If you love being with children and are looking for a fulfilling role from the comfort of your own home, then you may be considering becoming a registered childminder. It can be a hugely varied and rewarding, fun job but of course, it will have its occasional challenges! Looking after someone else's children for more than two hours in a day,who are under the age of eight years old and getting paid for it will require you to register with Ofsted which stands for the Office for Standards in Education or alternatively a specialised childminding agency. There is a small charge for registering your details with Ofsted - at the time of writing it is currently £35.
The rules are slightly different if you care for children in their own home as you will be legally classed as a nanny or au pair but will still need to register with Ofsted.
Caring for children comes with strict criteria which needs to be adhered to otherwise you may be breaking the law and receive a fine. Registering with Ofsted can take several months and will require you and anyone else who lives or works in your home who are aged sixteen or over to obtain an enhanced check from the DBS service.Also you need details of at least two references and completion of a health declaration. In addition to these you will need to have paediatric first aid training that is specific and tailored to the age group in which you will be caring for and will need training in childcare. As safeguarding issues are taken extremely seriously, you will be required to attend a child protection course which meets the standards as set out in the EYFS framework if you are the lead practitioner. Basic courses are also available online.
Registration will be required on the Early Years register or the Childcare register depending on your choice of work.
Becoming a childminder requires you to follow all relevant legislation and have good knowledge on the laws which include health and safety, food hygiene, fire safety and discrimination but your local council should be able to give you all the information and guidance that you need as it can all feel rather overwhelming at first.
Many colleges offer courses in childcare and you may wish to consider taking one of these which will lead to a recognised qualification. However, anyone who wishes to care for children aged 0-12 will need to complete an introductory training course which contains everything you need for registration.
Once all the above have been completed, you will receive a visit from an OFsted inspector to check if your home and garden is suitable and safe. You will receive your registration certificate and then you are officially a registered childminder. Grants of £600 are currently available for those childminders who complete their registration before March 31st 2025.
You will usually be self employed with the added bonus of being flexible with hours and days to suit you. Make sure you register with HMRC for tax and insurance purposes.
You will need to keep up to date with your professional development and renew qualifications when required.
Becoming a childminder is a fantastic profession as it allows you to contribute to a child's early development by providing a supporting environment in the comfort of your own home. Additionally, it offers the opportunity to run your own business while making a positive impact on the lives of children and their families.