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Childminder

Childminders care for babies, toddlers and children in their own home, and support their learning and development.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: Variable average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

If you want to care for children under 8 for more than 2 hours a day, you'll need to register with OFSTED. Before you register, you'll usually need:

  • a childcare qualification like the Level 3 Award Preparing to Work in Home-Based Childcare (or equivalent)
  • a basic first aid course
  • safeguarding children training
  • training in food hygiene

Your first step is to look at GOV.UK’s pre-registration briefing on becoming a childminder.

Your local council may also be able to give you advice and financial help on setting up your childminding business. GOV.UK has details of your local council.

You'll also need to have:

  • a medical check
  • an interview and home inspection
  • clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for yourself and anyone else in your home aged over 16

The Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) runs courses and has information on how to become a childminder.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent communication skills
  • the ability to engage with young children
  • record keeping skills
  • maths skills, to do simple financial calculations

3. What you'll do

Your registration with OFSTED means that you'll make sure you follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework in your work. You'll make sure that the children in your care learn and develop, and are kept healthy and safe.

Your day-to-day tasks will depend on how old the children are, but may include:

  • providing inspirational learning activities
  • providing a range of 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
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You'll work with other childcare professionals in the local area to support children's learning and development.

You'll make sure that the children in your care have the knowledge and skills they need to start school.

4. Salary

You'll be self-employed and set your own rates. As a guide, the going rate is around £4.00 to £6.00 per hour for each child you look after.

You'll need to pay your own tax and insurance. You'll also have to pay for meals, toys and equipment.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll set your own hours, but they'll have to fit in with the needs of parents and guardians. Your working day could be between 8am and 6pm, with possible evenings and weekends.

The job is physically demanding, involving lifting and carrying.

You'll spend most of your time in your own home.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could expand your business and take on a childcare assistant. You could also become a network coordinator, supporting other local childminders.

With further training you could become a tutor on childminding courses, or move into a related job like nursery worker, playworker, community play leader or teaching assistant.

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Last updated: 12 April 2017