Becoming a childminder

Information about how to become an Ofsted registered childminder including information session dates, answers to frequently asked questions and useful downloads.

What is a childminder?

A childminder is a person who receives payment for working in their own home, looking after at least one child for more than two hours a day.

You must register with Ofsted or with a childminder agency if you are paid to look after any children under eight for more than two hours a day, in your own home or someone else’s home.

What effect will childminding have on me and my family?

You will be using your home to work from and therefore your family will have to make compromises too. You decide the rooms and areas you will work from within your premises and ensure they are safe and suitable for purpose. You will need to ensure that your family are in agreement with your decision to become a registered childminder as they may have to change their routines, and will have to accept other children into their home. Also, anyone associated with your premises: family or regular visitors, who are 16 years of age or over will have to undergo Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

How do I register?

You need to:

  • attend a Childminder Briefing Session
  • undertake a Childminder Pre-registration course that complies with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) requirements complete an appropriate first aid course that complies with the EYFS guidance
  • undertake checks to provide evidence of suitability to work with children:
    • a DBS checks
    • a health check
    • a Social Care check
  • submit an online application form to Ofsted and pay the application fee
  • be over 18 years of age and be eligible to work in the UK
  • be physically and mentally capable of caring for children
  • be able to understand English to enable you to record information about children and their progress in English, and to administer medication appropriately when required.

How long will it take?

Ofsted aim to process an application within 12 weeks of receiving a full application, when all training and checks have been completed.

Please note: Some checks are outside of Ofsted’s control so a definite timescale cannot be provided.

When do I not need to register?

You do not need to register if you:

  • Care for children over 8 years of age only
  • Look after a friend’s child for free (or paid, but only for up to three hours per day)
  • Are a parent or relative of the child
  • Have parental responsibilities for the child
  • Are a foster parent to the child
  • Care for the child between the hours of 6pm and 2am only
  • Provide home education for your child
  • Provide no more than 2 types of activities for children over 3yrs from: school study/ homework support; performing arts; arts & crafts; sport; religious, cultural or language study

Childminder Briefing Sessions

During the Childminder Briefing Session we cover:

  • The need in your area for another childminder setting
  • Is childminding the right choice for you at this time?
  • The role and the requirements to become an Ofsted registered childminder
  • The training and checks required to be undertaken for the role of registered childminder
  • Basic legal responsibilities of running a self-employed Childminding business
  • What being a Childminder is like for you and your family
  • Approximate costs for setting up your business
  • Contact details for partner agencies
  • Links to the Ofsted website
  • The process for registration
  • The process to follow and links to apply to the Disclosure and Barring Service for a DBS check
  • Information about Ofsted’s compulsory requirements; information about compulsory training
  • Information about Doncaster Councils Pre-registration Course
  • Introduction to the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance which is the statutory guidance you must adhere to when caring for children under 5 years old
  • Information and support about how to provide a quality childminding setting 

The Childminder Briefing Sessions are held at The Mary Woollett Centre (formerly Carr House Centre), Danum Road, Doncaster DN4 5HF. Sessions begin at 9.30am and finish at 12.30pm.

To access dates of a Childminder Briefing Session, and to book a place, please use the Buy Doncaster portal.

Find out more

Frequently asked questions

Is there any compulsory training I need to have?

Yes, you will need to complete:

  • A Paediatric First Aid training: the course contents must be compliant with the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance and this must be kept up to date which means attending a course within three years. This course has to be completed before you can apply for registration.
  • A Pre-registration course that enables you to understand and implement the requirements of The Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance (EYFS). This course has to be completed before you can apply for registration
  • Safeguarding Children training: the registered person (childminder) must update this training within two years
  • Level 3 in Safeguarding this is a requirement of the Doncaster Safeguarding Children’s Partnership and must be up dated every 3 years

Do I need to have insurance?

Yes, you must have Public Liability insurance which can be obtained from specialist agencies that provide insurance for childcare settings such as PACEY, or you can make enquiries with other insurance providers.

Who registers Childminders?

Ofsted are the regulatory body responsible for the registration and inspection of childcare settings, including childminders, and their duties are set out in the 2006 Children’s Act. Ofsted’s role is to register applicants, conduct regular inspections, investigate concerns, and take enforcement action if necessary. 

What sort of ‘registers’ are Childminders registered on?

Childminders can be registered by Ofsted on one of two registers, or on both of the following registers:

  • The Early Years Register: to care for children aged 0 to 5 years. Providers on this register must follow the guidance in The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework
  • The Childcare Register: this register has two categories:
    • The Compulsory Part of the Childcare Register - to care for children aged over 5 years to 7 years
    • The Voluntary Part of the Childcare Register – to care for children over 8 years, and for ‘Home Child-carers’

Information regarding the Ofsted Early Years Register and the Ofsted Childcare Register is available on the Ofsted website.

It is your responsibility as the registered childcare provider to ensure you are registered on the appropriate register for the ages of the children you will be caring for, and that you work within the guidelines and legal requirements for each register.

