A childminder must be at least 18 years old. In order to become a successful childminder, one needs patience, communication skills and a sense of humor. One also needs a thorough knowledge of health care, child protection issues, safety and hygiene, as well as a strong commitment to high standards. Childminders caring for children under eight must register with Ofsted and receive a clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service.
To register with Ofsted, one must first register with the Families Information Services to receive a pre-registration meeting date. At this pre-registration meeting date, an application pack and information about the standards of the Early Years Foundation Stage are supplied. After the application is completed, Ofsted inspects the home of the potential childminder and conducts an interview to determine if one is suitable to be a childminder. This is followed by a mandatory health check-up. The potential childminder is then required to complete an introductory training and pediatric first-aid course. An Ofsted inspection is then performed at least once every three years after registration.
Clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service is required for the potential childminder and for anyone working in the home over the age of 16. The Disclosure and Barring Service is a government-operated facility that works to prevent unsuitable people from working with children.