- Childminding in a home environment can be more flexible than in some other forms of childcare. Your child will be cared for in a childminder’s home where the children can easily enjoy real-life learning experiences like cooking, shopping, gardening, sharing meals and going out the park and library.
- Caring for children at home rather than a centre lets childcarers be more spontaneous, too. A sunny or unexpectedly snowy day is a great opportunity for outdoor play and learning.
- Because childminders only care for small groups of children, childminders are ideally placed to care for disabled children, taking into account their individual needs. Caring for mixed age ranges also means brothers and sisters can be cared for together, making life easier for the whole family. And being with children of different ages helps children learn to work and play together.
- There are childminders in every community and from all cultures and walks of life. Your child will be able to take part in local activities such as playgroup or toddler group. They will also get to know the sights, sounds and residents of their local community.
- Childminders are flexible in their hours and can provide care before and after school – including picking up and dropping children off. In the school holidays childminders care for your children while you’re at work and will usually offer a host of different activities to keep them occupied.
What childminders do
- Registered childminders are childcare professionals who work in their own homes caring for other people’s children. Rather than being employed by parents, they negotiate a contract with parents for their service for which they charge a fee. Because they are usually self-employed, they take care of their own tax and national insurance contributions.
- Childminders who care for children under 8 are required by law to be registered and inspected. In England, childminders are registered and inspected by Ofsted.
- Childminders who care for children aged from birth to 7 must join the Ofsted Early Years Register and the compulsory part of the Ofsted Childcare Register.
- All registered childminders must have taken introductory training in childcare and many go on to take further qualifications in children’s care and education. All childminders must also hold a current certificate in paediatric first aid.
Checked and insured
- Registered childminders have had a police check or a disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), checking that they are suitable to work with children. Their homes are regularly inspected to ensure that they are safe, welcoming and child-friendly. Childminders should also hold public liability insurance. PACEY offers public liability insurance for childminders, underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc.