Becoming a childminder
What is 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 2014, as any other childcare provider (such as pre-schools and nurseries), so should offer the same quality experience.
Most minders will be registered for 3 children under 5 years and another 3 aged 5-8. 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.
Training to become a childminder
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
If you are a newly registered minder, you may be eligible for the childcare business grant. Please check here - https://www.gov.uk/childcare-business-grant
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.
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).
You will also need to comply with the premises space requirements as set out in the EYFS.
Please be aware that to become a registered childminder, you will need to have a health check from your GP, an enhanced DBS for yourself and every person in your household aged 16 or over, plus permission from your landlord if you rent your property. Ofsted will conduct a registration interview at your home before deciding whether or not you are suitable.
Process to becoming an Ofsted-registered childminder in Waltham Forest
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.
Download the documents from this page
Register on The Hub to download any documents/files that may be attached to this article - it's free and takes just a few moments. As a visitor to the site you can read the articles but not download any documents or files. However, as a registered user you can download any files, in addition to what is written on-screen.