How to become a Childminder
Understand what it takes to become a childminder and find the routes needed to get there...
What is a childminder?
Childminders offer professional home-from-home childcare and early education, looking after small groups of children of different ages and from different families. They are often there for childcare for children before and after school, sometimes on weekends and during the holidays. They often work from their own home, offering their home as a base for the childcare they offer.
Childminders are perfectly placed to support the early learning and development for children of all ages, working closely with parents to provide bespoke childcare.
What are the responsibilites of a childminder?
The role of a childminder will always vary, from child to child and from person to person. Ultimately, a childminder looks after a child within a home setting and provides necessary childcare.
A childminder will often work for themselves as their own business, but you may also be part of a childminding agency.
On a daily basis some of the responsibilities of a childminder are:
- Creative play to entertain children in a stimulating and lose educational way
- Reading and storytelling with younger children
- Supporting early language development
- Helping children develop their creativity and imagination
- Cooking with and for the children, providing valuable real-life learning experiences and healthy, nutritious meals and snacks
- Taking children to and from nursery, school or their other activities and clubs
- Working with other childcare professionals and parents to provide a coordinated approach to supporting each individual child
- Observing children’s progress, working with parents to support their child’s ongoing learning and development
How to beome a childminder
Anyone in who looks after one or more children under the age of 8 years in England or under the age of 12 years in Wales, to whom they are not related, on domestic premises, for reward, and for a total of more than two hours in any day must register as a childminder.
You will need to register with Ofsted and to do this you must have a home-based childcare course approved by your local council that covers the Early Years Foundation Stage framework.
You may have to do a basic skills test to show that you have the minimum standard of English and maths needed to support the educational development of children in your care. You’ll also need to pass an assessment of your home and any equipment you will use.
There are no formal qualifications to become a childminder. However, if you want to care for more than one child under the age of eight for more than two hours, you have to be a registered childminder. This means that you will need a home-based childcare course in order for you to be able to register.
The following course is approved by PACEY and will enable you to become a fully qualified childminder and able to register:
You will also need a pediatric first aid certificate.
How to become a registered childminder?
Before you try and register with OFSTED (England) or CIW (Wales) you will need to have a full DBS check carried out which is a requirement when working with children. You will also need a paediatric first aid course as mentioned before.
When you register with OFSTED, this can take a few months so ensure you register as soon as possible. You will also need to get a medical check from a doctor to show you are fit to work as a childminder and care for children.
After the checks are completed Ofsted will call you and arrange a home inspection, where an officer will come and check your home is suitable for childcare and ask you questions about your plan for your charges’ learning and development.
How much does a childminder earn?
As a registered childminder working in your own home, you’ll effectively be classed as self-employed. You’ll need to register your business with HMRC. You are therefore able to set and charge your own rates.
There are costs involved as a childminder such as insurance and an annual fee to remain registered. You will also need to take in costs such as fuel, food and other expenses.
The average charge of a childminder is £5.50 per child per hour, although you can set your own rates.
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