A childminder offers flexible, part-time or full-time childcare in their home for two or more hours each day. They offer your child a safe, caring environment with play and learning opportunities.  Childminders can also make use of local resources, such as parks, playgrounds and toy libraries.

Are you looking for a registered childminder?

We work with Ofsted to provide information about registered childcare providers like day nurseries, childminders, playgroups, before and after school clubs. For further information visit the Newcastle Support Directory

Do childminders have to be registered?

Childminders can look after children from birth up to sixteen years old. If they are looking after children under eight, they must be registered with Ofsted on the Early Year Register and the compulsory part of the Childcare Register.

Childminders who care for children under five must work to the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS). EYFS aims to help young children achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes of:

  • staying safe
  • being healthy
  • enjoying and achieving
  • making a positive contribution, and
  • achieving economic well-being.

You can find out more information on Ofsted registrations and inspections website.

What hours do childminders work?

Childminders are self-employed, so they can choose which hours they work.  They can provide flexible care to fit around your working patterns or your child's school day.

Some childminders can work later to cater for shift workers, or offer overnight or weekend care. Many also offer 'wrap-around care' for school age children, and will take them to and collect them from school.

How much does a childminder cost?

You'll need to agree a contract with your childminder to cover hours, holidays, overtime and so on. As self-employed people, childminders have the right to agree their own fees, which may vary depending upon the childminder and the area you are living. You can expect to pay on average £3.50 per child, per hour. Childminders may charge different rates for children of different ages.

If your child is absent for any reason (for example, sickness or holiday) you will usually need to pay the childminder for any sessions you are still contracted for. Childminders will usually include a 'settling-in period' in the contract, where either the parents or the childminder can withdraw if they are unhappy or feel that the child is not settling.

Please make sure that you fully understand and are happy with the cost provisions of any childcare contract before you sign.

Visit the help with the cost of childcare section for more information. 

How many children can a childminder look after?

Childminders can care for a maximum of six children under eight, including their own children. This ratio is set by Ofsted. Of the children in their care:

  • no more than three children may be under five; and
  • only one child may be less than twelve months old.

Exceptions can be made for twins or siblings, but this must be approved by OfSTED.

All childminders are required to complete a basic registration course, including first aid training. They may also have other childcare qualifications, for example, an NVQ in Early Years Care and Education, a vocational qualification at Level 3.

You must have a written and signed contract with childminders covering all aspects of the care of the child. Childminders should also share their policies and procedures with you so that the you know what to expect.

Quality

Childminders in most areas of Newcastle can now join childminding networks.

A Childminding Network is a quality assured group of childminders who work to standards that are higher than registration standards. They are supported by a network co-ordinator who assesses and monitors them regularly to ensure that they meet and maintain these standards. The childminders meet together on a regular basis and can provide holiday or sickness cover for each other. All of the childminding networks in Newcastle have 'Children Come First' Quality Assurance.

By 2010 all childminders will be able to join a network. Individual childminders can also complete a Quality Assurance Scheme.

In Newcastle all registered childminders are automatically members of Newcastle Childminding Association which is Newcastle childminders' own support organisation.

Visit the services for childminders section for more information on Newcastle Childminding Association.

Page last updated: 
4 July 2016
Was this page useful?