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Interested in becoming a childminder

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Here is some information to help you decide and get registered:

What is a registered childminder?

  • A suitable person who has undergone police, social care and health checks
  • Someone who looks after one or more children under the age of 8 for more than a total of two hours a day on domestic premises (normally a childminder’s own home) for reward
  • Someone who is registered and inspected by Ofsted*
    *Ofsted registers childminders and inspects them at regular intervals. OFSTED website
  • Someone who is self-employed, runs their own business and provides a service to the families whose children they care for

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Is it for me?

It is, if you can answer “yes” to the following questions:

  • Do you like looking after children?
  • Would you enjoy planning activities for children’s development?
  • Do you want to play a key role as children grow up?
  • Do you enjoy being involved with children and their parents/carers?
  • Could you offer children a safe, stimulating environment
  • Would you describe yourself as energetic, enthusiastic and caring?
  • Would you enjoy working in your own home?
  • Would you enjoy being self employed and responsible for your own tax and National Insurance contributions?
  • Would you enjoy working with others in the childcare field?
  • Are you interested in developing 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?

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Do I have to register as a childminder?

Yes, you have to be Ofsted registered if you are looking after children under the age of 8 in your own home for two or more hours a day for reward. This is a legal requirement and can lead to prosecution if ignored. Registration will also mean parents and carers you work for will be able to claim the childcare element of the working families tax credit.

You do not need to register if you care for children:

  • for less than two hours in total per day or
  • the child is a relative (for example a grandchild, niece or nephew)
  • the child is aged eight years or over
  • you are fostering the child or have parental responsibility for them
  • you are looking after the child in their own home (a nanny).
  • you look after the child between the hours of 6.00pm and 2.00am only (babysitting).
  • you provide home education for a child.

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How many children can I look after once I am registered?

  • 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

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What if I am only looking after children who are over the age of 8?

If you only want to look after children aged 8 or over you do not have to become registered. However you may wish to join the Voluntary Childcare Register (VCR). For more information about VCR please look on the OFSTED website

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Is there a need for childminders in my area?

Wiltshire Council has information about supply and demand for childcare in our Childcare Sufficiency Report and each local area has its own community plan. Find out more about the childcare sufficiency assessment

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What about training?

You will need to complete the Introduction to Childminding Practice (ICP) course and a paediatric first aid training course. Bright Horizons Workforce Development Team www.childcarejobs.co.uk will provide information about professional development and regular training bulletins. All childminders are encouraged to attend training and professional development opportunities.

These are often free and give a great chance to network with other childminders.

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What advice and support is available?

  • We have dedicated childcare officers who provide advice, support and guidance to help you develop your business and offer a quality setting.
  • There are many courses available that can be booked online that will give training in a variety of subjects.
  • There are a number of national professional bodies who offer services such as web site training and insurance.

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HMRC elearning package

  • The HMRC have produced an online elearning 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.

Tax Help  from  HMRC

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How much will it cost to set up as a childminder?

  • The compulsory Introduction to Childminding Practice Course is currently around £175
  • Additional costs include Ofsted registration, First Aid, health checks and insurance – these cost between £200-300
  • Equipment for the role

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Are you still interested in becoming a childminder?

Step 1 - Complete the contact form to register your interest in becoming a childminder.
Step 2 - When dates become available, we will contact you with instructions on how to apply for a place on both the briefing and the Introduction to Childminding Practice Course (ICP)
Step 3 - Attend the briefing
Step 4 - Enrol on the ICP course
Step 5 - Complete paediatric First Aid prior to registration with Ofsted
Step 6 - Complete Ofsted’s online application while completing the course
Step 7 - Contact your Wiltshire Council childcare officer who will offer you essential advice and support before registration
Step 8 - Once Ofsted receives your application, they will confirm this to you in writing and advise you how to pay the registration fee
Step 9 - Complete the essential checks required by Ofsted, including:
Disclosure & Barring Service check
A health check for yourself
Step 10 - 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. On registration you must have appropriate insurance.

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Useful contacts

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Contact Details (LiveLink)

Multiple Contacts:
eMail: earlyyears@wiltshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 01225 765546
Out of hours:
Postal Address:

Early Years and Childcare
Commissioning and Performance
Children’s Services
County Hall
Bythesea Road
BA14 8JN

In Person:

Related documents

Last updated: 2 April 2014



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Early Years and Childcare
Commissioning and Performance
Children’s Services
County Hall
Bythesea Road
BA14 8JN