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Becoming a childminder or starting a childcare business - what you need to know

Childminders look after children in their own home. They have to register with Ofsted or a childminding agency and meet certain requirements. Childminders are usually self-employed and have to be 18 years or older. They:

  • look after at least one child under the age of 8 for more than two hours a day - normally in their own home
  • may be registered on the Early Years Register, the Childcare register or both, or with a childminding agency to demonstrate the quality and standards of the care they provide
  • are usually self-employed and run their own business. They provide a valuable service to children and their families.
  • Can work with other childminders and/or assistants
  • Spend up to 50% of their time running childcare from non-domestic premises

To apply to become an Ofsted registered childminder you need to:

  • complete a DBS check for yourself and anyone aged 16 and over who are regularly in your home, (this includes members of your family). Ofsted will only accept a DBS certificate within 3 Months of the issue date. Because of this, Ofsted strongly recommends that you sign up for the DBS update service to keep your certificate up to date. This costs £13 a year. 
  • fill in Ofsted’s Health declaration booklet
  • complete the online Ofsted application form and pay the application fee.
  • have completed training, which helps you to understand and implement the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Weston College run a Home-based Childcare Services course. This stand-alone unit is from the Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce. Online training is available through PACEY (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years).
  • have completed paediatric first aid training that covers the course content as for St John Ambulance or Red Cross paediatric first aid training (preferably with an organisation that has a nationally approved and accredited first aid qualification or one that is a member of a trade body with an approval or monitoring scheme). Suitable first aid courses can be booked through North Somerset Council.  This training needs to have been completed at the time of registration. You may apply if you have details of the first aid training course that you'll complete within 8 weeks of applying.
  • understand that the registration process will involve a range of checks on you, those who live with you and those you employ
  • contact your referees
  • have suitable premises and equipment for looking after children.

You may also like to contact the following agencies to see if you will be able to meet other requirements that may apply once you are running your business:

  • Fire safety
  • Planning permission and building control
  • Information Commissioner

After your application form has been processed by Ofsted they will arrange for an Ofsted inspector to visit you in your home to make sure that you are knowledgeable in how to meet the learning and development, and safeguarding and welfare requirements of the EYFS and are suitable and ready to provide childcare. Once you have received your Ofsted registration certificate, you can start work as a childminder

Further information is available on the Ofsted website

North Somerset Early Years have produced an on-line Briefing Session that you may find useful.

If you wish to register with a childminder agency, you will need to contact the individual agency to enquire about their registration requirements

HMRC offer free e-learning please use the links below to access them:

HMRC - New Businesses

HMRC - Becoming an Employer

HMRC -Tax Advice for Childminders

Thinking of opening up a pre-school or nursery?

All reception, nursery classes, day nurseries, childminders, playgroups, pre-schools and after school clubs that accept children within the age range birth to five years old have to follow the early year’s foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework. The EYFS ensures children’s safety and that they learn through play.

For more information download our Opening a Childcare Setting within North Somerset(pdf).

Information on starting up a business can also be found via website

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