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Becoming a Registered Childminder in Sheffield

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


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 (EYFS revised for 2014) 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.

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.

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 (September 2014). 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 accessed by clicking on the 'Day Care Pre-registration Check List’ in the ‘Downloads’ section at the right of the webpage.

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 drop-ins and workshops held at Children’s 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 Children’s Centre – Tel 0114 203 9307

Primrose Children’s Centre – Tel 0114 205 2723

Darnall Children’s 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 e.g. Level 3 in Preparing to Work in Home – Based Childcare. Taught courses and online courses are provided by local and national organisations. Please note: the Local authority no longer provides Pre-Registration training but this guide includes contact details for other training 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 the training must cover the course content as set out by St John Ambulance or British Red Cross Pediatric First Aid Training and renewed every 3 years. This is specified in the EYFS September (2014).

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 provider.
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:

Other training

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 £50 including Capita handling fee. You will also need 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 obtain 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)

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q How long will it take for Ofsted to register me?
A On average 12 weeks from the initial application to Ofsted to become registered.

Q Is there a demand for Childcare in my area?
A The ‘Childcare Sufficiency Assessment’ (CSA) for Sheffield is an assessment of existing childcare provision in the city, mapping supply of, demand for and gaps in the childcare market. However you should not make your decision based on the CSA as this information can change. You should carry out your own market research to establish if there is a need for your services.

Q How much do I charge per child?
A You are self-employed, therefore you can determine your own charging policy. Remember that what you charge needs to cover the cost of providing the service as well as being competitive locally. It is generally true that delivery of a high quality service gives the best possibility of building a viable business.

Q How many children could I look after?
A The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS) provides guidance about how many
children can be looked after.

Q Can I use an assistant?
A Yes, childminders on the Early Years Register and Compulsory Register can use assistants to help them care for children. Assistants have to undergo the same checks as a childminder to become registered. Childminders who employ assistants are the main carers for the children and are responsible for and monitor the work of the assistant. Assistants can take sole charge of children for particular occasions for up to 2 hours in any one day. This needs written parental agreement. The assistant will also need to have relevant qualifications (eg: First Aid) if they accept sole charge.

Q Why does everyone over the age of 16 years in my home need a Disclosure and
Barring check?
A To ensure the suitability of everyone who comes into contact with children. It also reassures parents that appropriate checks have been made. You will be responsible for the ongoing suitability of all those who work with you or come into contact with minded children. You will also need to ensure you are registered for the Update Service.

Q Caring for relatives’ children?
A If you care for a relative’s or a friend’s child in your own home you do not need to be registered as a childminder unless you are being paid to do this. For more information regarding this see Early Years and Childcare Registration Handbook.

Q Do I have to register with the Inland Revenue?
A All childminders are self-employed so must manage their own business and keep financialwritten records. This includes setting and collecting their own fees, logging costs, e.g. heating / lighting, and paying Tax and National Insurance.

There are regular webinars run by Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise to explain your duties as a self-employed person. Childminding webinars are available from this link:

There are also E-learning products which detail everything you need to know about being a self-employed childminder. You can work through them at your own pace and dip in and out to suit your own needs.

Q I rent my property, can I childmind?
A Yes, with written permission from the landlord that you can childmind from these premises. It's important to get this permission before proceeding with any childminding application.

Q I have a pet, can I still childmind?
A Yes, but it would depend on the type of pet. If you own a dog you must comply with the Dangerous Dog Law which states that certain types of dog are banned in the UK. For more information contact Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). You must also make sure that all pets are healthy and have up to date vaccinations. You will need to consider where the animal will be kept and where the food and litter trays, etc. are in relation to keeping children safe. If you have more unusual pets, e.g.: snakes, birds you should seek advice from DEFRA about how to protect children from any potential health hazards.

Q What will Ofsted be looking for at the Registration visit?
A You will need to show the inspector a range of documents. The inspector will tell you what you need to have ready when they ring you prior to the registration visit. The inspector will interview you as the registered person and check that you are suitable to provide childcare and will discuss any issues that have arisen from the checks.

The Inspector will check your premises, looking at all the rooms you intend to register. You will need to explain to the inspector how you expect to organise your premises and equipment to help you to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage and how you will give the children opportunities to play outside each day.
You do not have to have all of the equipment at the time of the visit, but you must be
able to tell the inspector how you are going to provide it. The equipment must meet
the needs of all the children you may care for, and you must be able to provide it as
soon as you are registered.

The Inspector will check you have Insurance in place to start your business.

Useful Information


Tel: 0300 123 1231
Address: Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester, M1 2WD

Department for Education
Tel: 0370 000 2288
Address: Department for Education. Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester, M1 2WD

First Point
Tel: 0114 273 4567
Address: Howden House, Union Street, Sheffield S1 2SH

Childcare Planning Team, Sheffield City Council
Tel: 0114 281 3785
Address: Floor 7, North Wing, Moorfoot Building, S1 4PL

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
Tel: 0300 020 2190
Address: DBS Customer Services, PO Box 3961, Royal Wootton Bassett, SN4 4HF

Ofsted - Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Application
Tel: 01420 557624 
Address:Security Watchdog – Ofsted Team Cross & Pillory House Cross & Pillory Lane Alton Hampshire GU34 IHL

HM Revenue and Customs

Nursery Milk Reimbursement Unit (NMRU)
Tel: 0844 991 4444
Address: PO Box 504, Leicester, LE94 0AE

Organisations offering Insurance and Membership

PACEY (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years)
Tel: 0300 003 0005
Address: Northside House, Third Floor, 69 Tweedy Road, Bromley, Kent, BR1 3WA

NDNA (National Day Nursery Association)
Tel: 0148 440 7070
Address: National Early Years Enterprise Centre, Longbow Close, Huddersfield, HD2 1GQ

Morton Michel
Tel: 08452 570 900
Address: Alhambra House, 9, St Michael’s Road, Croydon, CR9 3DD

Business Information

Sheffield Enterprise Agency (SENTA)
Tel: 08000 435 522
Address: Albion House, Savile Street, Sheffield, S4 7UD

Skills Funding Agency
Tel: 0845 388 5000

South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau (SYFAB)
General enquiries: 0114 249 4343

Volunteer Centre
Tel: 0114 253 6649
Address: The Circle, 33 Rockingham Lane, Sheffield, S1 4FW


Sheffield Safeguarding Children:

Sheffield Children’s Centres:

Sheffield Multi Agency Support Teams (MAST):

National Children’s Bureau (NCB):


Foundation Years:

Early Education:

Communication Trust:



Preschool Learning Alliance:

About Play:



DFE - The Prevent Duty

DFE - Promoting Fundamental British Values

The Foundation Years - Parents guide to the EYFS

4Children - What to expect, when?

Foundation Years - A Know How Guide - 2yr progress check

Foundation Years - Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

DFE - Early years outcomes

E-learning (free)

Allergy UK – Food Allergy in Babies and Children

You can also follow Sheffield Children’s Centres on Facebook and Twitter

Childminding Agencies

At Home Childcare:

Address:  Home Childcare, Showroom Workstation, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield S1 2BX,

Email: ,

Tel: 0845 0760 042/0115 978 3399


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