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A parent's guide to childminders

At Childminding UK we're passionate about the benefits that quality home based childcare can offer.

Minded children benefit from:

Home based care and experiences

Registered childminders usually work from their own homes and young children and those experiencing childcare for the first time often cope better in these home based, family environments.

They benefit from home based activities like cooking, stories, messy play, dressing up, gardening and mealtimes, as well as outings to the park, library and group activities.

Forming close and healthy attachments

Children benefit from the close relationship they develop with their childminder and many have the same carer right through their school years.

Small groups ensure each child receives lots of attention to meet their individual needs. This is particularly important for babies, very young children and those with additional needs.

Parents of minded children benefit from:

Overnight or weekend care

Some childminders may be able to provide overnight care and work at weekends.

Care for children of all ages

Childminders offer care for children of all ages from birth to early teens.

Drop-off and pick up

Most childminders can drop-off and collect children from school, pre-school or nursery.

Flexible hours

Childminders offer full or part time care. Many start before 8am and work after 6pm.

The legal requirements

Before anyone can practice as a childminder they must have:

Registered as a childminder

Anyone caring for at least one child under the age of 8 for pay or gain and for more than two hours cumulatively per day must register with Ofsted or a Childminder Agency.

A full criminal records check

Childminders must obtain a full Criminal Record Bureau Check and other checks to ensure medical fitness and suitability to care for other people’s children.

Training or a childcare qualification

They must complete Introductory Training or have obtained a childcare qualification to enable them to understand and implement the statutory requirements.

A full paediatric first aid certificate

All childminders must hold a full Paediatric First Aid certificate, which is achieved by 12 hours of training and is renewed every 3 years. Childminders should show you their current First Aid certificate.

Public Liability Insurance

All childminders must hold Public Liability Insurance that is designed specifically for childminders. Childminders should show you their Insurance certificate.

Safety and regulation

By law all childminders must follow the same statutory guidance for children's welfare, learning and development as all other early years settings, including day nurseries and pre-schools.


Ofsted are responsible for registering and regularly inspecting most childminders. Details and outcomes of these inspections are published on the Ofsted website.

Childminder Agencies register and inspect their own childminders, but the Agency is registered and inspected by Ofsted. Results are published on the Ofsted website.

Find out how are childminders registered and inspected

For children under 5

The EYFS sets standards for the learning, development and care of your child from birth to 5 years old.

Childminders who care for children from birth to the end of their school reception year must comply with the requirements set out in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) just like other out of school settings.

Download the What to expect in the EYFS Parent's Guide

For children over 5

Childminders who care for children over 5 years (or from Year 1 at school) must comply with the requirements set out in the Childcare Register.

More about the childcare register


In total, including their own children and any other children they're responsible for, a childminder may look after:

six children under the age of 8.

three may be under the age of 5.

one may be under a year old.

Children over the age of 8

are not included but will be taken into account to ensure the safety and welfare of all children.

Public liability limits

Childminders need to work within the limits of her/his Public Liability insurance regarding numbers.

Financial support

Childminders are self-employed and are responsible for setting their own fees. Government funded financial support is available. You may be entitled to:

  • 15 hours free (for 2 year olds)
  • 15 hours free (for 3 and 4 year olds)
  • 30 hours free (for 3 and 4 year olds)
  • Tax Free Childcare (up to 11 year olds)
  • Tax Credits (up to 15 year olds)
  • Universal Credit (up to 16 year olds)
  • Care to Learn (for teenage parents)

To find what may be available to you visit Childcare Choices*

*Childcare Choices cover information for England but also provides access to similar schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

What do Childminding fees cover?

Fees provide childminders with an income but they also need to cover all the associated costs of running their business such as heating, lighting, insurances, equipment, toys and activities, crafts, outings, and cleaning products.

How do childminders set their fees?

Finding a childminder

It is important that you and your child are happy with the childminder you choose. You can find a childminder:

Through your Local Authority

Each Local Authority produces an online list of all their registered childcare providers including childminders.

Help choosing the right Childminder Considerations for children who have additional needs

Word of mouth

Often other parents can provide a recommendation for a childminder they or someone else has used. Many parents find this useful because it provides an opportunity for you to discuss the childminder and their approach with someone you know and trust.

Working with your childminder

Working closely with your childminder is essential for the well-being of your child.

Childminding paperwork

When you start with a childminder you will be asked to complete paperwork about your child and the arrangements for childminding. This is to ensure that both parties fully understand the arrangements.

Information about childminding paperwork

Building relationships

A childminder will play an essential role in the development of your child so building a relationship and working in partnership with them is vital. Some even become lifelong friends. We offer a range of resources to help build and maintain this relationship.

Download our 'Settling Children in' guide (PDF) Download our 'Working in Partnership' guide (PDF)