How To Become A Childminder
Do you like the idea of looking after one or more children up to the age of eight for more than two hours per day? If so, then becoming a childminder might be the ideal job for you.
Childminding is a popular job for people who want to earn some extra money working from the comfort and convenience of their own home. Childminders typically charge an hourly rate for looking after kids at their home.
One of the most attractive things about childminding is that you don’t need to spend a big amount of money to get up and running. However, there are some things you need to prepare and documentation that you need to be able to provide to make sure you comply with the law.
Let’s take a look at the main steps you need to take to set up a childminding business from your home.
Childminder qualification and documentation requirements
Although becoming a childminder can look like an easy business to set up and requires little investment, there are some things you need to get in place first. The whole process from starting out to receiving your childminder certificate takes between 2 to 3 months, on average. Here are the steps you should take before starting out as a childminder.
- Obtain a pediatric first aid certificate
In order to become a childminder you need to register with Ofsted (office for standards in education). One of the first things they will ask to see is that you hold a pediatric first aid certificate. You can get this certificate by completing a short training course run by a number of different organisations, including British Red Cross, St John Ambulance and some local authorities.
- Complete a childminder training course
This is another Ofsted requirement for registration and is therefore compulsory. Don’t worry, the course isn’t too long or difficult. Depending on your local authority the course could be anywhere between 4 and 12 weeks in duration. Some charities also offer childminding courses, including the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY). Most courses follow a structured approach that includes safety, enriching activities, communicating with parents, safeguarding, etc.
- Prepare your home
The childminder course will make you aware of certain safety and hygiene requirements that you need to have in place at your home. You need to prepare your home to make sure it complies with this guidance before registering with Ofsted.
- Register with Ofsted
Once you have completed the steps above, you can register with Ofsted. Ofsted monitor, inspect, and help to maintain standards in educational settings, which includes the homes of childminders. Therefore, all childminders must register on either (or both of) the Ofsted Early Years Register or the Childcare Register. In order to register you must provide proof of the first aid certificate and completion of the childminder training course. You must also make your home available for an inspection. Ofsted will also want to check your criminal record by performing a DBS check. They will also require a DBS check on all members of your household.
- Carry out a DBS check
Ofsted will provide you with the forms to carry out an Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List, which is the most in-depth criminal record check. As you will be working directly with young children in an unsupervised capacity, the highest levels of safeguarding are required. The enhanced DBS check looks for spent and unspent convictions, cautions, warnings, reprimands, and any other relevant information held on file by the police. Your name will also be checked against the barred list which prevents people from working with children due to the nature of past offences.
- Apply for childminder insurance
Once the DBS check(s) come back clear, the final step is to set up a childminder insurance policy. There are dozens of companies that specialise in this type of insurance, including UKCMA and PACEY. When you have the insurance policy in place, be sure to inform Ofsted and send them a copy of the policy documents to prove you are covered.
Ready to become a childminder
Once your documentation has been checked, you will receive a certificate from Ofsted which means you can start taking on childminding clients.
Remember – the DBS check can really slow down the registration process, especially if there are errors or anomalies. It can stretch things out to several months in some cases. That’s why it’s advisable to get a DBS check done for all the adults in your household prior to starting the process, as it gives you a chance to rectify any mistakes.
It is important that you apply for an Enhanced DBS Check for this role as a Basic DBS Check is not sufficient.
To find out more about DBS checks for childminders, get in touch with one of our friendly team today and we can advise accordingly.