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All of North Somerset childminders are registered with Ofsted.
Ofsted are the legal regulators for childcare in England. They ensure that childminders are suitable to be registered as a childcare business, provide an on-going quality care through regular inspections. Ofsted also investigate any complaints that are made against Childminders. They have the legal powers to cancel registration, or in the most serious cases, take enforcement action.
Childminders offer a flexible childcare service, which can accommodate unsociable working hours and out of school care in a home environment. Some childminders work with assistants.
They offer continuity of care by one familiar adult, and if you have siblings of different ages the childminder may be able to care for them all together. Childminders are often able to collect and drop-off at pre-school/ school.
Search for local ofsted registered childminders
What to look for when choosing childcare
Entrusting a person to look after your child is a big step, so before you choose childcare you may wish to do some research.
The following points can be helpful for you to consider:
- DBS checks: Have the childcare providers had a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check ?
- Diet: What’s on the menu? Does the child have access to water when they want it? Is there an extra cost for meals? Can they meet special dietary requirements? What does the provider provide? What does the parent/carer need to provide, for example baby milk?
- Emotional care: What are the routines? What does the provider consider to be unacceptable behaviour, and how do they deal with these issues?
- Environment: Is it secure, does it feel nurturing, are there pets, and is it non-smoking? Does it have enough space?
- Equipment: Is it creative, varied, plentiful and of a high standard? Do displays show different cultures in a positive way? What about physical activities? Is there an outside secure play space? If not, where will the children play in fresh air?
- Expectations: Lay out all yours: such as your working hours, time-keeping meal preparation, washing, etc. What is their policy on late pick-ups?
- Fees: Check holiday payments, hourly rate/sessions and contract. Is there a notice period?
- Health: Are the toilets and basins clean, and child-sized? What are the facilities for potty training and baby changing? Is there a sick-child policy? Will they administer medication?
- Insurance Certificate: Is the certificate displayed and up-to-date?
- Ofsted reports: Reports can be found on the Ofsted website, or they might have references from parents that have used the provider.
- Registration: Check that the provider is registered with Ofsted. You can do this easily by contacting the Family Information Service
- Policies and procedures: Are these easily accessible?
- Qualifications: What training and experience does the childminder and/or team have? Are the certificates displayed and/or accessible?
- Safety: What happens in the case of an emergency or accident? What safety procedures does the provider have in place? Does the provider ask for a named person who is collecting the child?
- Supervision: Who supervises and how? How many staff are there, and what is the staff to child ratio?
- Trips: What arrangements are in place for trips out? Is there an extra cost for this?