Home child-carers will be registered on the Voluntary part of the Childcare Register to care for children in the child’s own home, or to care for children over the age of 8 years to enable parents to access help with paying for childcare through Tax Credits. You can visit gov.uk for more information about Tax Credits.

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

The Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance (EYFS) is the statutory guidance which all childcare providers caring for children in the early years age group (0-5 years) must adhere to. The guidance covers the learning and development requirements, and safeguarding and welfare requirements for children in that age group. Inspectors will require evidence that Childminders understand the EYFS and can put this guidance into practice. You must adhere to this guidance to become registered, and continue to adhere to this guidance to remain registered.

EYFS Statutory Framework 2017
Download (551KB)

Do I have to undertake observations and planning for children’s development?

Yes, you will be asked to provide evidence of how you can identify children’s starting points and identify what progress has been made whilst the child is at your setting. You will plan activities and experiences for all children under the 7 areas of learning and development.

Is there a fee to apply to Ofsted for Registration?

Yes, there is a non-refundable application fee, and then a yearly fee to remain registered. An application fee will be requested from Ofsted upon receipt of your application, and your application will not be processed until the payment has been. At the moment the application fee for the Early Years Register is £35.00, this enables you to be registered on both the Early Years Register, and the Compulsory Part of the Childcare Register. The application fee for the Voluntary Part of the Childcare Register is £103.00. These fees may change.

What sort of checks will be needed for me to become registered?

You will undertake a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check for yourself and anyone over 16 years of age that lives or works on the premises where childminding takes place. At present the fee for this is approximately £52.50. You may also want to register for the DBS up-dating service, the fee for this at present is £13.00, and you will pay a yearly fee for this. Ofsted will obtain information from Doncaster Councils Social Service’s Team to ensure you and other people linked with your application are suitable to care for children. As part of the application process you will ask your GP to complete a Health Declaration form to ensure your physical and emotional health enables you to care for children appropriately, there may be a fee payable to your GP for this service.

Can I employ an assistant?

Yes you can employ assistants or work with another registered Childminder. If you work with assistants you must ensure you have robust recruitment procedures, and the assistants are suitable for their role. You can leave your assistant unsupervised with minded children, for up to a maximum of 2 hours in any one day with written permission from parents, they would need to have an up to date Paediatric first aid certificate. Please be aware that if you employ assistants there are legal implications relating to employment.

Would I need to apply for Planning Permission?

Yes, Doncaster Council Planning Department advise all potential new childminders to submit a Permitted Development Enquiry (PDE) to enquire if they need planning permission. The cost to submit a PDE is £32.50 and the form can be found under ‘apply for permitted development commercial’ on the following link: www.doncaster.gov.uk/services/planning/permitted-development

For additional advice, you can apply for a Pre-application Enquiry. The cost for this is £90.50 and the form can be found using the following link: www.doncaster.gov.uk/doitonline/planning-pre-application

You may decide to apply for full Planning Permission by submitting a full Planning Application after the initial PDE.  In this case you would submit the full planning application form, and plans as requested. The cost for this is £462.00 and the form can be found using the following link: www.doncaster.gov.uk/doitonline/planning-permission

Are registered Childminders employed by Ofsted?

No, registered childminders are ‘self-employed’ and you will undertake the responsibility for:

  • Running your business and completing appropriate paperwork
  • Registering with Inland Revenue and completing Tax Returns
  • Completing your accounts or consider employing an accountant to do so
  • Completing observations and assessments and making plans for individual children’s learning and development
  • Taking the lead responsibility for safeguarding children, yourself and your family
  • Providing a high quality childcare setting
  • Adhering to DMBC Planning requirements for running a business from your domestic premises
  • Registering with the Information Commissioners Office for Data Protection
  • Obtaining appropriate Public Liability Insurance
  • Employing suitable assistants: undertaking supervisions and appraisals; team meetings and considering employee’s rights 
  • Getting permission from your landlord to work from their premises (if applicable)
  • Forming policies and procedures and sharing them with parents
  • Undertaking risk assessments to help identify and address problem areas within your setting and on outings
  • Providing a safe environment for children and adults
  • Providing suitable healthy menu’s
  • Providing challenging activities and experiences to help develop children’s learning and understanding, and to give the children the skills they need to grow up in today's society.

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Childminder Pre-registration Course

To become an Ofsted registered childminder you must undertake an appropriate pre-registration course that enables you to understand and implement the requirements of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
Doncaster Early Years provide a course that fulfils this requirement. The course consists of seven taught sessions (one evening session per week over seven weeks). Dates are available on Buy Doncaster, and places should be booked through the Buy Doncaster.

Additional information about becoming an Ofsted registered Childminder is available through the following websites:

Ask us

To discuss any of the points above, or for further information and support about becoming an Ofsted Registered Childminder please contact our Childminder Support Officer, Diane Dalton:

Last updated: 08 October 2020 15:52:40