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Becoming a registered childminder

We offer support and training to become an Ofsted childminder.

How do I become a childminder?

Contact the Early Years Quality and Sufficiency Service at early.years@lewisham.gov.uk or call 020 8314 3682.

Next steps 

  • Complete a pre-registration training/ briefing.
  • Complete an introduction to childminding practice course (ICP)/ home based childcare training.
  • Complete an approved first aid course. Approved first aid courses are those that are consistent with Annex A of the Statutory Framework for the Early years foundation stage.
  • Attend a classroom based child protection training course.
  • Attend a classroom based food hygiene course.
  • Visit Ofsted’s website for guidance on registering as a childminder.
  • Complete a health declaration as well as DBS checks for everyone who lives within the household who is 16 years and over.
  • Apply to become a childminder.

Registration visit

At the registration visit you will be expected to:

  • demonstrate your understanding and your ability to implement the Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage.
  • demonstrate to Ofsted a good understanding of health and safety.

Find more information about the registration visit.

How many children can I look after?

  • up to six children aged under eight years old
  • no more than three children aged from birth to the 31 August following their 5th birthday
  • normally no more than one child under 12 months old

You can make exceptions to these ratios if you can show you are meeting all of the children's needs. You can't look after more than six children in total.

Care for children aged eight and over is not allowed to affect the quality of care given to younger children.

Working with an assistant or another childminder

You can look after more children if you work with an assistant or another childminder.

Childminding assistants can only care for children on their own for up to two hours a day with parents’ permission.

Other factors

There are other factors affecting the number of children you can look after. These include:

  • space available
  • your own children and any others you look after, for example, for relatives
  • children aged four or five who you care for before or after a school day and in the holidays are counted as older than the early years age group

Childminding is a business

Childminders are self-employed and so they decide on their working hours. Most childminders provide childcare between the hours of 8am–6pm. Some childminders work early mornings, evenings, overnight and weekends and some offer part-time places.

Childminders often drop children off at school and pick them up.

You will need to negotiate hours, and terms and conditions with the parents.

You can calculate how much it will cost you to offer childcare using PACEY's cost calculator.

How much does a childminder charge?

Childminders set their charges themselves and so there is not a national rate. Most childminders charge an hourly rate, a daily rate, overnight rate and a weekly rate, depending on the hours required.

How many childminders are there in the borough?

We recommend that you check to see if there is a high concentration of childcare providers in your area. The more childcare providers in your area, the more difficult you will find it to secure business.