Frequently asked questions

Click the headings to see frequently asked questions for that section

Registration questions

How do I become a childminder?

To become a registered childminder you will need to complete a level 3 childcare qualification, a 12 hour paediatric first-aid course and attend a pre-registration briefing session. Contact your local authority to see where you can obtain the relevant courses. PACEY recommends The Childcare Company's level 3 childcare qualification online. This is called the L3 Award in Preparing to Work in Home-Based Childcare (HBCA). Once all the relevant courses have been completed you can now apply to become registered with Ofsted in England or CIW in Wales.

If you are based in England please contact Ofsted on 0300 123 1231. If you are based in Wales please contact CIW on 0300 7900 126.

I have a level 2/3/4 childcare qualification. Do I still need to complete the HBCA course?   

We would always recommend that you contact your local authority to clarify what courses and qualifications are accepted. Every area is different and has different regulatory requirements.

How do I become a nanny?

You'll need to complete an introductory childcare training course and an accredited 12 hour paediatric first-aid course if you want to register as a nanny. You’ll also need to obtain an enhanced DBS disclosure. Contact Ofsted or CIW to become registered on the voluntary register. There's more information on becoming a nanny here.

How long does the registration process take?  

Once you have completed the relevant qualifications and courses, registration can take up to 12 weeks. Please note that your PACEY public liability insurance must be validated with your registration number within 90 days. Please contact us if your registration is delayed.

Do I have to be a registered nanny to join PACEY for membership and Public Liability Insurance?       

No. However, we do recommend that you become registered. If you choose not to register, we can still offer membership and public liability insurance. Registered nannies pay slightly less than non-registered nannies. You must provide your DBS Enhanced Disclosure number and your paediatric first-aid certificate expiry date.

I am currently still in the process of registering, can I join PACEY now?

If you have completed your qualifications and are still in the process of registering, you can join as a member and purchase Public Liability Insurance. Once your insurance commences we ask that you provide us with your registration number within 90 days so we can validate the insurance for you.

Becoming a member of PACEY

How much does it cost to join?  

Different prices apply to different types of member. Please see the Join page for more information and current prices.

Can I pay by instalments?

Yes, you can pay in one lump sum or with four monthly payments. Read more on our Join page

What is included in PACEY membership?

PACEY membership offers a comprehensive support package for all childcare and early years professionals. Discover more about the many member benefits here.

Do I have to use PACEY paperwork?

Using PACEY paperwork is not compulsory. Our products are all designed to support the work of registered childminders, nannies and nursery workers in England and Wales with the differences in registration requirements reflected in our bespoke and dual language products.

Using PACEY products may mean that you have access to extended benefits such as legal protection. If you practice in Wales please select the bilingual versions to ensure that you have the product to best support you. Visit the PACEY shop to buy products.

I am a Nursery Worker, what details do you need from me?

To join as a nursery worker member we need your home address and contact details plus the name of your workplace. We also require your DBS number and the expiry date of your DBS check. This information may be supplied within 90 days of joining PACEY.

I am a Non-Registered Nanny, what details do you need from me?       

To join as a nanny member we need your home address and contact details. We also require your DBS number and the expiry date of your DBS check and your Paediatric First Aid Certificate expiry date. These details may be supplied within 90 days of joining PACEY.

Business

How many children am I insured to look after?

Our indemnity covers you to look after a maximum of 12 children of any age at any one time and up to 18 children under 8 if the childcarer has two assistants working with them. If you are a registered childminder you must ensure that you are following the requirements of the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in England or the National Minimum Standards for Regulated Childcare in Wales.

A child has had an accident in my care. What should I do and who do I need to inform?

If a child has an accident in your care, once you have dealt with the incident and notified the correct authorities, you will need to contact us to obtain an accident claims form. This can be done either by calling us on 0300 003 0005 or by downloading the accident claims form from the members area. Please complete and return the form with all relevant documentation e.g. a copy of your registration certificate, a copy of your Public Liability Insurance certificate, and a copy of any other relevant documentation.

