Childminder and Childrens’ Services
Childminder and Childrens’ Services
The Family Information Service (FIS) provides a free, independent and confidential information and advice service for parents and carers of children and young people.
The FIS is able to give information on:
• Registered childcare for 0-16 year olds
• Advice on paying for childcare including free entitlement, tax credits and childcare vouchers
• Activities and leisure groups for 0-19 year olds
• National and local support services for health, education, financial, legal and family issues
• Schools.These are just a few of the topics FIS can provide information on.
The FIS can provide parents with help and advice in choosing either a childminder or a nursery. Here is some general information that may help you to choose a childminder in your area.
What is a childminder?
A childminder is self-employed and registered by OFSTED to care for other people’s children in their own home.
Childminders can offer full-time, part-time and flexible day care for children of all ages. Most are willing to take and collect from pre-school, nursery and school. They may care for school aged children before and after school and in the holidays. Some childminders are registered to provide overnight care and some offer specialist care for children with additional needs.
Childminders offer a homely setting, in which there will be a maximum of six children under-8, no more than three of whom will be under 5 and with only one child being under the age of 12 months. This ratio includes the childminders own children if they are under the age of 8.
Childminders and all adults over 16 in the household have had an enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.
Childminders offer care and early years education following the good practice guidance of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for 0-5s.
How do I make a choice?
It is important to visit a number of childminders before deciding who will best suit your child’s needs. Questions to ask a potential childminder might include:
What experience and/or training do you have?
What activities do you provide for children?
Will you take my child shopping, to the park, toddler group?
How will you encourage good behaviour and deal with any problems?
Which rooms do you use for childminding?
What are theages of other minded children?
Do you have pets?
What are the arrangements for travelling and child safety?
Will you take/collect my child from pre-school/nursery/school?
Can I have a copy of your Ofsted report?
How do you deliver the EYFS (Early years foundation stage)?
What is a childminding contract?
All childminders must have a written agreement with parents. It is important that you negotiate a contract with the childminder at the beginning of the arrangement which should be reviewed annually, or whenever changes are necessary. The contract should set out the terms of your agreement with the childminder and will include details of a ‘settling in’ period, hours, and financial arrangements. When signed by both parties the contract becomes a legally binding document.
What happens if my child is ill or has an accident?
Caring for sick children is not part of the childminding service and you should keep your child at home or collect them if they are unwell. In the case of an accident the childminder should put the needs of the child first and act accordingly. You should be asked to sign consent for the childminder to seek emergency treatment if necessary. You should also read and sign their accident/incident book confirming you were given full details of any accident and action taken.
What is an accredited childminder?
Some childminders may have joined the local ‘Children Come First’ Quality Assurance Scheme and are now accredited proving their ability, knowledge and skill to provide early years education based on the Foundation Stage for 3 to 5 year olds. Parents whose children are eligible for the Free Entitlement ie from the term following their 3rd birthday, can use all or part of their entitlement with an accredited childminder.
How do I find a childminder?
Every County Council runs a Family Information Service, details of which can be found on your local Council website.