Childminders

A registered childminder - a professional carer who works in their own home - can provide your child with care and learning opportunities in a family setting. Find out what qualifications your childminder should have and how much you should expect to pay.

What's a registered childminder?
A childminder is self-employed and has to be registered with the appropriate Government regulatory bodies. When registered, a childminder is checked for references, training, police record and health, and their home is inspected to make sure it's a safe and suitable environment for children.

Ages covered
A childminder may look after children of any age from babies to teenagers, but registration regulations only apply to care provided for children under the age of eight.

Pros

  • Childminders are registered and are inspected regularly, and may have childcare qualifications.
  • They are likely to be an experienced childcarer and often have children of their own.
  • They may live locally.
  • They may offer flexible hours.
  • They may be prepared to drop off/collect from nursery/school.
  • Your child will have other children to play with.
  • They'll be cared for in a small group.
  • They'll be in a home environment.
  • They'll probably have continuity of care, especially if the childminder is prepared to do after-school hours.
  • Childminders may become life-long friends.
Cons
  • The childminder will probably want to organise her daily routine to suit her lifestyle rather than yours.
  • They're likely to be dealing with a range of ages - you must decide if this is suitable for your child.
  • They may not be flexible about hours.
  • They may not be prepared to drop off/collect from nursery/school.
  • They probably won't be able to look after your child if he is ill.
  • You may prefer to have your child looked after individually.
Source: BBC
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