Becoming a childminder

1. Childminding – is it for me?

You enjoy caring for children and have the patience, energy and enthusiasm to work in childcare.

By law, childminders must register with Ofsted or an Ofsted registered Childminding Agency.

Childminders keep children healthy and safe, and help develop and build self-esteem. They do this following the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), like nurseries, pre-schools and reception teachers.

Childminders are self-employed so you’ll need to be organised and professional. You’ll need good physical and mental health and a positive attitude. You’ll work with families of all backgrounds, listening to children and their parents and understanding their needs.

There is ongoing training for childminders to develop quality childcare.

Think about:

  • How do you and your family feel about using your home for childminding?
  • Is there a demand for childminders in your area?
  • Will childminding give you the income you need?
  • Is your property suitable?
  • Can you get written permission for running a business from your home? (from the owner/ mortgage lender and your local council’s planning department)
  • Are you able to complete the compulsory training?
  • Can you speak English well enough to support the children you care for?

To make sure you can register, read the Childminders and childcare providers: register with Ofsted.

For more information, contact your local support officer. They help you before, during and after the registration process.

2. What training will I need?

Before registering as a childminder, you’ll need to do:

1) a course in how to deliver, and show Ofsted you understand, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Courses range from basic to detailed, including:

2) a 12-hour Paediatric First Aid (PFA) course

For advice on choosing a recognised PFA course, see note 30 at the bottom of page 22.

3) the online ‘Safeguarding Children’ course on the East Sussex Learning Portal

In the first six months you’ll do the classroom-based ‘Designated Safeguarding Lead’ training.

To train or book on the East Sussex Learning Portal click on ‘New User Registration’ to register. You’ll get a log-in with access to a directory, to search using the course title.

What does it cost?

There are costs to set up and for annual renewals. Approximate costs;

Compulsory training

  • how to deliver the EYFS – from a 4-hour overview to a 50-hour Level 3 award, from £5 - £300
  • 12-hour Paediatric First Aid course, from £90
  • e-learning ‘Safeguarding Children’ course,
  • ‘Designated Safeguarding Lead’ training, £50

Other costs

  • Health Declaration check, from £35
  • Ofsted registration fee, £35 in 2020
  • Enhanced DBS check, plus an annual renewal fee, from £52.50
  • Public Liability Insurance, from £30
  • Business-use car insurance if you’ll use your car for childminding, varies
  • Data Protection registration, from £40
  • publicity materials such as business cards, varies
  • play or safety equipment, varies

3. The Ofsted application

After training, you’re ready to apply. There are three parts to the application, which takes up to 12 weeks:

  • an online Ofsted application,
  • online DBS checks (was CRB) for you and all over-16s linked with your application.
  • the Health Declaration Booklet

All the information you need to apply is in the quick guide on how to register.

For more detail, read the Childminders and childcare providers: register with Ofsted

After registration, you need to:

  • get public liability insurance (some include Professional Association membership and a pack of record-keeping documents).
  • get business-use car insurance, if you’ll use your car for childminding.
  • register your business with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Create your online account within 3 months.
  • check whether you need Data protection registration.
  • update your record with the County Council’s Customer Relations Team. Advertise with them for free.
  • report any accidents, incidents or changes to your details to Ofsted.
  • complete ‘Designated Safeguarding Lead’ training within six months. Book on the East Sussex Learning Portal.

4. Advice and information

For help and information, contact your local support officer:

For help with the online application, call Ofsted on 0300 123 1231

Further advice: