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Childminders

What is a childminder?

A childminder is a person who looks after children from birth to eight years, in his/her own home, for more than two hours a day, and receives a reward for this service. A person is not considered to be a childminder if they only care for a relative i.e. grandchild, niece or nephew.
 

What does registration mean?

Childminders are required to register with Ofsted to meet the welfare requirements. These welfare requirements relate to their suitability as carers of children; the safety of premises and facilities; their ability to offer care, learning and play opportunities; insurance and record keeping; and checks are made on all members of the household over the age of 16 years to several agencies.

Childminders are inspected regularly.
 

How many children may childminders look after?

The Childcare Act 2006 limits the number of children under 8 years. In the care of childminders at any one time to 6, including the childminders own children. The certificate will state how many children a childminder will care for.
 

How do you find a childminder?

'Word of mouth' is a good reference. Ask friends or colleagues if they have used a registered childminder they have been happy with.

Contact Tameside Families Information Service whose computerised database can put you in touch with childminders who may have vacancies, who live in your area or near your place of work or study.
 

How do you choose a childminder?

Where possible visit several childminders and talk to them to see if the service they are offering is suitable for your child and your needs. Take a list of questions and any issues you want to bring up before you make your choice, make notes as you go along. This will be a useful reminder for you and also places the arrangement on an organised and professional footing from the start.
 

Some points to consider

  • Take your child with you when you visit.
  • Always go to a registered childminder - ask to see their registration certificate.
  • Check they have up to date public liability insurance cover, ask for proof.
  • Look at the accommodation, is it safe, is there room to play?
  • Are there toys and books around?
  • Ask how many other children are in their care.
  • If there are children there, are they happy, settled and busy?
  • Will your child fit in?
  • Ask about the childminders typical day, do they take the children shopping, attend toddler group etc?
  • How do they deal with unacceptable behaviour?
  • How do they ensure the children in their care are treated with equal concern?
  • What training or experience do they have in looking after other people's children?
  • What plans do they have in the event of an emergency?
  • Which school or playgroup do they take children to?
  • When is the service available, meals, snacks etc, and how much do they charge?
  • Do you need to provide any equipment such as a buggy?
  • What will you pay for Overtime; Sickness; Holidays?
  • When do you have to pay?
  • What safety equipment is used - including car restraints?
  • Is there appropriate car insurance cover?
  • What pets do they have?
  • What happens if your child is ill - will they contact you?
  • Will they mind a sick child?
  • Will you be able to meet the rest of the family?


How do you settle your child with the childminder?

Try to arrange several visits with the childminder for you and your child. This will help them to become familiar with the new situation.

Try leaving your child for a short time to start with, so they gradually get used to being left with the childminder.


How much do childminders charge?

All childminders are self-employed people, having responsibility for their own income, expenses, equipment, tax and national insurance. They set their own rates therefore charges will vary from area to area and will be a private agreement between you and the childminder.
 

Contracts

You must always have a contract with the childminder that states the hours, fees, overtime rates, fees for non-attendance, meals provided, notice to be given etc. agreed by you both, signed and dated by both, with a copy each.
 

Do you have to take anything to the childminders?

It might be a good idea to take a favourite toy, and if you have a young baby the childminder may ask you to bring food, nappies etc. Make sure your child is dressed adequately for the time of year, the childminder may want to take your child out during the day. A change of clothes and shoes is a good idea too.
 

What other information will the childminder need?

Telephone numbers, names and addresses of: your place of work, your doctor/health visitor, an emergency contact number. What illnesses and immunisations your child has had, any allergies, what your child does / does not like to eat, your child's sleeping routine, any pet words or names, whether toilet trained, able to use a cup, eating implements etc, anything that will help your child to settle.
 

What happens if your child is ill?

Childminders do not normally look after sick children, as infection may spread to other children and their families. If your child becomes ill whilst in the care of the childminder you should be contacted.

Permission will also be needed to administer any prescribed medicine to your child.
 

What happens if the childminder is ill?

It is your responsibility to make alternative arrangements, though some childminders help to make arrangements between you and another childminder to cover for them.
 

What do you do if you are not happy about things at the childminders?

Discuss any difficulties as soon as they arise to work out a solution. It is not a good idea to move your child from one person to another unless you really have to - children need stability and consistent care. If you are unable to resolve your difficulties and they relate to the quality of care, contact Ofsted. Tel: 0300 123 1231.
 

Where can I find a Childminder in Tameside?

Details of Childminders are listed on the Online Childcare Finder.

For more information contact:

Contact Information
Contact by Post

Family Information Service (FIS)
St Peter’s Children’s Centre
Trafalgar Square
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL7 0LL
Contact by Telephone
0161 342 4260
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