Childminders are trained, self-employed carers who work from their own homes, or in the home of another registered childminder. If providing childcare for children under the age of eight years old for more than two hours day, the childminder must be registered with, and inspected by Ofsted to ensure they are able to demonstrate the quality and standards of care required by Ofsted.
The exact number of children a childminder can care for is set by Ofsted; however the maximum for one childminder is up to six children under eight years old.
Childminders work across a range of hours, which is great if your working day doesn’t fit the 9-5, Monday to Friday pattern, or if you have children of different ages and you want them to be looked after together. You may also want your child to be cared for in a home environment.
A day in the life of a childminder provides an example of the kinds of activities your children will get up to when they are with a childminder.
No two days are the same though, as childminders also like to get out and about, attending library story times, visiting local toddler groups, parks and other fun places. We asked a local childminder what her week may involve:
Here’s a video produced by Walsall FIS showing how childminders in Walsall provide an invaluable service to parents and carers.
Childminders charges vary, so it's best to check, but they are generally a cheaper option than private day nurseries. Some childminders are also able to offer the free early years entitlement. Not all childminders are able to offer this so it's best to check that your childminder is able to offer a funded place, and also whether they accept childcare vouchers, offer a sibling discount, or slightly reduced session costs.
Here are some quotes from parents/carers who use childminders in York:
“The care is absolutely tailored to his own personality, development and needs”
"I am single parent, and have a complicated set of arrangements for my child's childcare but I can leave him confident that everything runs smoothly and my child is happy and safe"
"He is always happy to see you all, it's like having a second little family"
"You have helped me to raise my son into the beautiful boy he is today"
“Babies get more attention because there are less children”
“It’s cheaper & more flexible”
“All my kids are together after school & in the holidays”
“It’s really nice for him to mix with younger children, to be the big one for a change”
“She loves the older kids”
“Out & about all the time”
“They never want to come home!”
“They can do messy stuff, & I don’t have to clear up!”
“I love that I can come & talk to you & you always make time”