Childminding Career Profile

Childminders look after children in the childminder's home. Most full-time work is with babies and children under five. Looking after older children before school, after school and during the holidays is also common.

Childminders cater for children's physical, educational, social and emotional needs by providing a warm, caring environment along with stimulating play and learning activities. They aim to encourage learning and development through activities such as painting and drawing, reading stories and outdoor play.

A childminder's duties will also include planning, preparing and serving meals to the children in their care. With babies, this will include preparing bottles, feeding and changing nappies.

An important aspect of the job is to work closely with parents (or other carers, such as foster parents), and share information about the wellbeing of their children.

Hours and Environment
To cater for the needs of working parents, childminders are likely to work long hours. Some childminders offer a weekend and/or overnight service.

Childminders work mainly in their own homes. The work can involve taking children to and from school or playgroup.

Skills and Interests
To be a childminder you will need:

  • a love of children and a commitment to providing long-term care
  • an open-mind about different ways of bringing up children
  • a caring nature, patience, a sense of humour and flexibility
  • good communication skills
  • to be open to scrutiny, both personally and in your own home
  • an awareness of health, safety and hygiene, and knowledge of child protection issues
  • the ability to keep written records and make simple financial calculations.
    • Opportunities
      All childminders are self-employed. Most provide a service for working or student parents, but some childminders are paid by the local authority, for example, to care for children who might otherwise be at risk of neglect or abuse.

      Further information

      OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education)
      Alexandra House
      33 Kingsway
      London
      WC2B 6SE
      Tel: 0845 640 4045
      http://www.ofsted.gov.uk

      Northern Ireland Childminding Association
      16/18 Mill Street
      Newtownards
      Co. Down
      BT23 4LU
      Tel: 028 9181 1015
      http://www.nicma.org

      National Childminding Association
      Royal Court
      81 Tweedy Road
      Bromley
      Kent
      BR1 1TG
      Tel: 0845 880 0044
      http://www.ncma.org.uk

      DFES Childrens Workforce: Qualifications
      http://eypquals.cwdcouncil.org.uk

      Childrens Workforce Development Council (CWDC)
      3rd Floor
      Friends Provident House
      13-14 South Parade
      Leeds
      LS1 5QS
      Tel: 0113 244 6311
      http://www.cwdcouncil.org.uk

      Childcarelink
      Tel: 08000 960296
      http://www.childcarelink.gov.uk

      Care Commission (Scotland)
      Tel: 0845 603 0890
      http://www.carecommission.com

      Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales
      Tel: 01443 848 450
      http://www.csiw.wales.gov.uk

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