A parents guide to choosing a childminder

A childminders cares for children in their own home. Childminders are regsitered with Ofsted and are inspected at least once every 12 months. Because of the nature of childminders they are generally the most felxible option in terms of hours etc. However, you must bear in mind that if your childminder is ill you may lose your child carer

The following point aim to help you chose a childminder


The childminder

Safe Environment

First point is really about if you like them. Do they have similar values to you? Do you trust them to look after your children?

You may also want to ask if they have had any formal training. Many qulifified nursery staff offer childminding after having a family.

Ask to see the childminders registration certificate. It's illegal to professionally child mind with out being registered. As part of this process the childminder will be Police checked to ensure that they have not been conficted of any child or sex related offences.

You should look around the facility from a child's viewpoint to see if there are dangers where your child could get hurt.

How clean and tidy is the home, what's the garden like, if its on a main road can the children get out etc.



Number of children

A childminder can take advantage of local facilities such as libraries, play areas, parks, beaches etc.

Take a look around the area to see whats available


Childminders can look after up to 6 children who are under 8. However, a maximum of three can be under 5. Also, normally only one baby is allowed (i.e under a year old) unless the have been registered for two which would mean that they would have undergone an asssessment to ensure they have the right skills.

Childminder's can also look after children aged 8 -14 if they can demonstrate that it does not hinder the care of the others. Ask how many children are looked after?



Happy Kids

Ask about what activities are undertaken. Check what the other children are doing. Are they focused on learning or playing or are they just running riot?


The most important question to ask yourself is do the children look happy. The childminder may try and tell you how wonderful everything is but the looks on the kids faces will rarely lie.

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