activities? Are you energetic, caring and resourceful? What effect will it have on your family? Would you be able to talk to parents about any concerns you may have about their children?
The Early Years Foundation Stage section of The Hub outlines all of the responsibilities that childminders need to be aware of to comply with their legal obligations. Once you have familiarised yourself with these requirements, and are happy to proceed, the training is as follows:
1. Paediatric First Aid
Childminders, and any assistant who might be in sole charge of the children for any period of time, must hold a current paediatric first aid certificate. Providers can choose which organisation they wish to provide the training (preferably one with a nationally approved and accredited first aid qualification or one that is a member of a trade body with an approval and monitoring scheme, for example, the Federation of First Aid Training Organisations (FOFATO) or The First Aid Industry Body (FAIB)).
The Local Authority also arranges Paediatric First Aid courses that meet all of Ofsted requirements; details of these courses can be found on the Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service website.
The course must last 12 hours, anything less may result in Ofsted not approving your application.
The Local Authority arranges safeguarding courses that meet all of the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) and Ofsted requirements; details of these courses can be found in The Hub's Events & Training directory.
3. Understanding the EYFS
Ofsted says "There is no requirement for childminders to have a level 3 qualification or any particular type of training - the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) just requires you to have undertaken a training course that helps you to understand the EYFS. The Ofsted inspector will check your understanding at your registration visit"
However, we highly recommend you pursue a qualification so that you are more prepared for your new career in childminding. PACEY have an online briefing session.
Ofsted are trialling a Facebook page, to support prospective minders with the registration process - https://www.facebook.com/ChildcareRegistration
You can also download Ofsted's quick guide on how to register as a childminder.
The below is only an estimation of cost, and does not include the purchase of resources and toys:
£35 Ofsted registration
£65.10 for each DBS check including the update service
£50 or more for GP health check, these charges vary as GPs can set their own rates
£200 - 400 for Home-Based Childcare Level 3 award
£50 Paediatric First Aid
£50 Safeguarding training
If you are a newly registered minder, you may be eligible for the childcare business grant.
Once Ofsted has registered you as an Early Years Childminder, Waltham Forest Council will receive an automatic notification from Ofsted and you will be contacted by the Education Support team who will invite you to join our wonderful childminding community.
We have a closed Facebook group where you can keep up to date, be part of the online childminding community and share good practice - please do request to join.
You can also come along to our drop-ins around the borough, the dates and times can be found in the Events & Training section of The Hub, along with dates of training so that you can continue your professional development as a childcare professional.
1. Planning Law & Requirements
If you wish to set up a childcare facility from a domestic property, you may require a change of use planning approval for D1 use. You will be required to contact the LA's Planning department and may have to make an application for a "certificate of lawfulness" which will inform you if you will need to apply for a change of use to D1 or not.
Existing childminders will be required to notify the LA's Planning department before they expand their business in terms of additional child numbers, additional staff or any proposed alterations to their house to cater for an expansion, including extensions, for the sole purpose of childminding use. You may be required to make an application for a "certificate of lawfulness", which will inform you if you will need to apply for any changes to your existing planning approval or additional planning application.
Logged-in users can download below further guidance on Planning and Building Regulations Approval.
Please be aware that you must seek permission from your landlord if you rent your property.
2. Childminders - Premises Health & Safety
In order to ensure your home is safe for childminding, we have prepared a guidance document to assist you with maintaining safe premises to deliver childcare from (logged-in users can download it at the bottom of the page).
Please follow the steps below - click on each link to find out more.
|1. How to register with Ofsted → 2. DBS Checks → 3. DBS Update Service → 4. Ofsted Registration Form → 5. Health Check|
If you require any additional information please e-mail the Education Business Support team who will forward your query to the relevant officer.
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