Childminders look after babies, toddlers and children in their own home.

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

1. Entry requirements

You don’t usually need formal qualifications, but some GCSEs, especially English, may help.

You'll need:

  • a love of children and a commitment to giving them high standards of care
  • patience and a sense of humour

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

  • do a training course and basic first aid course
  • have a medical check
  • have an interview and home inspection

Your first step is to contact your local council to book a place on a pre-registration meeting.

You will also need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for yourself and anyone else in your home aged over 16.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • record keeping skills
  • maths skills, to do simple financial calculations
  • excellent communication skills

3. What you'll do

You'll make sure the children you are looking after feel secure and are safe, warm and well fed.

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

  • planning, preparing and serving meals
  • changing nappies and making up bottles for babies
  • providing a range of play activities, both indoors and outside
  • taking children on outings
  • taking older children to and from playgroup or 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, depending on where you're based.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll set your own hours, but they will 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 become a network coordinator, supporting other local childminders. You could also become a tutor on childminding courses.

With training you could move into related jobs like nursery worker, playworker, community play leader or teaching assistant.

Last updated: 23 September 2016