Working as a childminder
Childminding can be a very rewarding and satisfying career. Childminders are professional child carers who work in their own home, set their own work times and days, and work across a wide range of ages. Childminders who work with under 8s are required to register with Ofsted. Registered childminders are inspected by Ofsted on a regular basis to ensure they are meeting regulatory requirements.
Childminders in Southampton are offered support and information from the Early Years and Childcare Development Team to help them meet regulatory requirements. They can also help childminders to raise the level of their provision to Good or Outstanding practice.
As with all childcare providers, safeguarding is paramount so childminders are subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Anyone aged 16 or over living in the household with you will also be subject to a DBS check. Ofsted has issued guidance on how to apply for a DBS check and how to get a DBS check if you want to look after children for a living.
As your childminding registration with Ofsted will be based on where you will be working (normally your own home) it is important to check which local authority area the property is located in.
First check the postcode on GOV.UK to ensure the property is within the Southampton City Council local authority area.
If you live in the surrounding areas of the city such as West End / Hedge End / Netley / Hamble / Bursledon / Rownhams / Chilworth / Nursling / Totton, etc. it is likely you will need to contact Hampshire County Council for the relevant information for your area.
GOV.UK provide guidance on 'How to register as a childminder or nanny'. Southampton City Council can offer advice and support to help you through this process so please follow the information provided in the sections below.
Learn more about the Childminder grants scheme. These grants will be available from Autumn 2023 for childminders registered from 15 March 2023 onwards.
Self employed people working in early years and childcare may wish to refer to HMRC for emails updates, videos and webinars for Self Assessment tax resources.
What would I be doing? SHOW
As a childminder in Southampton you may be caring for babies, children or young people on a daily or weekly basis. You will be providing play opportunities that develop and engage the younger children through activities in the home, visits to the park, the local childminder drop-in and other pre-school activities.
You must keep detailed records and observations of the child's progress if they are aged 0-5 years.
What qualifications do I need? SHOW
To begin your career as a professional childminder in Southampton we recommend that you follow this pathway:
- Read the Government pre-registration briefing
- Undertake a Pre-registration Childminding Course, together with a 12-hour paediatric first aid course, and obtain knowledge of local safeguarding procedures
- Following successful Ofsted registration and having started working with children, undertake continuous professional development
If you need any further information, you can contact the Southampton Family Information Service. Please make sure you include your full name, address, postcode, email and phone contact details.
What fees do I charge parents? SHOW
As a professional childminder running your own business, you will be in control of the fees you charge parents. You can look at the records of childminders in your area in our directory to see the fees they charge, to give you a starting point.
Many childminders also offer the free nursery entitlement for children aged two, three and four and get funded by the local council for this.
First steps to becoming a childminder SHOW
- Read the Ofsted Presentation for people wishing to become childminders
- Read the Government information on registering as a childminder
- Fill out the Early Years and Childcare Development Team - Permission to Contact Form
- You will need to follow a relevant childminding course. These training providers are a few examples of those which may offer a suitable course.
- Childminding UK
- Please note: You will need to verify with Ofsted that they recognise your chosen course as suitable to enable you to become an Ofsted Registered Childminder. It is important to do this prior to booking and attending any training. Southampton City Council is therefore unable to recommend or endorse any training provider for registering as a childminder
- Read about the local Southampton Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures
Other training providers SHOW
There are various training providers that include:
Children's Workforce Development
Children's Workforce Development, a team within Southampton City Council, offer a number of additional courses including:
- Safeguarding Children and Young People (Level two)
- Introduction to the Early Years Foundation Stage
- Observation, Assessment and Planning
- 12-hour Paediatric First Aid
- Access to Food Hygiene courses
Colleges in the area may also run courses relevant to childminders.
This list is not exhaustive and may change without notice.
I want to find out more SHOW
If you would like to get started straight away please email the Family Information Service at FIS@southampton.gov.uk. Please tell us you would like to become a childminder in Southampton and ensure you include your full name, address, postcode and your email and phone contact details.
Early Years and Childcare Development Team - Permission to Contact Form
If you don't accept the conditions on this form we will be unable to contact you with the relevant information and support you will need to become a childminder in Southampton.
Before you fill in this form
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