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Working as a childminder

Childminding can be a very rewarding and satisfying career.  Childminders are professional childcarers, who work in their own home, set their own 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:  Criminal Record Checks for Childminders and Childcare Workers - how to get a DBS check if you want to look after children for a living: who needs a check, what it costs and how long it takes.

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.

Please first check the postcode here 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.

 

What would I be doing?

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?

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 require any further information please email the Family Information Service. Please ensure you include your full name, address, postcode and email and phone contact details. Contact us at FIS@southampton.gov.uk

What fees do I charge parents?

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 on the Southampton Information Directory, to see the fees they charge, to give you a starting point.

Many childminders also offer the free nursery entitlement for children aged 2, 3 and 4 and get funded by the local council for this.

First steps to becoming a childminder

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.  If you do not 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.

You will need to follow a relevant childminding course.  The training providers listed below are a few examples of those which may offer a suitable course.

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

Now I have read the above I want to find out more!

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.

Coming soon ..........

You will soon be able to complete an online form to the Family Information Service (FIS) Team to get further advice and support and link to a dedicated Childcare Development Worker who will contact you.

 

Other training providers

There are various training providers that include:

Online Courses:

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.

Children's Workforce Development, a team within Southampton City Council, offer a number of additional courses including:

  • Safeguarding Children and Young People (Level 2)
  • 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.

Please note: this list is not exhaustive and may change without notice.

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