Registered childminders are professional daycarers who work in their own homes to provide care and learning opportunities for other peoples children in a family setting. They are registered and inspected by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education).
When do childminders work?
Childminders are self-employed so they can decide on their own working hours. Most childminders offer care between the hours of 8am-6pm, but many will also work unsociable hours, part-time hours or weekends.
How much will a childminder charge?
Prices vary between areas, but as a guide, most childminders will charge on average £5 an hour for each child for full-time care. Childcare funding to help low income families pay for registered childcare is available through the Working Tax Credit Scheme. For more information go to www.gov.uk/working-tax-credit
How will I know my child will be safe?
First of all - you know your child best. Look for a childminder that you feel is suitable for your child.
Ofsted inspects the childminders against the 14 National Standards for Childminding to ensure that the environment and care provided is safe and suitable for children. Childminders are required to have completed first aid training that covers giving first aid to babies and young children.
Ask to see the childminders certificate to check how many children they are registered for. You could also ask to read a copy of their inspection report which Ofsted would have written after inspection.
How many children can a childminder look after?
Childminders are registered to look after a maximum of six children under eight at any one time. Of those six, only three can be aged under five and usually there will be a limit of one baby under 12 months. They may also look after older children.
The childminders' own children will be counted in this number and Ofsted will decide how many children the premises are suitable for based on the size of the rooms.
What about holidays/sickness?
By law, childminders must have a written agreement with the parents of each child they look after. This should set out the services that will be included, notice periods and what will happen in the event of sickness or holidays either for the childminder or the parent.
What to do if you're concerned
If you have any concerns at all about the quality or integrity of your childcare provider, you can contact Ofsted (the regulating body).
How can I find a childminder?
The Family Information Service holds information on all the registered childcare in the Ealing borough. Search for local childminders on the Ealing Families Directory