Childminders should report any of the following to the Health and Safety Executive that happens to a member of the public, including a parent or a child, or an employee on your premises:

  • Deaths
  • Major injuries which include fractures, amputation, dislocation and loss of sight (even if just temporary)
  • Accidents resulting in an over seven day injury
  • Notifiable diseases
  • Dangerous occurrences
  • Gas incidents

Can I take on a childminding assistant?

Yes, if you are on the Early Years and/or Childcare Register in England you are able to employ assistants to help you care for the children.

You can employ more than one assistant as long as there are no more than three people caring for the children in one day. You are the main carer for the children and are responsible for and must monitor the work of any assistant. If you employ an assistant you will need to complete a Declaration and consent form for all individuals connected with a registered provision (form EY2) and return this to Ofsted. PACEY offers membership for childminding assistants.

You will also need to display an Employer's Liability Insurance certificate. If you’re a member of PACEY who holds PACEY public liability insurance, underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc, this already includes employer’s liability insurance. However, you will need to contact PACEY to activate this element of your insurance and obtain a certificate.

How much should I charge?  

Being self-employed, you are free to negotiate your own fees and working conditions. When deciding on how much you are going to charge you will need to think about the following:

  • The area in which you live
  • What other settings charge in your area
  • What is included in you service offer, for example meals or outings.

Do I have to register with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)?  

It is likely that if you keep records on a computer, or any digital format (including smartphones and photos on digital cameras), you will need to register as a Data Controller with the ICO. If you are in any doubt about whether you should register, you can call the ICO on 01625 545740 for clarification. More information is available for PACEY members in MyPACEY. 

You also need to work in line with GDPR requirements. There's more information about GDPR here.

I don’t seem to be able to find work – can you help me advertise my vacancies?

Yes! Take a look at SearchChildcare. With exclusive features for PACEY members, you'll be able to advertise your childcare service online. Plus it's completely free to you and the parents who use it. 

I have lost or damaged my Public Liability Insurance certificate, how can I obtain a new one?

Download copies of your certificates free of charge in MyPACEY, your members’ area of the website. Alternatively call us on 0300 003 0005 to request a replacement. A £5.00 administration fee will apply.

How often do my policies need updating?

Good working practice would be to update your policies every 12 months or if there is a change to your setting arrangements. PACEY has produced a series of policy template and sample policies and procedure documents which you can refer to for ideas when writing your own. These are only available to PACEY members and have been written to meet the requirements of the revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for childminders in England.

Childcarers in Wales can see a guidance document to help you write your policies in line with CIW requirements.

How long do I need to keep paperwork for?

Children’s records

Standard cases - recommended: six years after the child has left the setting.

In Wales, the minimum retention period is three years from the last date the child attended the setting.

Please note special circumstances below

PACEY recommends that you take legal advice in special circumstances.

We recommend retaining records until the child reaches 25 years of age, but after that period the records should be destroyed.

You should also take advice about making and retaining copies, particularly if you are required to provide information to a third party.

Financial records:

Standard cases – five years following the self-assessment deadline of 31 January.

How often should I have a DBS check done?

A DBS check only needs to be updated if there is an event that could change your circumstances. DBS replaced CRB in 2012. Remember that anyone living with you over the age of 16 will need to have a DBS check.

General questions

How do I access the MyPACEY members area?

Instructions for accessing MyPACEY are available here.

I have not received my membership and insurance documentation.

Membership and insurance documentation takes 14-21 working days for delivery. Visit MyPACEY to download and print your membership and insurance documentation for free. If it has been longer than 14-21 working days since you renewed your membership and insurance or joined PACEY, please call us on 0300 003 0005 or email support@pacey.org.uk

I have not received my order that I placed with the shop.

Merchandise orders take three to five working days for delivery. If you have not received your products within this time frame please call us on 0300 003 0005. Personalised badge orders take up to 21 working days.

How can I renew my membership and insurance?

We'll remind you when it's almost time to renew your membership. You can read more about the renewal process here.

