Pre-registration training for childminders in England

As a registered childminder you'll have a huge impact on families, helping them manage their childcare needs as well as supporting parents in raising their children. At the same time, you'll be running your own small business, investing in your own personal development and, perhaps, managing staff, too.

It makes sense, therefore, to ensure that the training you undertake at the beginning of your career is the very best it can be.

Read on for more detail about:

Preparing to Work in Home-based Childcare course

We recommend that you begin your career as a childminder with the best childminding training course, Preparing to Work in Home-Based Childcare (HBCA). It's a level 3 award that covers every aspect of being a registered childminder - from child nutrition to costs and charges and from meeting children's learning needs to working in partnership with parents and other professionals.

The HBCA course has been created by childcare experts to give you the very best foundations for a successful career as a registered childminder in England.

During the course, you'll cover:

  • Children’s learning and development, including why play is so vital to children's development, and how to promote it
  • Regulations and rules about home based childcare, including the legislation you have to know about
  • Safeguarding, child protection and health and safety in a home-based childcare environment
  • How to promote equality, diversity and inclusion in your setting
  • Day to day care routines for children
  • Working in partnership with parents and other professionals
  • The role of observation has in planning and helping children learn

Unit two of the course will help you to set up a home based childcare business. It covers:

  • Leading and managing a home-based childcare setting
  • Creating a business plan for successful business development
  • Managing your finances, including taxes
  • Registration requirements for home-based childcarers

Free added benefits

When you study the HBCA course with The Childcare Company, you’ll get three months’ free PACEY membership*. This means that as well as access to a host of member benefits, you’ll have all the support you need. This includes not only to access the materials that will help you complete your HBCA course, but that will help you to set up your childminding business as well.

Accessing the training

Some local authorities will fund pre-registration training so it's worth checking with your local early years team before you buy.

If you're interested in taking HBCA pre-registration training, please complete this form.

First aid training

Before you apply to register with Ofsted, you need to have taken a paediatric first aid course - this is one designed for people working with children. The EYFS guidelines for childcarers state that first aid training must:

  • cater for practitioners caring for children in the absence of their parents 
  • be a minimum of 12 hours 
  • cover what to include in a first aid kit for babies and children 
  • demonstrate resuscitation techniques using models of babies and children, and give practitioners a chance to practise on models of each age group 
  • include how to record accidents and incidents appropriately.

PACEY works with Tigerlily Training to provide a suitable paediatric first aid qualification, ideal for your initial training. The course is delivered by experienced tutors with an understanding of childcare settings. Their experience in delivering learning will give you the knowledge, skills and confidence required to effectively administer first aid, as well as meet the requirements of registration. Plus, PACEY members get an exclusive discount, paying just £79.

Your Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

Previously known as a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check, the DBS will help you show yourself to be suitable to care for children. Ofsted requires that you, and anyone over 16 associated with your application (for example, your partner or teenage children) obtains a DBS check. Ofsted's full requirements for DBS Update checks are available in this document. And we've pulled together some useful FAQs to help explain it.

Ofsted also strongly recommends that you join the DBS update service as part of your registration. Being part of the update service helps Ofsted monitor your ongoing suitability to work with and/or be in regular contact with children. You can keep your DBS certificates up to date online, and allows employers to check your DBS status online. This is especially useful if you require a DBS check for voluntary work you do, for example.

Registering for the update service

You can register online for the update service as soon as you receive your application form reference number. Ask for the number when you make your DBS check application. Alternatively, you can register when you receive your DBS certificate, using the certificate number. If you do this, remember that you must register within 30 days of the certificate being issued. Registration lasts for one year and costs £13 annually (payable by debit or credit card only). 

Once you've successfully registered you can view your details online, using the ID number you'll be given with your registration.

When you register for the update, you’ll get an online account that lets you:

  • take your certificate from one job to the next
  • give employers permission to check your certificate online, and see who has checked it
  • add or remove a certificate

Read the detailed guidance for applicants.

If you're awaiting the completion of a DBS check, you can monitor its progress using the DBS tracking service.

Need some more support? Read more in Ofsted's blog where Claire Cook, Head of Quality at Ofsted, describes the steps you need to take to register as a childminder. 

Health declaration

Before you can register, you need to prove that you are "physically and mentally capable of caring for children". You can do this by filling in Ofsted's health declaration booklet. You'll need to take your completed form to your doctor to sign. This will usually cost a fee.

Next steps

Once you have completed your training courses and got your DBS check and health declaration in place, it's time to contact Ofsted to join the relevant registers.