Becoming a childminder - FAQ

What is a childminder?

A childminder is one to three people registered to care for children under 8 years of age, on domestic premises, for more than two hours a day, for reward or payment.

Interested in becoming a Childminder?

A range of useful information is available on the YorOK website to help explain the process of registering as a childminder in York.

When you have considered this information, accessed the Ofsted website to gain details regarding registration and the guidance for each Ofsted register, and completed your market research to ascertain if there is a need for childminders in your area, you can book onto a Childminder Information Session to explore the requirements for registration in more detail.

How do I apply for registration?

When you have considered if childminding is right for you, have discussed the idea with your family and you have completed market research to assess if there is a need for childminders in your area, you will book onto and attend a Childminder Information Session. Book onto the Information Session online or contact Early Years, Learning and Welfare on 01904 555300 or email eylw@york.gov.uk

What effect will childminding have on me and my family?

Childminding will have an effect on all the family as you will be using your home to work from. You will need to decide on the rooms and areas you would like to work from within your premises; these will be inspected at your registration visit to ensure they are safe and suitable for purpose.

You will need to organise your time efficiently as you may have up to four trips to School or Nursery per day as well as providing meals, sleep or rest times and activities to develop and stretch children’s skills and knowledge so a good understanding of child development will be essential.

Who registers childminders?

Ofsted’s legal powers as regulators for registered childminders are set out in the 2006 Children’s Act and Ofsted are the Government body responsible for registration and inspection of childminders.

Ofsted’s role is to register applicants, inspect childminders regularly, investigate concerns to ensure childminders meet requirements for registration, and take enforcement action when necessary.

Ofsted have an agreement with Prospect Services Ltd and Tribal Group PLC to use their inspectors to inspect providers, but the decision to grant registration will remain with Ofsted.

Childminders are registered by Ofsted on:

  • The Early Years Register – to care for children aged 0 to 5 years. Providers on this register must follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework Guidance
  • The Compulsory part of the Childcare Register – to care for children aged 5 to under 8 years
  • The Voluntary part of the Childcare Register – to care for children over 8 years of age if parents wish to claim Working Tax Credits. For more information regarding Tax Credits visit HMRC

It is likely that a registered childminder could be registered on all registers.

Home child-carers can also be registered by Ofsted on the Voluntary part of the Childcare Register to care for children in the child’s own home.

Information regarding the Early Years and the Childcare Registers with guidance for registration as a childminder or home child-carer is available on the Ofsted website.

It is your responsibility as the registered childcare provider to ensure you are registered on the appropriate register for the ages of the children you will be caring for, and to work within the guidelines and legal requirements for each register

Is there a fee for registration?

An application fee will be requested from Ofsted upon receipt of your application pack. At the moment the application fee for the Early Years Register is £35.00, and the application fee for the Childcare Register is £103.00. If you decide to be registered on both the Early Years and the Childcare Registers you will pay one fee of £35.00. Fees will be paid each year to Ofsted to enable continued registration and these fees may change.

Who does not need to register?

You do not need to register if you care for children over 8 years of age, look after children in their home, are a parent or relative of the child, have parental responsibilities for the child, are a foster parent to the child, or care for the child between the hours of 6pm and 2am only.

What qualifications should childminders have?

First Aid

Before applying to Ofsted you will need to have a valid Paediatric First Aid certificate of at least 12 hours duration that covers resuscitation of children and babies. You will also need a First Aid box specifically for childminding use. Your First Aid certificate will need renewing every 3 years, it will be your responsibility to ensure you continue to keep your First Aid training up to date.

Introduction to Childcare course 

Childminders are required to complete a home childcarer course before Ofsted register them. In York, we suggest either a face to face course with York Learning or an online course with Pacey:

All newly registered childminders in York are advised to complete the Introduction to Child Protection course to fulfil the duty for providers to have basic awareness of different types of abuse, and the procedures to follow should they be worried a child is being abused or at risk of being abused. As a registered childcare provider you have a duty to protect children, yourself and your family and keep up to date with York’s Safeguarding Children’s Board guidance regarding child protection policies.  Child Protection training should be updated at least every 3 years.

Where can I access suitable first aid courses?

Your First Aid course will be funded by you directly to the training provider.  For details of local training First Aid providers please contact the Workforce Development Unit on 553017 or email wdu@york.gov.uk.

What sort of checks will be needed?

You will need an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check for yourself and any other persons over 16 years of age that live in the domestic premises, or who will work or regularly visit the premises whilst childminding takes place.

Ofsted will also obtain information from Social Care to ensure you or any other person linked with your setting is suitable to care for children.

As part of the application process your GP will complete a Health Declaration form to ensure your physical and emotional health enables you to care for children appropriately. There may be a fee payable to your GP for this service.

Ofsted will conduct a registration visit after they receive confirmation that your checks are completed, to interview you and inspect your premises to ensure suitability, and to ensure you have provided a safe environment.

When all checks have been completed Ofsted will send a Certificate of Registration that will contain details of your registration and must be displayed whilst working as a childminder.

Are registered childminders employed by Ofsted?

Registered Childminders are ‘self employed’ and you will need to:

  • Register with Inland Revenue and complete Tax Returns
  • Complete your accounts or employ an accountant to do so
  • Consider registration with the Information Commissioners Office to register for Data Protection as you will hold personal information about the families and children you work with
  • Inform your home insurance company
  • Inform your car insurance company if you will use your car for work
  • Inform your mortgage company
  • Gain permission from your landlord to work from the premises if applicable
  • Write policies and procedures to share with parents about your working practice
  • Complete risk assessments to help identify and address weak areas of your working practice and any areas of your premises that are not safe and suitable for children or staff to work in

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework?

The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework covers requirements for the learning, development and care for children aged from birth to 5 years. Packs are available from The Department for Education or to download from their website. This guidance gives the minimum standards accepted by Ofsted for registration as a registered childminder on the Early Years Register. Inspectors will require evidence that childminders are working to this guidance, and are developing children’s skills and knowledge. You will also be asked to provide evidence of how you plan to cover all stages of a child’s development, and how you will move the child on to the next stage of their development.

Will I need to have Insurance?

You will need Public Liability insurance that can be obtained from the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years or Morton Michel.

What are the set up costs involved with becoming a childminder?

These set up costs are approximate, but the following should be considered:

  • Registration with Ofsted : £35.00 (Early Years Register) or £103 (Childcare Register)
  • Doctors Fees : £0.00 - £100.00+
  • DBS checks: £52.00+ per person
  • Home childcarer course : £120.00+ depending on training undertaken
  • First Aid course : £56+
  • Public Liability Insurance : £50-£100.00

For further information and support email eylw@york.gov.uk or call 01904 555300.