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Becoming a childminder

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Thinking about becoming a childminder?

As a registered Childminder you will look after one or more children under the age of 8 for more than a total of two hours a day, in your own home, for payment.

Childminders may care for a maximum of six children under the age of eight. Of these six children, a maximum of three may be young children, and there should only be one child under the age of one. 

Download Thinking about becoming a childminder   to help you decide if childminding could be the career for you.

Becoming an Ofsted Registered Childminder

You will work to various legal requirements, and be inspected by Ofsted to ensure you provide a safe and stimulating environment for the children that you care for.

Statutory Framework for the early years foundation stage 

The Statutory Framework are standards that childminders must meet for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5

Running your own business

You will usually be self employed and running your own business. Hours are flexible and you can choose to work full or part time depending on your own family commitments.

Becoming a childminder in Sandwell

Find out more about childminding in Sandwell.

Have a chat and ask any questions.

Book on to an online childminder information talk (briefing session).

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If you have any questions or want to chat to someone about becoming a childminder please email


Attend a Childminding Preparation Course (CPC). 

This will give you the skills and knowledge you require to complete your Ofsted application and start your childminding career.


It is a legal requirement that childminders have sufficient understanding and use of English to ensure the well-being of children in their care. 

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Book on to Paediatric First Aid, Safeguarding Children and Food Safety Level 2 Courses

 Training Courses


Complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Police Check through the Ofsted portal.



Complete the Ofsted application and Health Declaration forms


Prepare for your Ofsted Inspection Visit

Ofsted will contact you to arrange an inspector to visit your home.



Pay your Ofsted Registration Fee.

Once you have got your Ofsted certificate (between 3 and 6 months while the checks and inspectors visit are made) and Public Liability Insurance, you can start work as a childminder.

What qualities are needed to be a good childminder?

An understanding of how children learn, develop and how their individual needs can be met effectively.

An ability to work in partnership with parents/carers and other professional agencies in order to meet the child’s needs.

An ability to run your own business by keeping good records to ensure that you meet the Ofsted registration requirements and your business’ viability.

A commitment to professional development which will include attending on-going training mostly in the evening.

Good understanding and use of English in order to ensure the well-being of the children in your care.

How many children can I look after?

At any one time, childminders (whether providing the childminding on domestic or non-domestic premises) may care for a maximum of six children under the age of eight. Of these six children, a maximum of three may be young children, and there should only be one child under the age of one. A child is a young child up until 1st September following his or her fifth birthday. Any care provided for older children must not adversely affect the care of children receiving early years provision.

Early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework section 3.42

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Typical childminder day

Although everyday will be different, a typical day may include

Taking children to and from school, nursery or clubs.

Visiting a park, museum, library or playgroup.

Providing meals and snacks for the children, involving them
in food preparation and menu choices.

Arranging fun and stimulating learning activities, such as
dressing up, creative play and reading.

Working with other local childminders to organise group

typical childminder day

How much does it cost to become a childminder?

Like any new venture, there are start-up costs involved in becoming a childminder. These figures are for illustration purposes only, but will help you understand how much the process is likely to cost.

Childminding Preparation Course, costs vary anywhere between £80-£240.

Disclosure and Barring Service check from £52.10 (includes admin fees etc) plus optional annual renewal fee (currently £13)  Find out more

12 hour Paediatric first aid course, costs vary from £40 to £180

Food Hygiene Level 2, costs vary

Health Declaration check, costs from £35 depending on your doctor's fees

Ofsted registration fee £35

Public liability insurance, costs vary depending on insurer

Toys and resources to support play, learning and development

Safety equipment for your house e.g. stair gates, fire blanket etc

Is there anything else I need to know?

As a registered childminder you will be self-employed and must register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within three months of starting work.

Tax advice

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have produced an e-learning package with tax advice for childminders, which you can work through at your own pace. They have also created a ready reckoner to help you budget for your first tax bill, and a range of free record keeping apps.

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If you provide food for the children you care for, you need to think about food hygiene as it is your responsibility to make sure that the food you provide is fit to eat.  

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Childminder Agencies

Childminders can register with either Ofsted or a Childminding Agency (CMA).

CMAs are private companies that register childminders as an alternative to registering with Ofsted. They choose their own business model and create a bespoke service for their childminders. They can also register providers of childcare on domestic premises – 4 or more childminders working together. 

There are no childminder agencies in Sandwell.

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A childminder agency has a legal obligation to ensure a childminder is suitable to care for children and can deliver Early Years Foundation Stage.

The agency has to support development and training of the childminder. They must also monitor the standard of care being provided by the childminder.

The ‘List of childminder agencies’ provides contact information for childminder agencies (CMAs) that are open for applications.

List of childminder agencies

Ofsted’s CMA inspection report page lists all registered CMAs including those who are not registering new childminders.

Ofsted CMA inspection reports