Becoming a childminder in Wales
Darllenwch hyn yn Gymraeg yma. Read this in Welsh here
We asked what is the best thing about being a childminder. Here is what childminders in Wales had to say...
If you want to be paid to look after children under 12 in Wales for more than two hours a day, you must register with CIW. Before you register as a childminder you need to have undertaken training and suitability checks. Find out everything you need to know about registration here:
Childminders in Wales are registered by Care Insepctorate Wales (CIW). The first step on your path to becoming a registered childminder in Wales is to attend a briefing session.
The briefing session gives you background information on becoming a childminder in Wales and outlines the registration process, as well as giving you an overview of the legislation you will need to work under when you are registered. They will also provide details of any training, support or funding available, and you will have the opportunity to discuss any queries that you may have.
These sessions may take place in your local authority area and you can check availability by contacting PACEY Cymru on 02920 351407 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PACEY Cymru offer briefing sessions which are free of charge and can be accessed online via an interactive webinar. All you need for this is a computer, laptop or tablet with an internet connection. The session normally lasts an hour. Information, further dates, and the link to book your place can be found at Webinars for Wales.
Essential pre-registration training
Before applying to become registered you will need to undertake the recommended childminder pre-registration training for home-based childcare in Wales unless you already hold an accepted qualification. Please refer to the Social Care Wales qualification framework for the current training requirements.
The pre-registration training course includes Unit 326 Introduction to home-based childcare (IHC), and Unit 327 Preparing for childminder practice (PCP). There will be lots more detail on how to access this training at the briefing session.
For further information please contact the PACEY Cymru office at email@example.com or 02920 351 407.
You'll also need to have done paediatric first aid training suitable for home-based childcarers. Find out more about first aid training in Wales here.
Can I register?
Before you register, you must ensure that you:
- have the right to work in the UK
- are aged 18 or over
- are allowed to work with children - you’ll need to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check beforehand, along with anyone else living with you over aged 16
- are physically and mentally capable of caring for children. Your doctor will have to sign a health declaration form to confirm this.
You can’t register if you’re disqualified, for example:
- if you are barred from working with children
- if you have been refused registration previously
- if you have had your registration cancelled by CIW previously
- if you live in the same place as someone else who is disqualified.
Once you have attended a briefing session and successfully undertaken your pre-registration training, you will need to complete CIW’s application to become a registered childminder.
First five steps to registration in Wales
- Attend a Briefing Information Session
- Complete the childminder pre-registration training for home-based childcare in Wales, which includes Unit 326 Introduction to home-based childcare (IHC), and Unit 327 Preparing for childminder practice (PCP). For further information please contact the PACEY Cymru office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 02920 351 407.
- Make use of the pre-registration support and workshops available.
- Undertake Disclosure and Barring Service Checks (DBS) for you and anyone else over 16 in your home.
- Complete and submit your application to CIW, including the health reference from your doctor and DBS certificate number(s); details of your paediatric first aid training and pre-registration training (see above) certificates.
Download our Steps to Registration Checklist free of charge. It's a quick way of documenting what actions you have/need to complete before being able to register as a childminder in Wales.
The application, information and guidance are available from the CIW website. You'll also find the National Minimum Standards for Regulated Childcare on the CIW website. You'll need to read these carefully to make sure you fully understand the rules and regulations you need to work under.
DBS checks in Wales
Before you submit your completed application form to CIW, you will need to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly known as CRB). This will include any people on the proposed childminding premises aged 16 or over.
CIW have published guidance and the answers to some 'Frequently Asked Questions' in relation to DBS checks, relevant to all childcare and play providers in Wales. This includes the details of payments for DBS checks.
You will need to contact CIW on 0300 790 0126 to request a DBS check. Their on-line process is quick, and most checks are completed within 14 days.
Once the DBS check has been completed, we recommend that you register with the DBS Update Service within 30 days.
DBS Update Service
PACEY Cymru and CIW recommend that all applicants take the opportunity to subscribe to the DBS Update Service during the on-line application process. The Update Service is an online subscription that allows you to keep your DBS certificate up to date and, with your permission, allows CIW to make periodic status checks of your certificate.
The service is available for an annual fee (currently available from £13). Your subscription must be renewed each year if you want to maintain the benefits of the service.
Any DBS requests should be referred to CIW on 0300 7900 126.
Arrange with your GP for them to fill in your medical reference form. This form needs to be completed near to submission date to ensure it is not out of date. There may be a charge for this.
You will also need to complete the Declaration and consent for CIW to contact Social Services Departments
How much will it cost?
