April 24, 2014

Childminders

Childminders have specific childcare qualifications and in the UK are required to register with Ofsted to practice childcare if working in excess of two hours consecutively with children below the age of eight. Childminding involves caring for other people’s children in one’s home, similar to what is known as “family childcare”. The children are not related to the Childminder’s family and may range in age from babies to under age 18.

Home childcarers look after children of either one or two families/parents in their homes. Home carers may be compensated in kind instead of with money. Childminders may work with other childcare assistants and need to meet childcare requirements as outlined by Ofsted.

Registration on the Childcare Register with Ofsted is not mandatory if children are aged between eight and eighteen years. Further information can be obtained on the Ofsted website. Childminders are also responsible for the learning and development of the child or children in their care, such as Early Years Foundation.

Home childcarers look after children of either one or two families/parents in their homes. Home carers may be compensated in kind instead of with money. Childminders may work with other childcare assistants and need to meet childcare requirements as outlined by Ofsted.
Registration on the Childcare Register with Ofsted is not mandatory if children are aged between eight and eighteen years. Further information can be obtained on the Ofsted website. Childminders are also responsible for the learning and development of the child or children in their care, such as Early Years Foundation.

Qualifications of Childminders

In the UK, local authorities run courses for those interested in childminding. Information can also be obtained from Childcare Link and Ofsted. These childminding courses usually have to be completed within six months of registration with Ofsted.

An example course is the Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce. These courses also provide training in setting up the childminding business from home. Childminders also have to have completed First Aid for children and need to be positively motivated to work with children. Keeping up to date with industry training is also important for this career in childcare.

Development and learning in Childminding

When children enter a childminding environment, it is very important for the child to engage in activities that allow for learning and development. Ofsted measure the childminding experience for the child and look for evidence to support positive results for the child’s development. How the service is organised and run to allow children to meet their full potential is vital. Childminding services are inspected by Ofsted to see how they operate. Childminders are also registered on the Early Years Register if applicable.

Developments in Childminding

During 2009, Ofsted were considering policing friends or neighbours of families that looked after the families’ children. This can be viewed as a fine line between “Babysitting” and “Childminding”.

The rules are now enforced through the Childminding and Early Foundation Years Registers, where, as mentioned, children under the age of eight in care for more than two hours with a “service” must apply for registration with Ofsted for the Childminding Register, and there is a fee to register. Notifying the local council through Childcare Link is a start.

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