What do childminders do?

Childminders offer professional home-from-home childcare and early education, looking after small groups of children of different ages and from different families.

Childminders are perfectly placed to support the early learning and development for children of all ages, working closely with parents to provide bespoke childcare. 

When you're working with small children, no two days will be the same. Childminders are also running small businesses, so each setting will be different, however, a childminder's typical day is likely to include: 

  • creative play, reading, mark-making, and storytelling with little ones, supporting early language development, and helping children develop their creativity and imagination
  • cooking with and for the children, providing valuable real-life learning experiences and healthy, nutritious meals and snacks
  • taking children to and from nursery, school or their other settings, activities and clubs, working with other childcare professionals and parents to provide a coordinated approach to supporting each individual child
  • observing children's progress and working with parents to support their child's ongoing learning and development.

Officially, if you are paid or rewarded to look after one or more children under the age of 8 in England and under 12 in Wales, for more than a total of two hours a day in a domestic setting (normally your own home) then you must register as a childminder.

In England, registered childminders are inspected by Ofsted. The Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) inspects childminders in Wales. Ofsted and CIW are there to ensure that childminders provide a safe and stimulating environment for the children that they care for.

A dynamic career

Childminding is a dynamic and evolving career. Registered childminders are usually self-employed and run their own business. Many go on to expand their business and employ childminding assistants so they can care for more children at once.

When you’ve got your new business up and running, there are plenty of courses and training opportunities that will develop your knowledge and confidence.