In Wales, some local authorities will fund these products and services. Please contact PACEY Cymru for more information.
There may be other associated costs as well, depending on your business model. For example, if you plan to play recorded music, you may need to apply for a joint PPL and PRS for Music licence and you're also likely to need to register with the Information Commissioner's Office which costs around £40.
PACEY Cymru and your Family Information Service can offer help, support and advice for new childminders. Your local authority may even be able to fund your training, insurance and membership of PACEY.
Some local authorities have funding to offer start-up grants for childminders, so make sure to ask. The grants are to help with the costs you'll incur as your start your new childminding business. You can find the details of your local early years team here.
Are you looking to further your qualifications? Funding may be available for level 3 and level 5 courses in Wales.
Join our community
If you're starting on the road to registration as a childminder, come and join our specialist Facebook group Becoming a Childminder in Wales. You'll get support from others joining the profession, newly registered childminders and more experienced childminders share ideas and encouragement.
What happens next?
Once you've submitted your application CIW will undertake a number of checks to evidence your suitability. Following these CIW will then visit your setting to discuss your application for registration and carry out a check of the premises inside and outside. You should have everything ready in place at this visit. This helps CIW to further make a decision on your suitability as a childminder.
The CIW registration guidance gives further information on what the inspector will be looking to discuss and assess.
The CIW inspector will decide the number of children that you are able to care for at any one time, up to a maximum of ten children under 12 years, of which usually no more than six may be under 8 years old, no more than three under 5 and no more than two under 18 months. If you have any children of your own under 12, they will be included in these numbers. You'll find out more at your local Briefing Information Session.
Following this visit you may be required to submit further information to CIW in line with any matters identified at the home visit. Once CIW has written confirmation from you that any matters identified at the home visit have been resolved CIW will make a final decision on your registration. This usually happens soon after the visit.
How long will it take to be registered?
As above, there are a number of steps to complete before submitting your application to CIW. For childminders once your application is submitted, it usually takes around three months to become registered.
When your registration is successfully completed, you will receive a registration certificate from CIW and will then be able to start work as a registered childminder.
To support you in establishing your new childminding business PACEY Cymru has developed a factsheet for newly registered childminders in Wales and offer a free introductory newly registered support telephone call.
Inspections in Wales
Childminders, day care and play services in Wales are registered and inspected by Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW). These inspections are currently unannounced for childminders. CIW will normally telephone the service the week before they intend to inspect, to check the childminder’s availability and their operating times.
Unless concerns are raised about a setting, CIW inspect full daycare services at least once in every two years; and other childcare services - childminders, sessional day care, open access play, crèches and out of school care - at least once in every three years.
CIW inspectors will spend time at the service:
- speaking to children, parents and staff;
- observing children and staff interaction with children;
- looking at child records and other information to check they are regularly kept up to date such as: child protection polices, statement of purpose, first aid certificates, fire risk assessments and DBS certificates;
- considering evidence about children’s development and well-being; and
- discussing feedback with the relevant person/s
Inspections have a strong focus on child development and well-being outcomes. When inspectors visit, they will consider four themes:
- Care and development
- Leadership and management
The full inspection framework is available on CIW's website. Childcare settings in Wales providing funded education for 3 and 4-year-olds and that have previously received inspections from both CIW and Estyn will in future have joint inspections. CIW will inspect on the above themes, and Estyn on the additional themes of Learning and Teaching and Assessment.
Further information about these joint inspections (if relevant to your setting) is available at: Early Years and Childcare - ensuring quality and learning. The new joint inspection framework will streamline the way CIW and Estyn will inspect these services.
The CIW inspector will send their written report to the setting within 28 days. The setting then has 14 days to check the accuracy of the report, which may be amended if the inspector agrees there are factual errors. The final report will also be made available to parents.
Ratings in Wales
CIW have published inspection reports for childminders in Wales since autumn 2018.
All CIW reports of full inspections of childcare and play services will include a rating for each of the four themes considered during the inspection. This means a rating of: Excellent; Good; Adequate; or Poor will be published in respect of the themes of Wellbeing; Care and Development; Environment; and Leadership and Management.
CIW have published further information including the full inspection framework and a guide to inspection on their website.
For news of any changes and for up to date information relating to CIW, please sign up to the CIW Newsletter here CIW latest news.
Regular updates and information are also available through the PACEY Cymru Facebook page and member e-newsletters. PACEY Cymru will also be producing associated guidance around ratings over coming months.
Join your professional association
Joining PACEY is the best way to demonstrate your commitment to your childminding career. As a member of the largest and longest established professional association representing childminders, you can be sure of getting the support, advice, training, backing and information you need.