Childminder help and advice


Childminder help and advice

The Early Years Foundation Stage (England)

Childminders in England must adhere to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This lays down the standards for children’s development, learning and care from birth to five years old.

The EYFS framework is the core document for all professionals working in the early years in England. As such it means that regardless of the setting, a child benefits from the same statutory commitments and principles supporting their learning and development.

Ofsted and childminder agencies are tasked with ensuring that the EYFS is complied with through regular inspections.

Health and Social Care Standards (Scotland)

Childminders in Scotland must adhere to the Health and Social Care Standards, a set of rules first published by the Scottish Government in 2018, replacing the old National Care Standards. They set out the standard of care that people should expect when using social care services, such as childminding.

The Care Inspectorate is are tasked with ensuring that the EYFS is complied with through regular inspections.

National Minimum Standards (Wales)

In Wales Childminders must adhere to the regulations and National Minimum Standards that apply to childcare and play services. These are enforced by Care Inspectorate Wales who, jointly with Estyn, inspect childminders and assign grades according to these standards.

National Minimum Standards (Northern Ireland)

Childminders in Northern Ireland must adhere to the National Minimum Standards for Childminding and Day Care. Unlike in the rest of the UK, there is no national body that enforces these, instead local health and social care trusts are responsible for inspection and regulation.


The meaning of safeguarding in reference to children and young people goes beyond child protection. It is a term relating to the action taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm. Safeguarding is the responsibility of us all, not just the childcare sector. It is defined by government as:

  • protecting children from maltreatment
  • preventing impairment of children’s health and development
  • ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

Remember, having safeguards in place as a childminder not only protects and promotes the welfare of the children you mind, it also enhances the confidence of their parents and carers and can help protect you too.

Policies and training

All Michel policy holders have access to extensive online safeguarding training courses from Flick Learning. These are kept regularly updated so childminders can be confident their knowledge and practice is always up to date.

It is good practice for childminders to have a written safeguarding policy. Whether this is compulsory will depend on the regulator they are registered with and the requirements of the local authority, but having a policy in place helps to demonstrate that you understand your responsibilities.

There are many sample policies and templates available online and from local authorities and Safeguarding Children Boards that can be edited to reflect a childminder’s particular setting. Many local authorities will also offer safeguarding training courses for free.

Tax and National Insurance

As a childminder, you are most likely to be self-employed and so you must register your business with Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC). There is plenty of help and guidance available from HMRC and other sources about what your duties are and how to fulfil them.

HMRC also has its own YouTube channel with videos helpful to small-business operators.

National Insurance

As a self-employed person, you are responsible for paying your own tax and National Insurance contributions.

If you're self-employed you usually have to pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions. And if you have annual profits over a certain level, then you also need to pay Class 4 contributions. There are also exemptions. Learn about class 2 contributions and class 4 contributions.


The different countries of the UK each have their own regulator with whom childminders must register. While each regulator takes its own approach, their purpose is the same – to ensure that the children under a childminder’s care are kept safe and receive a high quality early education.

In England, Childminders must usually register with Ofsted or a Childminder Agency. Uniquely, Ofsted maintains two registers. The Childcare Register and the Early Years Register. Childminders who intend to look after children under 5 must register on both of this, while childminders who wish to look after children under must join the Childcare Register. Childminders who only wish to look after older children, may voluntarily decide to join the Childcare Register too. You can find out more about registering with Ofsted on their website here.

Childminder Agencies are umbrella organisations in England, themselves registered with Ofsted, who take over its responsibilities for monitoring the quality of childminders’ services. They often take a more hands-on approach by Ofsted and childminders registered with them can expect greater access to help and training, in return for a fee or a levy. You can find a list of childcare agencies on Ofsted’s website here.

In Scotland, Childminders must register with the Care Inspectorate. All childminders who offer care to children under 16 years old for more than two hours a day are required to be registered with them. Like Ofsted, the Care Inspectorate carries out regular inspections, to ensure childminders are meeting the Health and social Care Standards. You can find out more on the Care Inspectorate’s website here.

In Wales, Childminders who care for children under the age of 12 for more than two hours a day must register with the Care Inspectorate Wales. Previously Childminders who received public funds would also be inspected by Eystyn, the body responsible for inspecting state maintained settings, however, inspections are now carried out jointly. You can find out more on the Care Inspectorate Wales website here.

In Northern Ireland, Childminders who look after offer care to children under 12 for more than two hours a day must register with their Health and Social Care Trust (HSCT). This local approach is different to the other countries in the UK who each have their own national regulator. You can find a list of the local HSCTs here.

Notifying Regulators of changes

Childminders need to make sure they keep their regulator up-to-date with any changes. This ensures that they are kept aware of anything that might impact the quality of care or children’s safety. Details of what must be reported will be found in the relevant national statutory guidelines, but examples include changes of premises or staff. Reporting changes should always be done as soon as possible and ideally in advance.

Food hygiene and the Food Standards Agency

The Food Standards Agency provides guidance specifically for childminders – including its Safer Food, Better Business for Childminders pack on what they need to know about food-safety and hygiene, depending on which part of the UK they are based in, on its website here.

A day in the life of....

No two days are the same in childminding, but we asked Stephanie a childminder in Surrey to give us an idea of a typical day in her life.

6.30am - I get up and get myself ready and my son ready before my first minded child arrives at

7.45am - She is school age and sits and has breakfast and then we read stories, play trains or some other non-messy activity until

8.30am - When the pre-schoolers arrive, either one or two depending on the day of the week. Then we all set off for school either walking or on the train – it is just one stop.

9am It all depends on the weather, but we might go out for the day straight from the school run. On a Thursday we go swimming because I only have my own child and one other, or on a Wednesday we might go to Rhyme Time, soft play or the park. That’s what I like – we don’t have to have a set routine.

12pm - In the summer we might go out for lunch and have a picnic or in the winter come back home for a hot meal. I let the children choose what they want to eat, within reason. We might have a pasta dish, soup or sausages and mash or they might want to make pitta pizzas and put their own toppings on. The children usually do quite a lot of the preparation with me; I don’t stop them playing, but if they want to help they do and we tidy up while the meal is cooking

After lunch they help clear up

1pm - If we haven’t been out in the morning, we go out in the afternoon but if we are staying at home, it is time for free play. I have photos of activities we have done in a book and they choose from that what they want to do. Sometimes it’s messy play or musical instruments. I do a lot child-led activity and quite a lot of my ideas come from Montessori – for example if we are playing with Mega Bloks we talk about number, shape and colour. Throughout the day I write my observations on Post-It notes with the child’s name and date of birth and stick them in my diary. Then once a term, I go through and collate them all into their individual files.

2.30pm - We start walking to school which finishes at 3pm. It is about a mile and the baby goes in the buggy and the toddlers walk. We might go to the park afterwards or stop and watch the trains on the way home. We usually arrive home by

4pm -When the children have access to drawing materials and easy crafts so I don’t have to worry they will get covered in paint.

5pm - Is teatime. I don’t give the children any snacks between meals because I am very strong on oral health and I serve three meals a day. Tea is buffet style and lighter than lunch. We make lots of different sandwiches and on the side we have continental meats, cheese cubes, grapes, apples, carrots and so on. We all sit at the table together and talk about the day.

5.30pm - Parents start arriving and by

6pm - Everyone has gone home.

Useful links

Below you will find contact details of organisation that supply services and/or products to the childminding sector.


Childminder Accountancy Services –

Educational Resources

Morton Michel Stationery –

Eduzone –


Childcare Expo –


Fafunia -


Morton Michel –


Creative Steps –


Fingershield Safety –


Morton Michel –