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Become a registered childminder

If you want to become an Ofsted registered childminder, and you live in Surrey, then the Surrey Early Years and Childcare service can help.

Do I need to register?

If you want to be paid to look after one or more children under the age of eight, for more than two hours a days in your own home, then you will need to register with Ofsted.

You do not need to register as a childminder if you:

  • are a parent, step-parent or relative of the child you are looking after
  • have parental responsibility for the child
  • are a local authority foster parent in relation to a child
  • are a foster parent with whom a child has been placed by a voluntary organisation
  • are fostering a child privately
  • are only looking after a child between the hours of 6pm and 2am
  • are looking after a child wholly or mainly in the child's own home
  • are looking after children for two sets of parents wholly or mainly in the home of either or both sets of parents.
  • only care for children for two hours or less a day
  • provide care for friends where no payment is made, or three hours or less per day where you accept payment from your friend.
  • if you provide home education

Visit the GOV.UK website for more information.

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Where to begin?

If you are interested in becoming a registered childminder, you may want to consider attending a pre-registration briefing session. In Surrey, this is called a childminding briefing meeting and it is:

  • run by advisors from Surrey Early Years and Childcare Service
  • held at different locations across Surrey
  • available weekday mornings, afternoons, evenings and on Saturdays
  • about two hours long
  • £10 non-refundable fee (Please note: This is liable to change from Mid 2017).

In this meeting you will find out more about becoming a registered childminder, have the opportunity to ask questions and take away our free booklet which includes:

  • roles and responsibilities
  • contact details where you can get further information
  • documents that help you register as a childminder.
    • The start up costs
    • Frequently asked questions
    • Business planning and marketing
    • Step-by-step guide to the registration process

We will also tell you about the Ofsted application process and the training you will need. These meetings are only for people who live in Surrey and pay their council tax to a Surrey district or borough council.

You don't have to attend a childminding briefing meeting to start your career as a childminder – you can book directly onto our Childminding Introductory Programme (ChIP) when it is available.

(Please note: we are currently unable to arrange training sessions, but we expect to re-start these as a priority later in the Summer of 2017). In the meantime, potential child minders can access alternative approved training provided through Pacey . We will update this web page when the ChIP workshops are available again.

How do I book onto a childminding briefing meeting?

Please see dates, venues and book onto a childminding briefing meeting online. (The next sessions will be available from Summer 2017 and this web page will be updated when they are available)

You will need to pay a non-refundable booking fee so have your credit / debit card ready.

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What training will I need?

Although you don't need to have any formal qualifications to become a registered childminder, you must have completed training which helps you understand and implement the Early Years Foundation Stage before you can register with Ofsted.  You also need to have a current (less than three years old) 12 hour paediatric first aid certificate.

You will have to organise and pay for your own Paediatric first aid course. Ofsted will accept current first aid certificates for relevant recognised first aid training. You will need to update your first aid training every three years.

In Surrey, our approved registration course is the Childminding Introduction Programme (ChIP). Pre-registration training provided through Pacey is also approved.

More information about ChIP*

*(These courses are currently unavailable, but we will arrange new sessions as a matter of priority from Mid Summer 2017, meanwhile potential enquirers can access approved training through Pacey on-line approved training. Other on-line training courses may also be acceptable, please check with Ofsted if you are unsure.

The course is taught in six consecutive sessions and runs over three full days or six evenings in different locations across Surrey. ChIP is delivered by a home-based childcare advisor from Early Years and Childcare Service and includes a Powerpoint presentation and programme booklet for each session. The classes are usually limited to 20 people and you will be encouraged to share information in group work.

You have to attend all six sessions and complete coursework to pass the course. The coursework includes writing a set of policies and procedures that you will need to start your childminding business.

  • Session 1 – Caring for other people's children
    During this session we will find out about your previous experience, talk about the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and explain the coursework. We will also look at what you will need to consider before you look after children and how you will work in partnership with parents.
  • Session 2 – Being healthy and staying safe
    This session looks at staying safe both indoors and outdoors and how to deal with emergencies. It also looks at fire safety, how to record injuries, hygiene and nutrition and car seat safety.
  • Session 3 – Enjoying and achieving
    This session covers child development and learning environments and will give you a chance to become more familiar with the EYFS guidance and how to use it to plan for the future development of a child.
  • Session 4 – Making a positive contribution
    During this session we will look at what affects behaviour and strategies to deal with unwanted behaviour. We will also cover inclusion and anti-discriminatory practice.
  • Session 5 – Working together to safeguard children
    During this session you will learn about what your role is in protecting children and the signs and symptoms of the four types of abuse. You will also find out who to contact for advice and how to report abuse and what you can do to protect yourself from allegations of abuse.
  • Session 6 – Organisation
    This session looks at all the paperwork you will need to become a registered childminder including the policies and procedures you will need. We will also look at charging, how to keep accounts, advertising and how to prepare for your first Ofsted inspection.

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How do I book onto ChIP?

Please see dates, venues and book onto the ChIP online. (We will update this web page when the courses are available, expected to be Mid Summer 2017). You will need to pay a non-refundable booking fee so have your credit / debit card ready.

How do I register with Ofsted?

Once you have been to all the sessions of the ChIP (see information above), submitted your coursework and been told you have passed, you will be able to register as a childminder with Ofsted. You will be told how to do this during the ChIP. There is a fee to become registered and an annual fee after that. You should be registered within 12 weeks of Ofsted getting your form.

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Is there anything else that I need to do?

Yes, as a registered childminder you will be self-employed and must register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within three months of starting work. And if you provide food for the children you look after, you need to think about food hygiene. See below for more information.

Tax and National Insurance for registered childminders

You may not need to pay income tax if you earn less than your tax allowance but whether you have to pay or not you must keep accurate tax and business records. And you must fill in a self-assessment form if one is sent to you even if you think you have nothing to pay.

For more information about tax and national insurance for people who are self employed and to find out how to register your business, visit the HMRC website.

You may be eligible for tax credits, to find out if you qualify visit the HMRC tax credit website.

HMRC have a Tax advice for childminders e-learning course that tells you more about tax, National Insurance, business records and expenses.

HMRC also run free webinars (online presentations) once a month that give a basic guide to key tax and National Insurance issues affecting self-employed childminders. Live webinars are available on set dates and times, last for one hour and include an opportunity for you to ask questions. You need to register in advance for live webinars by visiting the HMRC website.

Food hygiene

If you provide food for the children you look after then it is your responsibility to make sure that the food you provide is fit to eat. There is more information available on the Food Standards Agency website.

New data sharing arrangements between Ofsted and the Food Standards Agency means that Ofsted will share relevant childminders registration data with local authority food teams. Childminders who are already registered with Ofsted are no longer required to register as a food business with their local authority.

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Is there any other support available?

Childcare Business Grant

New childminding businesses can apply for a Childcare Business Grant from the Government. You can find guidance notes and an application form on the Childcare Business Grant webpage.

Advertise your childcare vacancies for free

If you are an Ofsted registered childcare provider you can tell us about any childcare vacancies you have and we will advertise them for you for free on the Surrey Family Information Service Childcare finder.

Library cards for childminders

Every childminder can sign up for a Junior Group library card. This means you can borrow more junior items and for longer without it affecting your personal library card. Junior items are fiction and non-fiction junior books plus audio books and Read Hear books with CDs. DVDs are not included because of age restrictions on some items.

You just need to show your Ofsted registration certificate at your local library to be able to sign up.

How do I find out more?

For more information, email You can also keep up to date by subscribing to our e-bulletin updates.