How do I become a childminder?

The process you go through to register as a childminder will be different depending on whether you live in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales.  The information below relates to registration in England.

Anyone in who looks after one or more children under the age of 8 years in England, to whom they are not related, on domestic premises, for reward, and for a total of more than two hours in any one day must register with Ofsted as a childminder.

In order to register with Ofsted as a childminder, you will need to:

This is the first step to becoming a Registered Childminder with Ofsted. The briefing outlines what is involved in embarking on a new career as a self-employed childminder including what training is required.

If you wish to become a childminder in Lewisham you need to attend this pre-registration briefing.

This session will provide you with an opportunity to:

  1. Find out about what is involved in becoming a registered childminder, including what is required by OfSTED (which is the government department responsible for registering and inspecting childminders)
  2. Hear about the process for applying to register as a childminder on the Early Years Register; and begin to network with other prospective childminders
  3. Find out about the courses available to you through STEEP to support you in becoming a registered childminder

This is an information event, for which you will receive a certifcate.

After the Briefing:

For those who have attended this briefing we offer a basic skills assessment, so anyone considering becoming a childminder can ensure they have the literacy skills in English needed to follow a Level 3 course. The Introduction to Childminding Practice is a Level 3 course and we aim to ensure course participants have the best chance to excel. The Basic Skills assessment is optional but recommended.

Presented by Rosemarie Dorgan (STEEP tutor)

For dates and to book, click here

STEEP is the chosen provider of pre-registration childminding courses in Lewisham. Click here to find dates for our next Introduction to Childminding Practice course.

Before you apply to register with Ofsted, you need to have taken a paediatric first aid course – this is one designed for people working with children. The EYFS guidelines for childcarers state that first aid training must:

  1. cater for practitioners caring for children in the absence of their parents
  2. be a minimum of 12 hours
  3. cover what to include in a first aid kit for babies and children
  4. demonstrate resuscitation techniques using models of babies and children, and give practitioners a chance to practise on models of each age group
  5. include how to record accidents and incidents appropriately.

    Click here to see dates for STEEP’s Ofsted approved first aid courses

The Statutory Framework for the early years foundation stage (2017) states that Providers must take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well. (3.2) This section goes on to explain what early years providers must do to: safeguard children; ensure the suitability of adults who have contact with children; promote good health; manage behaviour; and maintain records, policies and procedures.

Childminders are also required to have regard to the government’s statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015’ 15 and to the ‘Prevent duty guidance for England and Wales 2015’16 (3.7)

At the time of your Ofsted registration visit, you will need to satisfy them you understand your responsibilities regarding safeguarding, duty of care, child protection and prevent. 

STEEP offer a comprehensive one day course Safeguarding, Duty of Care, Child Protection Awareness.

Previously known as a Criminal Records Bureas (CRB) check, the DBS will help you show yourself to be suitable to care for children. Ofsted requires that you, and anyone over 16 associated with your application (for example, your partner or teenage children) obtains an enhanced DBS check. Ofsted also strongly recommends that you join the DBS update service as part of your registration.

Check the government’s Disclosure and Barring Service here.

You will need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office if you will be keeping personal information electronically, for example the phone or email details of parents.

Before you can register, you need to prove that you are “physically and mentally capable of caring for children”. You can do this by filling in Ofsted’s health declaration booklet. You’ll need to take your completed form to your doctor to sign. This will usually cost a fee.

It’s now time to register with Ofsted on the relevant regsiter. Find out more about the different registers here.

STEEP is here to help you through this process with courses and information which will put you in the best position for your Ofsted inspection. 

Once you’re registered, we’re also here to help to ensure you make the most of your new business and find support among your peers. We know how important the early years of a child are, and how impactful childminders can be during this time.