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 other local services such as Children's Centres, 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.

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 2-hour briefing sessions called ‘Thinking of Becoming a Childminder.’

Dates, locations and times of ‘Thinking of Becoming a Childminder’ sessions
Code Venue Date Time
J331  Norwich – Woodside Centre Community Hub Wednesday 23 January 2019 10am-12pm
J332 King’s Lynn – Knight’s Hill Hotel
Monday 4 February 2019 10am-12pm
J333 Norwich – Woodside Centre Community Hub
Monday 25 February 2019 6-8pm


Thetford – Keystone Innovation Centre Wednesday 13 March 2019 10am-12pm
J335 Norwich – Woodside Centre Community Hub Monday 1 April 2019 10am–12pm

To apply for a place, please email the Early Years team your choice of session and include your full name, address and contact number.

If none of these sessions are convenient email us with your full name, address and contact number and we will do our best to find a session on another date.

Please note, we can not 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.

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 Board (NSCB).  Training routes will be explained in detail at the briefing sessions.

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.

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.

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

Yes. However to offer free early learning and childcare for two-year-olds, childminders must be rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding' or awaiting their first full Ofsted inspection. They can 'opt in' to deliver the entitlement by completing a Local Agreement. 

To claim three- and four-year-old funding on behalf of a parent/carer, you must be registered with Ofsted. Everyone delivering the entitlement will have also confirmed to the local authority their offer by completing a Local Agreement.

Once authorised by a Local Authority Officer, the Norfolk Community Directory is updated to inform families they can access funded places with these childminders.

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.

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.

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.

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.  The government offers childcare business grants to newly registering childminders.  Information can be found on the Childcare Business Grants website.

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