Becoming a Registered Childminder in Sheffield


Registered childminders are childcare professionals who work in their own homes providing a safe and stimulating environment for other people’s children for more than two hours a day for reward. Childminders are self-employed, run their own business and provide a service to the families they care for. They may offer before and after school and holiday care as well as full day care. Childminders often offer drop off and pick up services to playgroups, nurseries and schools.

A registered childminder provides care and learning opportunities in a family setting following the national Early Years Foundation Stage play-based framework
(0-5 years 11 months). They can give continuity of care and stability, looking after children from babyhood to school and often longer.

You may wish to consider the following:

Do you have an interest in and enjoy working with children?
Have you any qualifications in childcare? Will you need any?
Do you have skills or life experience that could help you run a quality childcare service?
Is there any demand for childcare in my area?
Will you need any funding to develop your ideas and plans?
Could you provide a broad range of challenging, rewarding play experiences for children to meet their individual play, care and learning needs?
Provision of outdoor play
Could you work in partnership with parents, carers and other professionals?
Are you highly motivated and determined?
Commitment to developing yourself through continuous professional development e.g. training, networking and other forums.
How will Childminding affect your family?
The costs of setting up and running a business
Your pets
Hours of work
Wear and tear on your home and furnishings
Your neighbours

Registration and Checks


Ofsted has the statutory role of ensuring that providers of childcare are suitable and that they comply with meeting the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework and/or other registers.

Ofsted register the care provided for children on two registers: The Early Years Register (EYR) and The Childcare Register (CR). People can apply to join one or both registers at the same time. The Childcare Register has two parts – a compulsory part and a voluntary part. If providers are on more than one register they must meet the requirements for the different registers.

Most childcare providers caring for children under eight years old must register with Ofsted unless the law says they do not need to. It is your responsibility to check with Ofsted whether registration is required, and which register is appropriate, for more information please visit the Government website.

The Early Years and Childcare Registration Handbook is also a useful tool.

Childminder Agencies

Ofsted registers childminder agencies and inspects them approximately every 3-4 years unless for example there is a complaint.

From September 2014 the Government gave individual childminders the option to join an Ofsted registered agency and pay a fee for the agency’s services. These services can include matching parents with childminders; initial training (e.g. first aid, safeguarding, etc.); continuous professional development opportunities; quality assurance; and / or support with paperwork and finances (e.g. tax credits, free entitlement funding). It will be entirely voluntary for childminders to join agencies and for parents to use them. In Sheffield there is currently one Childminding agency – At Home Childcare

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks

• All Ofsted’s DBS checks are now processed by Capita.
• All DBS applications and payments must be made online, via Capita’s website.

You can make your application and payment through Capita’s website.

Setting Up

First steps

You will need a copy of the Early Years Foundation Stage. This is the framework for learning, development and care of children from birth to five years you will have to meet as a registered early years childcare provider. You can get a copy from the Department for Education (see useful information at the end) or download it here.

Pre-registration Checklist

This checklist has been developed to ensure you have considered everything that you need before applying for Ofsted registration.

The checklist can be downloaded here.

Help and Support

Ofsted and local authorities are working closely together to improve the quality of all settings to improve outcomes for children and their families. In Sheffield our available resources are being targeted towards those settings who are newly registered, had an Ofsted Inadequate or Requires Improvement inspection outcome and / or where there may have been complaints or safeguarding issues.

Working together – Our Best Start Strategy

Sheffield City Council and the NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (SCCG) have developed a joint plan for the delivery of joined up, accessible and good quality services for children under 5 and their families from pregnancy onwards. It has been developed together with key partners, and builds on the existing relationships with Schools, Health, Private, Voluntary sector, Communities and parents and carers. This strategy is integral to the delivery of Public Health objectives and improving health and wellbeing outcomes.

One of the objectives of the Best Start Strategy is to support organisations and child-minders across the sector to work together so that the early year’s workforce has the knowledge, skills and support needed to help children to reach their full potential. Best Start EYFS Quality Improvement Officers will be able to offer support to registered Childminders along with provider advice and support sessions and workshops held at Family Centres.

All Early Years Providers who are registered on the Sheffield Directory receive a regular E-Newsletter with news and information about training and events.

There are three Early Years Best Start Teams in the North, East and West of the City.

First Start Family Centre – Tel 0114 203 9307 

Primrose Family Centre – Tel 0114 205 2723 

Darnall Family Centre - Tel 0114 273 5008 

Quality Improvement

Ofsted and local authorities are working closely together to improve the quality of all settings to improve outcomes for children and their families. In Sheffield our available resources are being targeted towards those settings who are newly registered, had an Ofsted Inadequate or Requires Improvement inspection outcome and / or where there may have been complaints or safeguarding issues.

As soon as Ofsted notify us that a provider has been registered, a Quality Improvement Officer will contact them to discuss a pre-inspection support package.

