Health & Care
A childminder is someone who looks after children in a domestic setting, normally the childminder's home. Do you love the idea of looking after babies and young children and prefer to work in your own home?
A childminder is paid to look after children not related to them. The rules on registration vary from country to country in the UK, so it is important to check with the appropriate authorities. Taking England as an example, the rules are that childminders must register with OFSTED or a childminder agency if they are paid to look after children under the age of 8 for more than two hours a day. They must register with:
- the Early Years Register to only look after children aged 5 and under
- the Childcare Register to only look after children aged 5 to 7
- both registers to look after children of any age under 8
It is also possible to register voluntarily, for example, if you look after children aged over 8.
Personal Qualities and Skills
Key skills required
- You need to be kind and patient
- You need good communication skills
- You need to be able to forge good relationships with children and their parents or carers
- You need to be able to accept responsibility
- You should be interested in how children learn and develop
Pay And Opportunities
Typical employers of childminders
Many childminders are self-employed. Apart from registration with OFSTED, you will need to make sure the premises are safe and you have public liability insurance. You need to check with HMRC about your tax position and comply with the legislation about working with children, for example safeguarding.
Grants may be available to help with start-up costs.
You can apply to a Childminding Agency. You may be employed or work for yourself, depending on the agency.
Qualifications and training required
It is advisable to check the website of the local authority where you live as you can get training and support from your local authority.
You must be entitled to work in the UK.
You must be aged 18 and over.
You will need evidence that you are of good character, including personal references and a certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS certificate), stating that there is no evidence that you have committed a crime that would make it inappropriate for you to work with children.
You will probably have to complete a health questionnaire.
You will need to complete a paediatric first aid course.
You will probably undertake a course to help you understand more about the Early Years Foundation Stage, such as CACHE Prepare to work in Home Based Childcare Award Level 3.
It may be helpful to speak or write Welsh if you wish to work in Wales.
Many people work as childminders all through their working life.
The experience and skills obtained as a childminder are valuable if you wish to take further qualifications to train as an Early Years teacher or other professional working with people, such as a social worker. Your experience in running your own business may lead you to explore other entrepreneurial opportunities.