Childminders care for babies, toddlers and children in their own home, supporting their learning and development.
Salary range: Variable
How to become a childminder
You can get into this job through:
- setting up your own business
There are introduction to childminding briefings that cover everything you need to prepare for registering as a childminder. Your local council can give you information on where to find one.
The aim is to make sure that you understand completely what is involved before making a decision about whether it’s the right career for you.
- If you want to care for children under 8 for more than 2 hours a day, you’ll need to register with Ofsted. For this, you’ll usually need:
- a home-based childcare course approved by your local council that covers the Early Years Foundation Stage framework
- a paediatric first aid course
- child protection training
- a food safety qualificationYou may have to do a basic skills test to show that you have the minimum standard of English and maths needed to support the educational development of children in your care. You’ll also need to pass an assessment of your home and any equipment you will use. Your first step is to look at Ofsted’s pre-registration briefing on becoming a childminder.
It’s a good idea to do some research where you live to find out if there is a demand for childminders in your local area.
You may need to budget to pay for courses, including first aid, health and safety, and safeguarding. There is a fee for registering with Ofsted and you may need to pay for a medical check.
As you’ll be self-employed you might find it useful to find out more about your responsibilities for tax and taking out insurance. You can get advice about this from GOV.UK.
You’ll find details about careers and courses in childcare from the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years and the Pre-school Learning Alliance.
You can find out more about childcare training routes on the early years career progression map.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- sensitivity and understanding
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to work well with others
- to be flexible and open to change
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- excellent verbal communication skills
- customer service skills
- thinking and reasoning skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- pass enhanced background checks
- pass a medical check
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- providing inspirational learning activities
- offering free play activities, both indoors and outside
- planning, preparing and serving meals
- changing nappies and making up bottles for babies
- taking children on outings
- taking older children to and from playgroup or school
- working with other local childcare professionals to support children’s learning and development
You could work from home.
Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and physically and emotionally demanding.
Career path and progression
With experience you could expand your business and take on a childcare assistant. You could also become a network co-ordinator, supporting other local childminders.
With further training you could become a tutor on childminding courses. You could also move into a related job like nursery worker, playworker, community play leader or teaching assistant.