OFSTED

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills. They are responsible for inspecting and regulating all childcare providers, including childminders. There are certain written records that you will be required to keep dependent on which registers you are on.

For more information about becoming a childminder, Ofsted registration inspection, requirements for written records and our supporting resources, please visit our sister site childmindinguk.com.

The wide variety of resources that have been created for you, have been produced by a team of childcare professionals who have many years’ experience of childcare including childminding and are qualified up to Early Years Professional Status. They have been designed to keep you informed and up to date and to save you the hours it would take to produce them for your self.

They are available to purchase individually from our Childminding UK shop or are all included as part of NCA's Premium Membership.

Written records required if you register on the Childcare Register

  • Personal information of the child cared for on the premises
  • Name, address and telephone number of a parent/guardian/carer of each child who is looked after on the premises
  • Register of attendance
  • Record of accidents
  • Record of medication administered
  • Written permission from parent/carer to administer medication
  • Name, address, and telephone number of every person living or working on the premises where childcare is provided
  • Details of Disclosure and Barring Service checks of every person aged 16 years or over living or working on the premises where childcare is provided
  • Written statement of procedures to be followed for the protection of children
  • Written statement of procedures to be followed in relation to complaints and a record of any complaints made

Written records required if you register on the Early Years Register

  • Personal information about each child including full name, date of birth, name and address of every parent and/or carer who is known to the provider (and anyone else who is known to have parental responsibility for the child)
  • Parents/carers' contact details and details about which parents/carers the child normally lives with
  • Information about each child's development, likes and dislikes before you start caring for them
  • Name, address and telephone number of every person living or working on the premises where childcare is provided
  • Records about vehicles used to transport children
  • Details of who has legal contact with the child if applicable
  • Emergency contact details for parents/carers
  • A daily record of when the child attends including actual times and name of key person
  • A record of any accidents/ injury that happen while the child is in your care and any first aid administered
  • Information about a child's need for medication and permission from parents to authorise the childminder for each and every medicine before any medication is given
  • A record of any medication given while the child is in your care
  • Record of any complaints made and their outcome
  • Record of any physical intervention used
  • Written observations of children's development including parents comments
  • 2 year progress check

Other written records you may like to consider:

  • Written policies and procedures
  • Emergency evacuation plan
  • Written risk assessments. A blank risk assessment pro-forma is available on the good practice page. Childminding UK Duty of Care pack includes a comprehensive risk assessment.
  • Written permission about which adults are authorised to collect the child
  • Permission to seek emergency advice or treatment
  • Permission for child to be included in outings
  • Written contracts with parents stating hours, conditions and payment terms agreed
  • It is important to show records of how you self-evaluate your practice. If you choose not to use the Ofsted Self Evaluation Form (SEF) you will need to produce an alternative method of showing how you reflect and improve your practice
  • Visitors' book. Some childminders choose to have a visitors' book to show how they keep the children safe from unvetted visitors
  • Written permission to take photographs of children.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

All registered childminders must by law comply with the EYFS which sets out the Statutory requirements for:

  • Learning and Development
  • Assessment (including progress check at age two)
  • Safeguarding and Welfare

For further information about this and links to guidance documents please visit our sister site childmindinguk.com. Access the EYFS document here.

Guidance documents include:

  • Development Matters
  • A Know How Guide to the EYFS
  • Early Years Outcomes
  • Frequently asked questions about ratios
  • What to expect, when? Parents guide to learning in the EYFS

Safeguarding

All childminders must understand their responsibilities around recognising and acting upon concerns if they feel a child in their care is being harmed.

NCA's online and face-to-face safeguarding training can be purchased in our Childminding UK shop.

Learn more about Safeguarding

SEN and Inclusion support

Childminders have a duty to treat all children equally according to their needs. They must consider whether a child may have a special educational need or disability which requires specialist support. If you are registered with Ofsted on the Early Years Register must adhere to the following:

The Statutory Framework for the Early Year’s Foundation Stage which states:

Special educational needs

Providers must have arrangements in place to support children with SEN or disabilities. Maintained nursery schools and other providers who are funded by the local authority to deliver early education places must have regard to the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice. Maintained nursery schools must identify a member of staff to act as Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and other providers (in group provision) are expected to identify a SENCO.

Arrangements in Northamptonshire

For childminders working in Northamptonshire your SENCO is your Northamptonshire Childminding Association Childminding Consultant.

Learn more about identifying and supporting children's individual needs

NCA membership

As a Northamptonshire childminder you are an NCA member and have access to the basic benefits.

Our premium membership provides a wealth of documentation, training resources and online learning as well as discounts on insurance and events.

Read about your basic benefits and the premium extras available.

