What is Childminding?

Mother and Son Playing
Mother and Son Playing

Registered childminders are professional child carers who work in their own homes to provide care for other people’s children in a family setting. They have to be regulated and inspected by the Care Inspectorate.

Registered childminders are self employed and take care of their own tax and national insurance. They are not ‘employed’ by parents but negotiate a contract for their service for which they charge.

Why become a childminder?

Childminding is a rewarding career which provides opportunities for developing new skills and qualifications.

Registered childminding provides you with the opportunity to:

* Contribute to children’s development and learning.

* Run your own business

* Work from home

* Provide a valuable service to your local community

* Develop new skills and qualifications

How do I become a registered childminder?

By law you must be registered by the Care Inspectorate. The registration process is wide ranging, involving references, training, a health check and a PVG check on the would-be childminder and every other adult in the household.

The prospective childminder’s home is also inspected, to ensure that the areas to be used are a safe and suitable environment for children. Following registration the Care Inspectorate carries out an annual inspection to monitor standards and premises.

For information on registering with the Care Inspectorate phone 01851 70 6157.

Do I need a qualification?

At the moment it is not a requirement for childminders to have a qualification. The Scottish Childminding Association (Tel: 01786 445 377) run pre-registration courses which cover issues such as the business side of childminding, first aid and child protection awareness, partnership with parents and childminding policies.

Why should parents choose childminding?

Registered childminders provide a flexibility of service that is difficult to find in other provisions and because they look after small groups of children their routine is very adaptable.

Being cared for by a childminder gives youngsters the opportunity to learn from real life experiences.

Everyday activities, like shopping trips, school runs, family meals and visits to the park, teach children valuable life skills that they might not acquire so readily in centre-based care. These activities also educate children about their local environment.

How many children will I be able to care for?

Childminders can care for up to six children under 12 at any one time of whom no more than three are not yet attending school and no more than one is under a year old. This will include the childminder’s own children and be dependant on personal circumstances.

How much does it cost to set up a childminding business?

There will be things to pay for in setting up your childminding business which will include, a registration fee, insurance and equipment.

The Early Years Partnership gives a grant of £250 to each new childminder to cover these costs. New childminders can also apply for a further £250 for any additional equipment required.

The Early Years Partnership also supplies new childminders with a start up pack.

For further information - Tel: 01851 822280 or E-mail: