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Helpful information when choosing a Childminder

Here are some key facts and items to consider when looking to use a childminder.

Information about childminders

  • A childminder is a person providing care for one or more children aged between birth and 18, to whom they are not related, for reward, in someone’s home (usually their own).
  • They are allowed to care for up to six children under the age of eight, including their own, but only three of them can be aged under five (although variations can be made in the case of twins, etc.).
  • Childminders are flexible and all work different hours, so you can discuss with the childminder what they can offer to meet your children’s individual needs.
  • All registered childminders are required to undertake a basic training course, including first aid, and most go on to do further training and professional development.
  • Childminders are registered and regulated by Ofsted. They are inspected before registration and then within 30 months when they are caring for pre-school children.
  • If they are caring for pre-school children they follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, so your pre-school child should experience learning and development activities suitable for their stage of development.   
  • Childminders record the progress of the pre-school children in their care.
  • Some childminders are trained and able to support children with additional needs.
  • Many childminders are registered to provide funded sessions for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.
  • Some childminders offer Flexicare for older children.

Quality of childminding

All childminders who care for children under the age of eight must be registered and inspected by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted), who carry out regular checks on the home and childminder. What’s more, all adults (16+) living and working in the homes of childminders caring for children under eight will be checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Childminders who care for children aged eight and over can be registered on the Voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register. You can check the Ofsted report for each childminder by following the link on their record on this website or by going directly to the Ofsted reports website and searching using their Ofsted Unique Reference Number.

All childminders receive support from the Council's Childcare and Early Education service, to ensure that they continue to meet expectation and maintain a high standard of care.

How much does a childminder cost?

You will need to negotiate hours, terms and conditions with your childminder. Rates may vary.  Sometimes hourly rates for children attending school are higher than those for the under 5s. Childminders can offer flexible rates, and can accept employers’ childcare vouchers and tax free childcare

Is childminding the right choice?

Childminding might be suitable for you for a range of reasons, for example;

  • You want your child to be cared for in a family home
  • You want your child to have one carer
  • You have a pre-school child and a school aged child and it’s important they’re cared for together
  • You are good at saying what you want
  • Mixing with large groups of children isn’t a priority right now
  • Your child would cope better in a home environment than in a group setting 
Last Updated 02/09/2019

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