How to Become a Childminder
Why Become a Childminder?
Becoming a childminder has been a popular career choice in recent years. Many stay-at-home parents choose to become registered childminders because it gives them the flexibility of being able to work from home, during hours that suit, and still being able to look after their own children.
Some people believe that childminding is just a pocket-money job for stay at home parents, but this is not the case. Childminders are professional childcare providers who have undergone a registration process, which ensures that they are suitable for caring for other peoples’ children.
- In order to become a registered childminder, you will need to attend a pre-registration session at which you will receive all the information you’ll need, plus an application pack and information about the Early Years Foundation Stage. To find out when and where the next pre-registration session will be, contact your local authority. They will also be able to provide information on the availability of childminder start-up grants that may be available to you. Like any new business, there is an initial investment.
- If you decide to go ahead with your application to be a registered childminder, you will need to submit your application along with your registration fee.
- Next, you will need to have a CRB check – Ofsted will advise you on how to go about this. Additionally, anybody over the age of 16 who is regularly in your home will need to have a CRB check. You will also need to be registered with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA)
- You will then be subject to an inspection by Ofsted, where you will need to prove that you meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
- Before you are registered, you will have to attend a paediatric first aid course. Within 6 months of your registration, you will also be required to complete a childcare course.
Contrary to what you might believe, you don’t need a big house and garden to be a childminder. You don’t need to own your home either. However, your home should be safe and suitable for children of all ages. You will need to invest in safety gates in order to stop small children attempting to climb stairs unassisted, and you may need to get some cupboard locks for your kitchen cupboards.
You will need to have toys and books for the children but these needn’t cost the earth – excellent quality toys and books can be picked up second hand for very good prices at car boot sales, charity shops and in local classifieds.
An outside space is a bonus, and some parents may prefer their children to have the option of playing outside whilst with their childminder, but if you don’t have a garden there’s no need to worry. The first priority of most parents is not the garden space of their children’s prospective childminder – their ability to lovingly care for their children is far more important.