Many childminders are parents themselves and the care will be in the 'family' home. This type of care is ideal if parents would like 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 who work with an assistant may look after more children than when working alone.
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 on people aged 16 years and over who are living 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 which are 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 8am to 6pm are usual. They may offer full or part-time care, and often can take children to and from preschool or school as part of the routine. Weekend and overnight care is 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 so can care for children in the child’s own home.
Children can go to a childminder from 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.