Listening to Children

Any guidance relating to children's services will advise that the voice of the child be heard when devloping that service. Children's views and experiences should consistently be sought when reflecting on the service that you offer and assessing children's learning.

For further information including practical ways of listening to children such as:

  • Observations
  • Visual arts
  • Discussions / Interviews
  • Stories/Role play
  • Questionnaire
  • Using IT equipment

and links to guidance documents please visit our sister site childmindinguk.com

Running a Childminding Business

To effectively run your childminding business you need to keep yourself up to date with changes in childcare legislation, learn from others on what works best for them and seek advice on anything that you don't understand or need to know more about.

It is essential that you collect and prepare all the information you need for your childminding business. The Good Practice Review form helps guide you through what you need. Visit the good practice section of our sister site Childminding UK to access this form and the enhanced version that contains all the links you need.

NCA have also created a Childminder Quality Audit that will help guide you through the requirements. This document will also help you prepare for your Ofsted inspection and support you to be self-reflective in your practice and identify any areas for improvement. This document is tailored for Northamptonshire Childminders and includes links to other information you will need. If you haven't received your copy of the audit, please ask your Childminding Consultant who will be happy to email it to you. If you don't know who your Consultant is, you can find out here.

For those of you who visit libraries with minded children there is an agreed protocol that you need to be aware of. You can access the protocol here. There is also a photograph policy in place in all libraries which states that members of the public are not permitted to take photographs inside the library. You can access the photograph policy here.

The number of childminders who employ assistants is growing. If you are considering whether this is for you, there are lots of things to consider. Visit our sister site Childminding UK for more information about employing and working with assistants.

NCA have a team of highly experienced childcare professionals who can help you do just that. Keep visiting this website to see what new information we have for you, chat to other childminders and never be afraid to call our enquiry line on 0845 838 3724 or email us on info@childmindingnorthants.org.uk if you have any questions. We are always happy to help and there is no such thing as a silly question!

Food

NCA and Grub4life logo

Childminders must provide food that is healthy, balanced and nutritious.There must be suitable facilities for the hygienic preparation of food for children.

For information about healthy eating, food safety, Environmental Health and claiming free milk please visit our sister site childmindinguk.com

NCA's online Food Hygiene training is the only course that has been written specifically for Registered Childminders. It is included in Premium Membership or can be purchased alone in our Childminding UK shop.

Food Allergen Regulations

Childminders have a responsiblity for ensuring that they hold information about allergens in the foods they provide and that parents/carers are aware they can request this information. For more information, please visit our sister site Childminding UK.

Good practice

To offer the best service and maintain sustainability of your childminding business, you should demonstrate good practice at all times. This includes being professional, maintaining confidentiality, adhering to social media advice, behaving in a professional manner, maintaining policies/procedures/record keeping and developing strong relationships with children, parents and other professionals.

For more information about all these aspects, including suggestions for writing your own policies, please visit our sister site childmindinguk.com

Self reflection

Self reflection is a key area of good practice as it helps to ensure you are providing a quality service and meeting all requirements by identifying any areas for improvement/development. NCA has written a Childminder Quality Audit which will help you reflect on your practice and prepare for your Ofsted inspection.

Legal requirements

You need to know about other legislation that applies to childminders:

  • Data Protection Act
  • Discosure & Barring Service
  • Income Tax and National Insurance
  • Other insurance for childminders
  • Environmental Health and Food safety
  • SEN and Inclusion
  • Jury Service

For more information about all these aspects please visit our sister site childmindinguk.com

Marketing

Successful marketing and advertising can help you attract and maintain custom to your childminding business:

  • why, how and where to market your business
  • how the 'four Ps' can help
  • identify your unique selling point

For more information about how to develop a marketing strategy please visit our sister site childmindinguk.com

Services you can offer

Chidminders can offer a variety of different services, including government Free Childcare and Education for 2 year olds (formerly Funded Early Learning) and Free Entitlement for 3 & 4 year olds

Learn more about the services you can offer

Already registered to provide funded places?


Use the links below to access the County Council transition document and guidance.

NCC Transition Document

NCC Transition Document Guidance

Groups and Events

NCA supports and promotes childminders in a variety of ways, including:

  • regularly visiting childminding groups and other groups attended by local childminders
  • organising fun days around the county
  • attending promotional events such as baby shows
  • organising an annual conference and AGM

View upcoming childminding groups and events

Training & professional development

A successful childminding business relies on updating and extending your knowledge. This can be done in a variety of ways, including attending training, completing online training, self reflection and quality improvement schemes.

NCA's online training is included in Premium Membership but also available to purchase alone in our Childminding UK shop.

Find out what training and professional development is available