There’s no doubt that a career in childminding can be extremely rewarding. Not only are you able to work from home, you become involved in the most important early years educational stage for children.
While it can be challenging on occasion, it’s a job that certainly never boring.
As childminder, you’ll provide a home away from home for young children, many of whom may not have been without their parents before. For that you’ll need plenty of understanding and patience, of course. You’ll also need to meet the legal requirements of registration.
Anyone who is paid to look after children under the age of 8 for more than 2 hours a day in their own home, needs to be registered with Ofsted as a childminder. Another option is to work for a childcare agency where you provide your services at the home of the child’s parents.
The registration requirements exclude anything like babysitting or looking after a friend’s or family member’s child for free.
What are Childminder Requirements?
- To work as a childminder you don’t need formal qualifications but you should ideally have the Level 3 Award Preparing to Work in Home-Based Childcare or its equivalent.
- If you don’t have this qualifications you will need to undertake training to ensure that you can deliver the requirements for the Early Years Foundation Stage which is a part of registration.
- Training includes learning about safeguarding children and basic food hygiene.
- You will need to undertake a first aid course.
- In addition, you will require a medical check from your local GP to show you are physically able to do the job.
When you decide to become registered as a childminder, you must get clearance from the DBS or Disclosure Barring Service. If you have anyone else in the home who is over the age of 16, they will also require DBS clearance.
Before you can be registered with Ofsted you will normally be interviewed and have a home inspection. As a fully registered childminder, you will be subject to inspections by Ofsted at regular intervals. They will produce a report on each occasion and you may be asked to show this to parents who are considering you as their childminder.
The Cost of Becoming a Childminder
There are a number of different costs incurred when registering as a childminder. Joining the Early Years Register will cost £35 and the Ofsted Register is currently £103. GPs generally charge a fee for completing your health declaration booklet and the cost can vary from practice to practice. DBS checks normally come with a charge of £52 per person.
You will also need to factor in any training you want to undertake as well as improvements to your home such as buying equipment to deliver the early years education. Home-based care providers, of course, spend more than those who work for an agency.
On top of all this, you should take out pubic liability insurance which can cost in the region of £60 a year. If you are using your car for your childminding business, you are required to inform your insurance company as there may be a small, extra premium to pay.
Childminder Business Grants
The good news is that you can get financial help from the Government if you are setting up a childminding business. These a small but useful payments to assist with areas like registration, DBS checks and training and they are available to newly registered businesses. You can find out more here.