Becoming a childminder | Oxfordshire County Council

Becoming a childminder

Details of working as a registered childminder and pre-registration information

two girls hugging

If you would like to have a rewarding career, be your own boss and run your business from your own home, then childminding could be an ideal career for you.

 As a registered childminder you would:

  • offer the children you care for a secure and stimulating environment
  • provide early years education and watch the children develop
  • be self-employed, working in your home, choosing the hours you work and the services you provide
  • care for your own children at the same time, if you have a family
  • have a career where no two days are the same
  • meet other childminders in your area and get to know your local community
  • join over 60,000 childminders in England and Wales providing quality childcare.

As a registered childminder you can look after one or more children under the age of eight for more than two hours a day, in your own home, for payment.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Childminders deliver the EYFS – a play-based framework for children up to the age of five that enables you to meet a child’s individual development needs. They are inspected against the requirements of the EYFS by Ofsted.

Although every day is different, a typical day might include:

  • visiting a park, local shops, library or children’s centre
  • arranging fun and stimulating play/learning activities, observing each child’s development and  planning future activities
  • providing meals and snacks for the children
  • taking children to and from school, pre-school or clubs
  • working with other local childminders to organise group activities.

One of the most rewarding things about caring for children is watching their excitement as they learn something new, or achieve something for the very first time. Childminding is a dynamic and evolving career, and there are plenty of courses and training opportunities that will help you develop your knowledge and confidence.

Once you have started childminding, there are many training courses available, right through to degree-level qualifications.

Childminder and home childcarer

It is possible to be registered as both a childminder and home childcarer (nanny) under the same Ofsted Registration (for which you would pay only one set of fees). You would need to request this on the application form EYC for registration as a childminder.

Items that you will need to pay for include:

  • Early Years Foundation Stage documents: £5.50 (or you can print these out yourself)
  • play equipment
  • items to make your home and garden safe for childminding
  • a fire blanket
  • any other equipment needed for childminding
  • Childminding Registration Course fee: (approx. £115 to £220)
  • Paediatric first aid course fee (varies from approx £65 to £170)
  • Food Hygiene, Level 2 (cost varies)
  • payment to GP for completion of Ofsted Health Declaration: ask your surgery how much they charge.  It can cost up to £87.50
  • Ofsted application fee: £35.  However, if you intend to only care for children older than the Early Years Foundation Stage age (birth to 31 August following the child’s 5th birthday), the fee will be £103 (the fee for the Ofsted Childcare Register). Ring the Ofsted Helpline for details.
  • *Public liability insurance for childminding: at least £44
  • *Items such as attendance register, cash book, accident book, contracts etc.
  • Data Protection notification: £35

*You can get an idea of the cost of these from:

You will be able to enter these costs (except for course fees) as ‘business expenses’ on your income tax self-assessment form.

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.

Early Education Funding

Childminders can offer early education places by joining the Early Education Funding Scheme.

Childcare Business Grant

A Government grant to assist with the establishment of new childcare businesses is available to newly registered childminders willing to offer the 30 hours funded childcare entitlement. To claim start-up costs of between £500 and £1000, you must be registered with your local authority to offer funded early education places.

Further information and application form can be found on the childcare grants website.

If you are in any doubt as to whether you qualify for a grant, go to Child Care Grant Scheme.

Pre-registration information

If you are interested in becoming a childminder you should request a copy of the ‘Thinking about Childminding’ information pack by emailing: 

The pack has been prepared by our Early Years team for people who live in Oxfordshire and are interested in registering as a childminder. It will give you more information about childminding and the Ofsted registration process. We advise that you read the information pack before making any further commitment to registering as a childminder.

Ofsted is the government department responsible for regulating childminders including registration. The Ofsted registration presentation provides information about applying to join the Early Years Register and Childcare Register.

Early years and childcare registration handbook

Childminder Agencies

From September 2014, childminders have had the option to register with a childminder agency rather than with Ofsted. Childminder agencies are registered and inspected by Ofsted and the agency is responsible for the registration, support and inspection of its childminders. Childminders can choose to register with either Ofsted or a registered childminder agency.

Childminding Matters are a registered childminder agency operating in the Oxfordshire area (Ofsted Registration Number CA000029).

Next steps

If, after reading and considering the pre-registration information you decide to become a childminder, before you can register with Ofsted, you must have completed:
•    training which helps you to understand and implement the EYFS
•    paediatric first aid training 
•    safeguarding children training 

Details of suitable courses are provided in the ‘Thinking about Childminding’ information pack.

    Last reviewed
    26 March 2018
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