What do childminders do?

midwifeChildminders undertake childcare of a single child or a small group of children under the age of eight years old; in order to be a childminder, you must register with the National Childminding Association and work for at least two hours a day. Most childminders are self-employed.

Childminding is a varied, rewarding job which brings a great deal of satisfaction. Many childminders develop a very close, long-lasting bond with children they look after and it is rewarding to see children grow and develop. Most childminders are self-employed, which also offers them greater flexibility; they can choose their hours and choose when to have holiday. Childminding is also a great career choice for parents who have stopped working to look after a child. This enables them to spend time with their child and look after other children without losing their income.

A typical day

A typical day may involve organising activities and games, playing both indoors and outdoors, going on a trip out to the park, the library, a museum, the shops or the zoo, for example, doing educational activities such as reading and writing and visiting other children (many childminders join a network, which enables them to meet up with other local childminders). Many childminders also provide meals for the children in their care and are responsible for taking them to and from school or to after school activities and clubs.

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How much do childminders earn?

Fees may differ between different individuals but as a general guide, most childminders charge between £5 and £10 per hour. The rate will depend on the number of children the childminder is caring for, the duration of the childminding and the location (rates are higher in London, for example).

Becoming a childminder

In order to become a registered childminder in England, it is essential to register with Ofsted; to do this you must complete an application form and pay a registration fee. All childminders are inspected by Ofsted to ensure that people who care for children are capable of doing so. This helps to protect children and ensure that they are being cared for in a safe and stable environment. Childminders must also undergo a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check, which is to make sure that they do not have criminal convictions, which may make it unsafe for them to be around children. It is also essential to complete a paediatric first aid course before you register and an introductory childcare course within six months of registration.

You do not need specific qualifications to become a childminder; you simply need to follow the steps outlined above.