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Interested in being a childminder?

Are you interested in becoming a childminder?

Here is some information to help you decide if childminding is the right career for you

  • Someone who looks after one or more children under the age of eight for more than a total of two hours a day on domestic premises (normally a childminder’s own home) for reward.
  • Someone who is self-employed, runs their own business and provides a service to the families whose children they care for.
  • Someone who has undergone police, social care and health checks and is registered and inspected by Ofsted or a childminder agency.

If you can answer yes to these questions then Childminding could be a career for you:

  • Do you like looking after children and prepared to provide a safe, stimulating environment where you can progress children's development?
  • Do you want to play a key role as children grow up, working in partnership with children, parents/carers/other professionals?
  • Are you interested in becoming a self-employed professional childcare practitioner working in your own home and interested in continuing professional development?
  • Are you prepared to develop policies and procedures for your business?
  • Childminders sometimes offer unsociable hours and/or overnight care, is this something you would consider?
  • Childminders care for children with difficulties and disabilities, is this something you would consider?

You will need to register with Ofsted or a childminder agency if:

  • you are going to be paid to look after children under 8
  • you are caring for them for more than 2 hours in one day
  • you look after them in your own home

If you do not register you could be fined. Parents benefit from registered childcare provision if they are eligible for Government help with childcare costs for parents.

Ofsted registration

There is guidance for childminders on when/if you need to register.

There are two Ofsted registers:

  • The early years register if you are caring for children from birth though to 31 August after their fifth birthday.
  • The childcare register: Compulsory part – if caring for children from 1 September after the child’s fifth birthday until their eight birthday; Voluntary part – if looking after children over the age of 8, or if you chose to register e.g. a nanny.

Ofsted registered Childminder Agencies

You can choose to register with a childminder agency rather than directly with Ofsted. Agencies currently with childminders in Wiltshire are:

  • You may look after up to six children under eight, including your own.
  • No more than three of the six children should be under five.
  • Normally no more than one child can be under one.
  • If you only want to look after children aged eight or over you do not have to become registered.
  • You may then wish to join the Voluntary Childcare Register (VCR).

Wiltshire Council has information about supply and demand for childcare in our Childcare Sufficiency Assessment Report and each local area has its own community plan.

Find out more about the Childcare sufficiency assessment

  • Review the pre-registration briefing for those wishing to become childminders
  • Childcare training – complete an introduction to childminding training course if you do not have a childcare qualification. You need to ensure you have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the Early Years Foundation Stage to meet Ofsted registration requirements.
  • First aid training. Review training providers here.
  • All childminders are encouraged to regularly attend professional development opportunities, these are often a great chance to network with other childminders.
  • Monthly training newsletters are available on our website
  • Pre-registration support is available to support your journey to become a childminder in Wiltshire to provide a quality setting.
  • Once registered as a childminder further support and advice is provided to all childminders around safeguarding and children with additional needs and with less than good Ofsted judgment.
  • You may also be interested to view Pacey's Business Smart website developed by childminders for childminders. It is a collection of ideas, inspiration and tools to help new and existing childminders in England develop a sustainable business.
  • There are a number of national professional bodies who offer services for childminders, such as insurance and online training.
  • HMRC have produced an online learning package for childminders It explains and guides you through everything you need to know to get started.
  • There are some useful tips from others who have been where you are now, just starting and needing some help.
  • You can work through the course at your own pace and at a time that suits you best. It takes some people between one and two hours to complete, but you don't need to do it all in one go. You can dip in and out as often as you like.
  • Childminder introduction training course is currently between £150 and £200.
  • Ofsted registration fee payable annually 
  • First Aid training
  • Disclosing and barring checks (DBS) per person aged over 16 years in household.
  • Health checks
  • Public liability insurance 
  • Equipment for the role.
  • To run a childminding business from your home you may require planning permission, which will incur a cost. Check with the council planning department.
  • Bespoke support package for registered childminders
  • Register your interest by emailing childminding@wiltshire.gov.uk your name, address and contact phone number. 
  • You will receive an email with further details to support your decision to become a childminder.
  • Read the pre-registration briefing for those wishing to become childminders.
  • Complete childminder training where applicable.
  • Complete Paediatric First Aid prior to registration with Ofsted.
  • Complete Disclosing and barring checks for yourself and anyone over 16 in the household
  • Complete a health declaration
  • Contact Wiltshire Council for pre-registration support, advice and guidance before registration.
  • Complete Ofsted online application when you have completed the above
  • Once Ofsted receives your application, they will confirm this to you in writing and advise you how to pay their registration fee.
  • You will receive a pre-registration visit from Ofsted and must understand all of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) requirements, including the safeguarding and welfare issues. Ofsted complete this within three months of receipt of your application form.
  • Once registered with Ofsted display your registration certificate
  • Consider the bespoke support package for registered childminders.
  • Ensure you have appropriate insurances in place.

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Contact us

Early Years & Childcare
Wiltshire Council
County Hall
Bythesea Road
BA14 8JN
01225 712966

Last updated: 27 February 2020 | Last reviewed: 27 February 2020