What is a Childminder?

Childminder Job Description

The legal definition of a childminder is a person who works with children for more than 2 hours a day in their own home for reward. In England, childminders are registered with Ofsted; in Wales childminders are registered with CSSIW; in Scotland childminders are registered with the Care Commission. Registration with the governing body of the country in which the childminder lives means ensuring childminders attain a certain level of skills, knowledge and competency to fulfil their many roles.

Legal requirements for childminders - all childminders must carry public liability insurance and class 1 business insurance to drive with childminded children in their cars. They must have completed an introductory training course and update paediatric first aid training every 3 years. All childminders in England must comply with the requirements of the EYFS 2012 and Childcare Register 2012, local planning, fire and food hygiene laws, health and safety legislation and the Equality Act 2010.

Childminder responsibilities - childminding is not the ‘easy’ working from home option. All childminders are regularly monitored by Ofsted - and often by their local authority - and must, by law, inform parents about how they can make a complaint against them!

Some of the responsibilities of a childminder include -

  • Advertising - childminders must market and advertise their own businesses;
  • Business administration - much of a childminder’s free time is taken up with ensuring ongoing records such as attendance registers, learning records, newsletters, accounts, policies and procedures, risk assessments etc are maintained and regularly updated;
  • Documentation - childminders must provide parents with documentation to fulfil the requirements of the EYFS and Childcare Registers and to ensure compliance with further Ofsted guidance;
  • Health and safety - a safe and healthy environment must be provided for children;
  • High quality child care - childminders ensure children’s needs are fully met;
  • High quality learning - a play based curriculum ensures children are making excellent progress towards the statutory Early Learning Goals. Childminders must evidence this for each child;
  • Nutrition - children must be offered a good nutritional balance through the day;
  • Safeguarding - children must be kept safe and childminders should attend regular safeguarding training to ensure they are up-to-date with local and national advice and information;
  • Training - to ensure their continued professional development, childminders attend regular training in the evenings or at weekends;
  • Working with others - childminders do not work in isolation. They must build positive and rewarding working relationships with parents, other settings children attend and the local community to ensure children’s early years experiences are complemented in all provisions.

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