What is a childminder?

Childminders care for babies, toddlers and children in their own home, supporting their learning and development. They are registered to provide paid childcare from their own home for children under 8 years old, usually while their parents are out at work.

How to become a childminder?

You can get into this job by registering with a Childminder Agency or registering with Ofsted. For this, you’ll usually need:

  • a home-based childcare course that covers the Early Years Foundation Stage framework
  • a paediatric first aid course
  • child protection training
  • a food safety qualification

There are introductions to childminding briefings that cover everything you need to prepare to register as a childminder. Your local council can give you information on where to find one.

The aim is to make sure that you understand completely what is involved before making a decision about whether it’s the right career for you.

Childminder duties

Childminder duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • Monitor and supervise the children constantly
  • Assist the child care teacher in maintaining a safe and positive environment
  • Cultivate relationships with children, parents, and guardians
  • Alert the childcare teacher to emergencies
  • Recognize the needs of children and acting to meet them
  • Accompany children to their various activities and commitments (preschool/school, sports, courses)
  • Help children get washed and changed
  • Prepare meals and snacks and helping children with eating, where necessary

Childminder skills

To be an effective childminder you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Knowledge of childcare, childhood education and healthcare
  • Practical childcare skills
  • Energetic, fun, creative, ability to invent games and activities
  • Service-minded approach
  • Reliability, patience and adaptability
  • Sensitivity and understanding
  • Flexible and open to change

Childminder Job Titles

When you search for childminder jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for childminder jobs include;

  • Au pair
  • Babysitter
  • Caregiver
  • Day-care provider
  • Nanny

How to apply for childminder jobs

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the childminder  jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for childminder  jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

What does a childminder do?

The job of a childminder varies depending on the job role and the company you’re working for. Check the duties and responsibilities of childminder  job advertisements to find jobs that best suit your skills and experience. 

The day-to-day tasks of a childminder include;

  • provide inspirational learning activities
  • offer free play activities, both indoors and outside
  • plan, prepare and serve meals
  • change nappies and make up bottles for babies
  • take children on outings
  • take older children to and from playgroup or school
  • work with other local childcare professionals to support children’s learning and development