Many childminders are parents themselves, and the care will be in the 'family' home. This type of care is ideal if parents want their child cared for in an informal family setting.
Childminders can make the most of local parks, playgrounds, toy libraries, drop-in groups and children and family centres. Often children make good friends with the other children who go to their childminder.
Childminders are usually registered and inspected by Ofsted. They are required to attend a 12-hour introductory course in home-based childcare and hold a first-aid certificate. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are carried out on the childminder and people aged 16 years and over who live in the childminder’s household.
Some childminders may work through a Childminding Agency, which will be inspected and registered by Ofsted.
Parents should ask to see a childminder’s registration certificate (this may contain individual conditions on the way that the childminder operates) and the latest Ofsted inspection report published on the Ofsted website.
Free nursery education
Some childminders can offer early education places and access 2-year funding, or 3 -4 year funding.
Childminders can often be flexible. Core hours of 8 am to 6 pm are usual. They may offer full or part-time care and often take children to and from preschool or school as part of the routine. Weekend and overnight care are sometimes offered.
Information provided by the Family Information Service usually indicates the opening hours and school pick-ups offered by individual childminders. Some childminders have registered as home childcarers to care for children in the child’s own home.
Children can go to a childminder when they are a few months old, right through until their teenage years.
Childminders are self-employed, and their fees vary. These may include meals and extras such as nappies or outings. Reductions may be available for siblings.
Working as a childminder
Visit our becoming a childminder page for more details.