If you are thinking of becoming a childminder, you need a comprehensive guide to training, becoming registered with your local authority as well as understanding what services parents and carers would expect you to offer.
The demand for qualified, professional childminders is growing. But it is not just a case of parents or guardians looking for someone to take care of ‘little Jimmy for an hour or two’. Increasingly, parents are looking for high-value childminding services. But what does this mean? And how can you provide it?
A safe but stimulating environment
As well as sending our children to school to learn, parents and carers are increasingly looking to their childminder to provide a stimulating environment. And for you as a potential childminder, it means understanding:
What qualifications and training you need – there may not be formal qualifications for a childminder, but it is a fair assumption from parents and guardians that the people they entrust their children too are trained to offer the care they need and want. From a childminding course that looks at the specifics of how to care for children, to specialist or awareness courses, there are many ways in which you can gain the professional edge to your childminding services.
How to register as a childminder – you will need to have your home, if that is where you are operating from, or your premises inspected and approved by your local authority. To do this, you need to register with the local ‘family services’ or equivalent department.
How to run your business – from managing invoices, income and expenditure, to keeping accurate records and information for the parents or guardians of the children you look after.
How to provide a safe environment – this doesn’t mean barring children from playing outside or not encouraging them to be adventurous but doing so in a way that puts their safety first. Many parents want their childminder to provide an environment that supports, encourages and facilitates their child’s emotional and social development, as much as their learning. Do you think you could provide this?
A rewarding career choice
There is a certain degree of flexibility in being a childminder, as well as many opportunities and challenges. But you need to be confident you have everything in place. The NCC Guide to Becoming a Childminder covers everything from contacting your local authority and the need to register for a Disclosure and Barring Service check, to how the rules around childminding differ in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.