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What qualifications should a childminder have?

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Do you wonder what qualifications should a childminder have? Whatever age your child is, deciding to leave them with a childminder while you’re at work can be a difficult decision. Whether they’re there full time or just for a few hours before and after school, you need to ensure that the person looking after them is competent and fully qualified. If you’re unsure as to exactly what qualifications a childminder should have, here are the mandatory basics, as well as some additional ones.

What are the basic qualifications?

Before childminders begin their registration process, they must have attended a local authority pre-registration briefing. This provides them with basic information on what being a childminder involves and the process they have to follow.

They must also have completed a 12 hour Paediatric First Aid Certificate. This covers a range of areas including the resuscitation of babies and children. The certificate should be renewed every three years and a childminder must also keep a first aid box in the house solely for the business.what qualifications should a childminder have?

Introductory courses

Before they can become registered, childminders need to complete an introductory course in childcare practice. The course requirements vary by region, but many of them will have completed the PACEY (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years) CYPOP5 Understanding how to set up a home-based childcare service course. This covers the basic areas of childminding and will count towards the Level 3 Diploma for Children and Young People’s Workforce.

This introductory course will take them through areas including:

–          Setting up as a childminder

–          Providing a safe environment

–          Working with parents

–          Establishing routines

–          Equality and inclusion activities

–          Safeguarding children

–          Developing positive behaviour

Ofsted registered

Once these areas have been covered, the childminder can apply to become Ofsted registered. It’s essential that any childminder you choose has a valid Ofsted registration, as this shows that they’re using the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework and that they’re working to the registration requirements. The EYFS sets out the learning, development and care goals for 0-5 year olds and an Ofsted inspection will want to see evidence of how each child is developing and their next steps.

When you meet with a potential childminder ask to see their Ofsted inspection. Most are checked every 2 to 3 years and the report will include the date they were inspected, any complaints and the grade they were awarded.

CRB checks

The childminder, and anyone else in the house over the age of 16, must have a valid Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. They will also need to have valid Public Liability Insurance. Before they’re registered, they’ll need to have obtained a Health Declaration from their GP. This will confirm that they’re physically and emotionally capable of looking after other people’s children.

When you’re choosing a childminder, it’s also important they have established policies covering certain areas. Ask them if they have Child Protection, Equal Opportunities and Sickness policies, as well as meal plans for children of different ages.

Additional Qualifications

These are the basic requirements a childminder must have before they can become fully accredited. However, throughout their career many of them will develop their skills further by undertaking additional training. These may be in areas they feel they need additional support or in something that they feel particularly passionate about.

It’s advisable for childminders to complete an Introduction to Child Protection course. This will provide them with a basic awareness of the different forms of abuse and how to spot them, as well as what they should do if they think one of their minded children is being abused.

Food hygene

You may also want your childminder to have a basic Food Hygiene certificate. There are specific courses designed for childminders, which cover areas such as:what qualifications should a childminder have?

–          Contamination risks

–          Food-bourne illnesses

–          Their food hygiene responsibilities

–          How to handle and store food safely

–          Personal hygiene

Further education

For those childminders who want higher qualifications, they can complete their Level 3 Diploma or move on to a Foundation Degree. Degree courses can include Early Childhood Studies, Early Years Childcare and Education, Working with Children and Early Years Senior Practitioner.

When you’re looking for a childminder, it’s important that they’re fully registered and have completed the minimum amount of training. However, it’s also vital that both you and your child are comfortable with them and that the environment is safe and secure.





About Catherine Stern

About Catherine Stern

Catherine Stern is a freelance writer with a background in marketing and PR. She currently writes web content on a range of subjects, from finance and business to travel and home improvements. As a working single mum of two young boys she understands the pressures that today’s working parents face and the topics they want to read about.

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