Sheffield Directory

It is important that you register and regularly update your childcare business details on the Sheffield Directory. This is an online facility and the only directory in Sheffield where you will find the full picture of Ofsted registered childcare in the city.

When parents, carers or professionals are looking for Ofsted registered childcare information, leisure activities or family support information in Sheffield they are signposted to the Sheffield Directory. First Point also search this directory for information to pass on to people who do not.

Registering on the Sheffield Directory will also ensure you receive regular information, updates and training opportunities.


Essential training

The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets out the requirements for childminder training if you are planning to join the Early Years register.

You will need to complete a Pre-Registration course Taught courses and online courses are provided by local and national organisations.

Paediatric First Aid

You must complete a Pediatric First Aid training course which is relevant for workers caring for young children and babies. You can choose which organisation you want to provide the training, but it must meet the criteria set out in the EYFS, annex A.


It is an EYFS requirement that registered childminders must attend child protection training that enables them to identify, understand and respond appropriately to signs of possible neglect. It is the childminder’s responsibility to make sure that they access suitable training from an appropriate training source.
The local authority currently provides free training for registered childminders that enables them to meet this requirement:

Online Safeguarding training

The following E-learning courses can be completed prior to registration:
• Child Abuse and Neglect (Core Introduction)
• Safe sleeping for babies

Face to Face Safeguarding training

You are eligible to apply for these courses once your registration has been approved
• Early Years Introduction to Safeguarding and Child Protection Training
• Early Years Advanced Safeguarding and Child Protection Training
• Early Years Advanced Refresher Safeguarding and Child Protection Training

Further information about this safeguarding training is available on the Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board website

Childcare qualifications

A qualification called the ‘Early Years Educator’ was introduced in September 2014 which is relevant to everyone working in the early year’s sector with children from 0-5 years. The course will also prepare you to gain knowledge of children aged from 5-7 years and will be the most relevant qualification for those working with Early Years Children. You will be able to find more information regarding this online.

Fees and Costs

In order to plan ahead you should consider the costs you may incur as part of the registration process. The following is a list of some of the costs you may wish to plan ahead for:

Ofsted Fees
Check Ofsted’s website for current prices

Health Declaration Fee
From £10.00 - £100.00, each GP sets their own fees if payable

DBS Checks (for everyone over 16 in the household)
Approximately £52.5 including Capita handling fee. It is advisable to register for the Update Service.

Training Courses

Paediatric First Aid - Various prices
Safeguarding training - No Charge (Local Authority Training)
Professional Training - Various prices

Public Liability / Employer’s Liability Insurance
Morton Michel and PACEY are two examples of organisations which provide insurance packages, please check their websites for details.

Business documentation
You can buy documentation from a range of organisations.

Necessary upgrades to security / safety in the home
For example: Fire blankets, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detector and a First Aid kit. You may also want to think about other safety equipment such as stair gates etc.

Business Costs – Building Insurance
Buildings and contents Insurance (you may need to increase the level of cover for childminding).

Business Costs – Car Insurance
If you plan to use your vehicle you will need to ensure you have car insurance which covers business use and have the necessary safety equipment for transporting children.

Business Costs – Data
Register with Information Commissioner's Office and register as a data controller if you:
• Keep extensive or sensitive information about the children you care for on your computer or take digital photographs of the children in your care
Use a computer and are processing any personal information or data via computer. By "processing", any use of a computer is included, including typing up records on a word processor, developmental observation records and the usage of CCTV in childcare settings.

Equipment Costs
• Toys / craft items
• High chair (where required)
• Pram / double buggy (where required)
• Play equipment for outdoors e.g. bikes, balls etc.,
• Cutlery / beakers / plates / toilet seat / step up stool etc.,
• Mobile Phone (please ensure you are aware of the safeguarding requirements)
• Camera (separate memory card for your childminding business)

Food Safety Agency Information
If you are planning to start up a childminder business that provides food as part of your childminding service, you do not need to register separately as a food business with your local authority. This will happen automatically when you register with Ofsted. This is part of the government’s commitment to reduce the burden on business. You will need to download a ‘Safer food, better business for childminders pack from the Food Standards Agency

Children under five are entitled to a third of a pint of free milk per child per day. Contact the Nursery Milk Reimbursement Unit (NMRU) for more information on how to apply (see useful contacts at the end).

Funded Early Learning (FEL) for 2, 3, and 4 year olds

Funded Early Learning (FEL) is funding paid to eligible early years providers by the Local Authority for delivering FEL sessions for some 2 year olds, as well as all 3 and 4 year olds. You must be registered with Ofsted before you are eligible to offer FEL and you will need to agree to the Terms and Conditions set out in the Sheffield Code of Practice for FEL providers

If you are interested in becoming a Funded Early Learning (FEL) Provider, contact the Childcare Planning team - 

Admissions Policy Templates

The Admissions Policy Template has been produced as a guide to support you to meet the requirements of the FEL code of Practice. You can download a copy here