5 Top Tips to Setting Up as a Childminder

1. Contact your Local Authority

Contact your Local Authority and find out about local childminder pre-registration training courses and whether there are any start-up grants available. It is a requirement that you have completed an appropriate pre-registration training course before you register as a childminder with Ofsted.

2. Speak to your family

Your family will be involved in and affected by the business too and you need to make sure they are committed to supporting you.

3. Check your ratios*

Childminders can normally care for 6 children under the age of 8, 3 of whom can be under 5 (one of whom can be a baby). Note that if you have your own baby or children, they are included in your ratios. Floor space should also be carefully checked – the requirements are in the EYFS and there is some guidance here.

4. Start writing your business plan

You need to think about how you will manage your business and know how much local childminders charge so you can work out whether it will be a viable business idea or not. You can read our free guide to writing a business plan.

5. Speak to local childminders

Is there a need for more childminders in your local area? Will your new business be financially viable? Hopefully your local childminders will be friendly and welcoming – there is also national support network and you will also find lots of help and advice on the Childminding Forum and Independent Childminders facebook group.

*Ratios for Welsh childminders

You can care for up to 10 children under the age of 12 years. Of the 10, no more than 6 can be younger than age 8, and no more than 3 can be younger than the age of 5 (including 2 under 18 months).

Exceptions might be made for siblings including babies under the age of 18 months and children in full time education are classed as 5 for the purposes of ratios. You can find more information in the Welsh Regulations and Minimum Standards.

*Ratios for Scottish childminders

You can care for up to 6 children under the age of 12; 3 of these children can be early years (under school starting age) and only 1 can be a baby under 1. Exceptions can be made at the discretion of the Care Commission. You can find more information in the Scottish National Standards.

More information on setting up a childminding business

You can find out more information on setting up a childminding business.

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