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How do I become a registered childminder?

Most of the information in this website refers to Registered Childminders in England under the Ofsted regulations. However, if you are seeking information about Childminding in Scotland or Wales you need to contact Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales - CSSIW (Wales) or SCSWIS (Scotland) formerly called the Scottish Care Commission (SCC) and now also known as The Care Inspectorate, you can ask for help in who to contact in these specific areas of the Childminding Forum, there you will get help from both Scottish and Welsh Registered Childminders, they will happily guide you through the process:

Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales - CSSIW
SCSWIS - Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (formerly Scottish Care Commission - SCC) and now also known as The Care Inspectorate

In England - First you need to contact your local authority, Local Authority finder. Remember, if you work as a childminder without being registered you are breaking the law. Anyone who cares for children for more than 2 hours per day for reward must be registered and inspected by Ofsted. You can visit the Ofsted website for more information about inspections and registration. There is also a requirement to meet the standards of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) as a Registered Childminder you can get more help and advice with this by reading or joining in the posts on the Forum - Early Years Foundation Stage.

Can Men become Registered Childminders? Yes they certainly can and many areas are keen to encourage men into childcare. There are no differences in the way they are registered. There an several male childminders on the Childminding Forum, why not pop in and ask for their advice or tips? Childminding Forum

Do I need any special qualifications? Yes, you are legally required to complete a pre-registration briefing session and you must have completed a local authority approved training course to help you understand and implement the EYFS before you can register with Ofsted. Some local authorities require you to sit an English and Maths test before starting the course.

Call your local Families Information Service to find out if there are briefing sessions taking place in your area. (visit their website to find the number)

You must also complete a 12 hour Paediatric First Aid Course and gain a certificate - you will be given help in finding a suitable course near you.

What else do I need to do? You will have to apply for a DBS (formerly known as CRB) disclosure (PVG in Scotland - ask your doctor to complete a medical check for you before registering.

Obviously you need to enjoy working with children and be able to provide stimulating play opportunities in a safe environment. You should understand equal opportunities and welcome and provide for the needs of children from differing backgrounds and abilities. You also need to be able to work with parents for the good of the children and be aware how children develop and learn. You will also have to keep attendance registers and records.

You should be prepared to consider doing more training in the future, that will help you provide good quality childcare. There is more on training on these pages: Courses and Training

You might want to read more about childminding and what it involves - I've recently been given a copy of the book "Registered Childminding - The Secrets of Success" which provides very useful information - read review here.

Is there a charge to register?

Yes, the current charges (March 2013) for Childminders are:

* application fee - See the Ofsted website for details of latest registration figures Ofsted

* subsequent annual renewal fee £35

What happens after I've applied?

The registration process will be explained during your pre-registration briefing session. These are very friendly sessions, you will gain lots of information and have the opportunity to ask questions. You will be given all the relevant forms and help with filling them in. If, after attending the session you realise childminding is not for you then you do not need to continue further - there is no commitment at all.

Call your local Families Information Service to find out if there are briefing sessions taking place in your area. (visit their website to find the number)

Will it take long to become registered?

Ofsted aim to register most childminders within 3 months of their application but there are many references to be taken before you can become registered - a health check, DBS disclosure (formerly CRB check) on you and every other adult in their household. Your home will be inspected too, to ensure it is a safe and suitable environment for children. Sometimes these checks can take longer than others so it isn't possible to give a definite time scale. Don't forget that if you have anyone staying in your home for over 6 weeks you should check with Ofsted about whether they need a DBS check.

How many children can I care for? This will depend on how many children of your own you have and their ages. It will also depend on the size of your home as there are special child/space ratios - In England, under the Early Years Foundation Stage Welfare Requirements there is a specific child to space ratio as below:

Under 2 years - 3.5 square metres per child

Two year olds - 2.5 square metres per child

Children aged 3-5 - 2.3 square metres per child

You cannot include storage areas, hallways, landings, cloakrooms, utility rooms, kitchens or bathrooms in this allowance. You can find out more information in this Childminding Forum thread -

Can I get financial help?

You may have heard that there are grants available towards the costs of setting up your childminding business, unfortunately these are no longer available and in some areas there may even be a charge. You will be informed of any charges.

I've been told I will need special insurance is that right?

You will need Public Liability Insurance. You should also ensure your own house and contents insurer know that you are running a business from home, some do not charge an excess, however some do. If you plan to use your car for carrying the minded children then you should also tell that insurer too as you need special business class insurance.

Where can I get business cards? Vista Print offer free business cards and other useful items for advertising your business

What if my questions haven't been answered here?

Come along to the Childminding Forum where you can talk to experienced childminders and those just starting out - they have probably experienced what you are going through and will be glad to help. You can ask as many questions as you like, you will be made most welcome. Use the button link on the left when you've finished reading these pages

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