I need to update my contact details, how do I do this?

We recommend that you keep your details up to date so that we can keep you informed and so that your membership and insurance remains valid. You can update your details in MyPACEY. You will then be able to update the details we have stored on our system.

How can I sign up to receive the e-newsletters and other emails from PACEY?

As long as we have your correct email address you will receive our news e-bulletins. If you are experiencing any difficulties with this please call us on 0300 003 0005 or email support@pacey.org.uk. You can update your contact details here.

Training

Will my Local Authority accept the Child Protection course?

All Local Authorities have Safeguarding Boards, who set their own requirements. You will need to check the requirements in your area. Some local authorities do insist their registered childminders have a more in-depth knowledge which sometimes requires additional training.

Can I complete my first-aid course online?

You must undertake a 12 hour paediatric first aid course. We recommend first aid training from Tigerlily Training who offer a blended course. This means that you will do half of the course online, the theory and understanding elements. The other half covers the practical elements of first aid training. This will ensure you have the adequate knowledge and skills to manage a range of paediatric emergency first aid situations as well as illness and injury. Ofsted requires that first-aid training must include sufficient practical training and that resuscitation and other equipment should include baby and junior models as appropriate.

How do I book a place on a first-aid course?

PACEY members can book a local first-aid training course through Tigerlily Training, where they get an exclusive discount.

How do I find out which courses are approved?

In England, the Ofsted guidance requires that childminders do an introductory course. This no longer has to be approved by the local authority. However, it is the childminder’s responsibility to check that the course they wish to do meets the required standards.

Are refunds on PACEY training courses available?

Refunds are available as set out in the PACEY cancellation rights policy.

Can I childmind in someone else’s home?

If you want to begin childminding from someone else’s home you will need to contact Ofsted on 0300 123 1231. Ofsted is the regulatory body for childminders in England and they are responsible for inspecting childminders homes. 

You may want to read about working as a childminding assistant.

I did an childminding course back in 2006. How long is this certificate valid for? Do I need to do another course?

There have been many changes in the childcare sector since 2006, including the introduction of the EYFS framework in England, so a local authority is likely to want to see some evidence of your continuous professional development around the framework, for example. We would recommend looking into the HBCA training course to refresh your skills.

The best thing for you to do is speak to your local Development Worker or local authority contact.

What training do I need to do to become a nanny?

There is no legal obligation for a nanny to do any training. However, PACEY recommends nannies sign up to the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register and to do this they need to do a level 2 introductory childcare course. PACEY’s HBCA is a level 3 childcare course.

Do I need to do any training if I’m looking after older children?

8s and over childminders do not need to be registered or inspected by Ofsted, however, you can choose, in England, to join the Ofsted Childcare Register. In Wales, you must be registered with the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) to care for children up to the age of 12.

I have a degree in Early Childhood Studies which qualifies me to work with children. Would I still have to complete the HBCA course in order to become an officially registered childminder?

You will need to contact your local authority to ascertain what training they require you to undertake as an introductory course. Because childminders work in a home-based setting, which is different from working in, for example a nursery, local authorities often require them to take an introductory course. 

Do you have to childmind in your own home?

Childminding is done in your own home, although you may work up to 50% of your time in a non-domestic setting under the same registration. You might also childmind together with another provider and work out of one of the two childminder's homes. You can find out about working as a childminding assistant here.

Insurance

Am I covered to use an EPI Pen?

Yes, you will be covered to use an EPI Pen provided that you have the following:

  • Training to the same standards as the parent(s) of the child in your care
  • Risk Assessments
  • Written parental consent forms

What guidance do I need to follow with regards to trampolines and bouncy castles?

When you have a trampoline or a bouncy castle in your setting you will need to ensure that you have risk assessments in place, have obtained written parental consent, the manufacturers guidelines must be followed and the children must be supervised at all times.  

What should I do if a child in my care has a splinter?    

Red Cross advice is that if the splinter can be gripped with tweezers then it should be removed. If it is embedded, then the parents or an appropriate medical professional should treat it.