Childminder registration – an update

Suddenly my childminding application seems to be progressing again and I appear to be on schedule for registering by September. This is good news of course but I do also feel a wave of anxiety! I thought I’d briefly list the tasks I’ve completed to date and those on my to do list for the next few months.

Completed March – mid-April

  1. I bought myself a shiny new laptop which has had a lot of use over the last month. A huge cost for me but necessary to complete online training, build my website and for planning, resources and tracking once up and running.
  2. I applied for DBS checks for myself and my husband. These are needed for everyone living at your address aged over 16. I also applied to the update service which will keep the DBS certificate up to date. The DBS certificates took about 4 weeks to be processed and I’ve just received both.
  3. I attended a briefing session run by the local authority. This was an excellent morning where I received a lot of information and advice as to the application process and more broadly as to the role of a childminder.
  4. I completed an online training course run by Childmindinguk.com. I completed the course online in my evenings and weekends and found it informative and well presented. I will definitely review all modules several more times before my registration as they covered an awful lot of information.
  5. We survived a mammoth IKEA trip with both boys in tow to buy some new toy storage and furniture. By pushing our mostly redundant dining table to the edge of the room we have created a wonderful play room in the lounge. I wish we’d done this ages ago because it is a lovely space. I now have the storage to be able to rotate toys and resources which has transformed the way the boys play at home.

To do in April and May

  1. I am booked onto a paediatric first aid course in mid-May over 2 weekends.
  2. A level 2 food hygiene course. Although not compulsory for my application I am keen to do this and can complete the training online. A definitive plus when childcare is so tricky.
  3. Garden improvements! I am looking forward to this although as it requires a lot of input from my other half as well it’s taking a while to get around to. Not that he’s reluctant! But we have so little time when we can both get to work on a project. We have plans to create an additional playhouse/ fort, improve the decking and make safe the garden boundaries.
  4. There are several diy jobs to get done around the house, mostly things like installing child locks onto cupboards (which we never seemed to get around to after nearly 4 years of kids!)
  5. I have to start writing policies, risk assessments, advertising etc
  6. Start the Ofsted application form and await my pre-inspection visit!

In summary I’ve spent an awful lot of money and there are still quite a few things to achieve before submitting my application. But I’m beginning to feel like I’m getting somewhere at last!

Why I have chosen childminding

I have been a stay at home mum since my second son was born in 2017. I found looking after my two boys 7 days a week really challenging at first, and still do some days! But I love being there for them and watching them grow and develop, I appreciate how lucky I am to be in this position. I gradually became to realise that I was rather good at meeting the needs of my baby and toddler whilst providing stimulating and creative play, activities and outings. I also realised that I was enjoying my new role and that I was feeling confident and motivated. I think my children have a wonderful home environment and I would love to offer this to other families.

Childminders provide brilliant childcare for young children: a nurturing home environment, a relaxed child-led routine and activities based on the Early Years Foundation Stage. For families they provide flexibility and reliability. I went back to work for a couple of years after my first son was born and he attended a nursery. I know how important good quality childcare is for working parents. In hindsight I wish that I had considered a childminder for our son as there are many benefits over a nursery setting. I will probably write about the differences in future as this may be useful for parents.

From a personal point of view childminding will allow me to build my own career whilst caring for my children in my own home. Minded children will become part of the family and the boys will love having friends to play with. Childminding is a challenging and rewarding career and I can’t wait to get started.

How to register as a childminder

All childminders in England need to be registered with Ofsted. The registration process is fairly time consuming and there are several steps to take. The whole process may take up to 6 months.

You will need:

  • a UK criminal record certificate (DBS check) for yourself and anyone aged 16 or over living in your home
  • Paediatric first aid training
  • Childcare training
  • Health declaration signed by your GP
  • Contact details for 2 references

Once these things are in place you must register with Ofsted. There are two registers that you can join, or you can join both.

Early Years Register – to look after children aged 0-5 you must join the Early Years Register. You will receive a pre-registration inspection from Ofsted when you apply and once registered you must follow the early years foundation stage (EYFS) framework.

Childcare Register – to look after children aged 5-8 you must join the childcare register. There is no pre-registration visit associated with this register but Ofsted will carry out regular inspections once registered.

Once your registration application is submitted Ofsted will do background checks with authorities and check your references. If applying for the Early Years Register a pre-registration visit will be arranged where an inspector will check your identity and qualifications, check that your house and gardens are safe for children, check your level of English and make sure that you are familiar with the EYFS requirements and that you can put them into practice.

Once your application is approved you may start practising as a childminder. You will need to update home and car insurance and purchase public liability insurance. You will also need to register as self employed with HMRC.