Toggle mobile menu visibility

Become a childminder

The majority of childminders look after children of all ages in their own home, however they can also look after children in other suitable non-domestic premises. Some operate unsociable hours, or provide overnight care to meet the needs of working parents, but they must be registered with Ofsted to do so. Childminders may have links to parent and toddler groups and other childminders.

We can support you with information of what's involved during the registration process, training and provide general advice and guidance.

From September 2023, anyone registering with Ofsted as a childminder will receive a £600 government grant. You may also be entitled to claim an additional £600 start-up grant from Norfolk County Council. Details of this grant will be shared at the free information session detailed below.

You will find there are lots of things to consider and do before you decide to register. Therefore, in order to be fully informed, we would recommend that you attend one of our briefing sessions called 'Thinking of Becoming a Childminder'.

Throughout the term we will be holding a number of these short information sessions online via Teams. Available dates in 2024 are:

  • Ref CM21 - Tuesday 10 September, 9.30 - 11am
  • Ref CM22 - Monday 23 September, 6 - 7.30pm

If you would like to book a place please email with your choice of session and include your name, address and a contact number.

There is no charge to attend. If none of the sessions are at a suitable time we will do our best to arrange another session for you. 

Please note, we cannot allow you to bring your children along to these sessions (unless you are a breastfeeding mother of a small baby). Please let us know in advance if this is the case.

Become a childminder

What training or qualifications do registered childminders need to have?

Early years register

To register on Ofsted's early years register, childminders who care for children aged 0-5 are required to complete training which helps them to understand and implement the early years foundation stage (EYFS). 

Childcare register

To register on the compulsory part of the childcare register, childminders who care for children aged five to seven must undertake training to ensure they have the suitable skills and experience to care for children.

Childminders are also required to complete a 12-hour paediatric first aid course and have safeguarding/child protection training that reflects the guidance and procedures of the Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership.  Training routes will be explained in detail at the briefing sessions.


How many children can a childminder look after?

A childminder may care for a maximum of six children under the age of eight. Of these, no more than three can be aged from birth to 31 August following their fifth birthday, and usually only one child may be aged under one. Exceptions to this rule can sometimes be made for sibling babies. Also, if children aged four and five only attend the childminding setting before and/or after a normal school day, and/or during school holidays, they may be cared for during these times alongside three other younger children. The childminder's own children are included in this ratio. 

The care provided for children aged eight and over must not adversely affect the care given to the younger children.

Ratios are subject to space available within the home and Ofsted will advise when they visit whether there need to be any restrictions placed on the number of children you can care for.


How long does it take to be registered?

It can take approximately 12 weeks to become registered as a childminder, but this will depend on how long you take to complete your training and the timescales in the Ofsted registration process.


How much do childminders earn?

Childminders are self employed and set their own rates.  You can research what childminders are charging in Norfolk by using the Norfolk Community Directory.


Can a childminder offer free early learning and childcare?

Yes, childminders can 'opt in' to deliver free early learning and childcare. In order to be eligible, childminders must be registered with Ofsted and be rated either 'Good' or 'Outstanding', or be awaiting their first full Ofsted inspection.

Childminders are invited to opt-in by Norfolk County Council once they are fully registered. Those who wish to offer free early learning and childcare are required to complete an application form known as the 'Local Agreement.'

Once the application has been authorised by a Local Authority Officer, the Norfolk Community Directory is updated to inform families that the childminder has been approved to offer funded places.


Can a childminder have pets?

Yes.  Animals can offer children rich learning experiences but you will need to ensure that children are always supervised when in the company of pets.  Pet food/litter trays must be inaccessible to children and animals should be kept away from food preparation areas.


Can I be a childminder if I don't have a garden?

Childminders are required to provide children with access to an outdoor play area on a daily basis (unless weather conditions make it unsafe).  If you don't have a garden then you will need to ensure outdoor activities are planned and taken daily elsewhere, for example, at a local park, woodland etc.


Do I need police checks?

All childminders are required to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and to join the DBS update service.  Everyone else aged 16 or over, who lives or works in the premises where the childminding will take place, is also required to undergo a DBS check.  Guidance on this can be found on the website.


How much will it cost to set up a childminding business?

There are costs associated with registering as a childminder such as paying for DBS checks, Ofsted registration etc.  You may need to buy certain items such as stair gates, a first aid kit, books etc depending on what you already have in your home. 

FIS on Facebook

Share this page

Facebook icon Twitter icon Email icon


Print icon