Childminders are childcare professionals working in their own homes to provide care and education for other people's children in a family setting, for more than 2 hours a day. They can look after up to six children under the age of eight years old in their own homes, they may also care for children aged 8 years to 14 years.
Childminders set their charges according to the service that they provide. They are able to accept childcare vouchers to help with the cost of childcare.
Some childminders offer 15 hours of free Early Education Funding for three and four year olds and for some two year olds who met the eligibility criteria.
Ask the childminder directly whether they offer the funding.
Childminders can be either Independent and registered by Ofsted or signed up to a Childminder Agency which must be registered with Ofsted. The registration process involves an inspection of the premises from which they operate and an inspection of their ability as a childminder.
An Independent childminder will be inspected by Ofsted at least once every four years and publish the inspection report on their website. Childminding inspection reports are available online on the Ofsted website. Childminders are listed according to their Ofsted reference number. These numbers are available on the childcare search.
A childminder signed up to a Childminder Agency will receive at least one quality assurance visit per year and have access to the minimum required levels of support and training as set out in the regulations for Childminder agencies. The Agency has a duty to publish the quality assurance reports which will usually be found on the agencies website. View details of local Childminder agencies.
The Daycare Trust produce a useful booklet, “Essential guide to childcare for parents” with general advice on childcare.
The PACEY website (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years) contains specific advice about choosing a childminder such as types of questions to ask when interviewing.
Updated: 3 November 2017