Childminders provide reliable, flexible home-based care and education for babies, pre-school children and school-aged children outside school hours. Parents usually take children to the childminder's own home. Since childminders live and work in the child's own community, their care can often be combined with local playgroup, nursery and school sessions.
Childminders are self-employed, responsible for their own tax and national insurance contributions and for setting and collecting their own fees/charges. They negotiate with parents the childcare and financial arrangements which will form the basis of a legally binding contract.
Childminding arrangements are flexible. They may include full time or part time care. Some minders will provide care during shiftwork or on an emergency basis.
Childminders must be registered with OFSTED.
What is Registration?
There is a legal requirement that any person (unless a close relative) caring for children aged 0-8, for reward, for more than 2 hours in any one day or more than 5 days a year must be registered with OFSTED.
Registration is carried out to ensure childminders meet criteria laid down in the Children Act (1989). Once the criteria have been met and the registration process has been completed satisfactorily then a Registration Certificate is issued. This is updated at an annual inspection. The registration process includes a childminding preparation course. Childminders are encouraged to take up other training opportunities.
Registered Childminders are required to have Public Liability Insurance. You need to see both the Public Liability Insurance and the Registration Certificates.
How do I find a Childminder?
The Oxfordshire Family Information Service holds a list of Registed Childminders for the area.
Many childminders are members of the National Childminding Association (NCMA). NCMA seeks to promote good childcare practise and membership is also open to parents and others interested in family daycare.
Remember that childminders will be used to interviews with parents. They will expect you to ask questions. Remember that they will also need to ask questions before they can care for your child.
Call the Oxfordshire Family Information Service on 01865 323332 for more information on childcare.