How to Become a Childminder
A childminder is a person who looks after 1 or more children 8 years of age or younger for more than 2 hours per day in exchange for payment. Childminding is an attractive option for many looking to earn extra income as they can charge hourly and host the children in their own home. Unlike most other types of business there is also relatively little financial investment required to get started. Below we will look at how to become a childminder.
As stated, childminding is attractive to many because it can be done from home and does not require a large financial investment. However, there are still a number of steps that need to be taken in order to become a registered Ofsted childminder. And you should keep in mind the process may take several months. Those steps are:
Obtaining a Paediatric First Aid Certificate
This must be done prior to registering with Ofsted as they will ask to see it during the registration process. There are many locations that provide paediatric first-aid courses. The British Red Cross for example offer a short training course. As does St John Ambulance. It is likely your local authority also offers a paediatric first aid course.
Completing a Childminder Training Course
Once you have received your paediatric first aid certificate you will then need to complete a childminder training course approved by your local authority before you can register with Ofsted. Numerous local authorities conduct their own childminding courses, as do charities such as PACEY (the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years). The vast majority of such courses adhere to a similar structure that emphasises child safety, appropriate activities, working with parents and more.
Registering with Ofsted
When you have completed the above steps you will then need to register with Ofsted. Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education and is a non-ministerial government department. Ofsted is tasked with monitoring and maintaining educational standards in an array of educational institutions and settings, including homes where childminding occurs. Those who wish to engage in childminding must register on either the Ofsted Early Years Register or the Childcare Register or both. Registering with Ofsted is more involved than simply signing one’s name to a ledger. Your property will be inspected and you may have to engage in further training on food hygiene or other issues.
The DBS Check for Childminders
Anyone aspiring to care for children will need to submit to an Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List. This is the most thorough type of DBS check. It looks for both unspent and spent convictions, official warnings or cautions, and it solicits input from local law enforcement regarding any information about an individual they may feel is relevant. But it doesn’t stop there. A DBS check for childminders also checks to see if a person’s name appears on the government’s barred list of individuals prohibited from engaging regulated activity with children.
All members of the household where the childminding is to take place who are over 18 years of age will need to submit to this type of DBS check. No exceptions. This means that if the aspiring childminder has a clean record but their adult child who lives at home appears on a barred list, Ofsted will not allow childminding at that residence. The Check People can assist you with the DBS check.
Should all go well with the DBS check you are almost there. The final step will be to obtain proper childminder insurance. There are a number of companies that provide this type of insurance including PACEY, UKCMA and Morton Michel. Ofsted will not certify you for childminding unless and until you can prove you have adequate levels of childminder insurance.
Congratulations, Your Are Now a Childminder
Once you have satisfied all the above requirements, Ofsted will issue a certificate of registration and you will be allowed to take on your first clients. Exactly how long the entire process takes cannot be stated with any certainty. It will depend on a number of factors including which training courses you take (different organisations work at different speeds), whether the DBS check process goes smoothly and what type of backlog Ofsted is facing at the time you register. Ofsted registration can sometimes take 2 or 3 months to complete.
While all aspects of the process are important, particular care must be taken with the DBS check. DBS are very particular when it comes to verifying information. Any omissions or errors in address history, for instance, can result in an application being rejected. This can add considerable time to the process. If you have any questions about how to apply for a DBS check your best bet is to enlist the help of The Check People. We’ve helped scores of aspiring childminders obtain the DBS check they need in a quick, hassle-free manner. And we can help you too.