A Childminder will look after children normally in their own home while parents are at work. This could be young children and babies or older children after school or during the school holidays. As a childminder you may have to provide a range of play activities to keep the children occupied, fetch children from school or playgroup, serve meals and change nappies. Most childminders are self employed therefore the amount you could earn can vary greatly, hours can also be variable, some childminders will offer weekend and overnight services.
To become a childminder you can either set up your own business or work for a childminder agency (Organisations that might be able to help you in this regard are listed at the bottom of this page).
If you want to care for children under 8 for more than 2 hours a day, you'll need to register with Ofsted.
For this, you'll usually need:
- a home-based childcare course approved by your local council that covers the Early Years Foundation Stage framework.
- a paediatric first aid course
- child protection training
- a food safety qualification
You may have to do a basic skills test to show that you have the minimum standard of English and maths needed to support the educational development of children in your care. You'll also need to pass an assessment of your home and any equipment you will use.
Your first step is to look at Ofsted's pre-registration briefing on becoming a childminder.
Restrictions and requirements
You'll need to pass enhanced background checks and pass a medical check.
It's a good idea to do some research where you live to find out if there is a demand for childminders in your local area.
You may need to budget to pay for courses, including first aid, health and safety, and safeguarding. There is a fee for registering with Ofsted and you may need to pay for a medical check.
As you'll be self-employed you might find it useful to find out more about your responsibilities for tax and taking out insurance. You can get advice about this from GOV.UK.
You'll find details about careers and courses in childcare from the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years and the Pre-school Learning Alliance.
Career Path and Progression
With experience you could expand your business and take on a childcare assistant. You could also become a network co-ordinator, supporting other local childminders.
With further training you could become a tutor on childminding courses. You could also move into a related job like nursery worker, playworker, community play leader or teaching assistant.
Related careers you may be interested in:
- Nursery worker
- School lunchtime supervisor
- School nurse
- Patience and understanding,
- A love of children
- Good communication skills
- Creativity to keep them occupied
- Knowledge of child protection issues
- A good sense of fun
- The ability to keep written records