Becoming a childminder

Childminding allows you to work from your own home to provide care and learning opportunities for other people's children.

More and more parents are looking for good quality childcare. They're also looking for childcare that's flexible enough to meet the needs of their busy lifestyles and cater for differing work and shift patterns. Lots of parents need childcare outside the usual Monday to Friday, nine until five routine.

Is childminding for you?

As a childminder, you'll be self-employed and running your own business. You have to be registered with Ofsted and you must work to the same regulations as most other childcare settings.

We run free 'childminding for you' sessions.  They provide information to help you decide whether childminding is the right career for you. Have a look at our information leaflet to find out when our next session is.

If you want to attend one of the sessions, call the Families Information Service on 0800 0345 340. Once you've attended the session, we'll invite you to come along to another course before you register as a childminder. You'll be expected to attend for a total of 20 hours over a ten week period.

What you need to become a childminder

 To become a childminder, you have to:  

  • be over 18 years old
  • attend the 'childminding - is it for you?' information session (free)
  • attend a childminding pre-registration course (20 hours generally delivered over 10 weeks), (£121.00 payable to BMBC)
  • complete a paediatric First Aid course (£55.00 payable to BMBC)
  • meet the required Ofsted registration requirements
  • be DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checked. Anyone over 16 living or working at your address will also need to be checked. (£65.00 per person, payable to Capita)
  • have a health check with your GP (cost variable, payable to your GP)
  • be registered by Ofsted (£35.00 payable to Ofsted)
  • be registered to care for up to six children. This includes your own under eight year olds, depending on the size of your house.

Government grants of between £500 and £1,000 are currently available for childminder business start-ups. You need to complete the whole registration process before you can apply. See for more details.

Once you become a childminder

Session times

Once you register as a childminder, you can choose when and what time you'll offer your sessions.  Bear in mind the flexible hours that parents using your service will be looking for, and come to an agreement that suits their needs.

Some childminders offer weekend and even overnight care. if you decide to offer this, you'll need to state this on your Ofsted registration certificate.

Charging for your service

You can set your own charges and fees for your service and receive payment directly from parents.  We can give you an idea of the average prices that childminders may charge for the area.

How we can support you

We can offer childminders the following:

  • advice and support
  • support through the 'childminding - is it for you?' information session, pre-registration course, and  Ofsted application process
  • continued support for Ofsted readiness
  • free training opportunities and occasional grants
  • career development opportunities
  • quality improvement programme support
  • free advertising through the Barnsley Family Service Directory

Useful websites/documents