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Becoming a Childminder

Before Registration

There are many points you must consider before applying to become a registered Childminder. You need to consider the impact childminding will have on yourself, your partner and any other children in your home. You need to consider the change in routine, extra noise and how other children may react to having to share their home, toys and you.

Would you enjoy being with young children during much of the week, do you have experience in caring for young children?

Extra children can mean additional wear and tear on furniture and toys, childminders can not worry unduly about mess and clutter.

Equipment such as toys, a cot, pushchair and a stairguard may also be necessary. Childminders must provide multicultural toys, books and an attitude which reflects the variety of cultures within our society, meeting any specific needs regarding religious persuasion, culture or linguistic background.

Registration

All people looking after children under eight years of age that are not the parents or a close relative, for a reward must register with Ofsted who maintains two registers.

The penalties for illegal childminding are a substantial fine, imprisonment or both.

When you apply for registration a Childcare Inspector will discuss with you how you intend to provide a childcare service, the suitability of people who care for the children will be checked and the premises where the children will be cared for. You will have to complete a medical record form, and the Health Authority must satisfy itself that you are physically and mentally fit to be registered as a childminder. All members of the household over the age of 16 must have a police check, and convictions and there relevance will be considered. The names and addresses of two referees will be required, they cannot be family members or parents proposing to place children in your care.

If you do not own your own home you may need to get permission from, the owner of the property, e.g, your landlord or local authority housing department.

You can be registered for up to six children under eight, though not more than three of these should be under five, these numbers include your own children. The number of children you are registered for will be written on your certificate. Having more children in your care then you are registered for, could result in a cancellation of your certificate.

Application procedure

To become registered you will need to attend a pre-registration session. To find a session near you in Bedfordshire the number is 01234 228229, or you can call 0800 2346346 and they will give you details for other areas.

At the pre-registration meeting you will be given an application form, which they will go through with you. You will get Information on Ofsted and the requirements from them you must comply with as a childminder aswell as information about the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Before you are registered you will need to complete a paediatric first aid course followed by a basic childminder training course within 6 months of registration.

Once you have completed your application form, police, health and home safety forms, you should send them to Ofsted, this will start the registration procedure.

Next at a time conveniant to you, you will receive your first home visit by Ofsted to review your home and garden safety and where you will need to demonstrate how you meet the EYFS requirements.

If you are succesfull you will recieve a registration certificate.

After Registration

Registered Childminders must keep records regarding the children in their care. These should include:

Childminders should also have written contracts with the parents of minded children regarding hours and costs etc. The NCMA produce a contract registered childminders can use or you can design your own after researching its requirements.

You must also obtain public liability insurance cover incase of an accident while you are caring for other peoples children. You must also check to see whether you need to pay income tax or national insurance, these both depend on the amount of profit you make over a specific sum.

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