Before beginning your childminding business you will need to ensure you have all legal information ready. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what you need to consider and where to go to for more information.
& National Insurance
Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS)
Data Protection (GDPR)
Ofsted & EYFS
Health & Safety
What Insurance Cover Will I Need?
Public Liability Insurance
This is designed to protect against claims of personal injury or property damage that a child suffers (or claims to have suffered) as a result of your childminding business. Your Public Liability Insurance needs to be in place as soon as you register with Ofsted.
Parenta works alongside a highly reputable company called Morton Michel which has over 53 years’ experience in providing specialist childcare insurance.
Home & Contents Insurance
Your home and contents insurance will need to cover you for accidental damage caused by children in your care and their families. You should speak to your insurance company to make sure this is in place. Please remember that you will need to have confirmation from your Mortgage Company or landlord that you can run a childminding business from your home.
To comply with EYFS requirement 3.66, you will need car insurance if you are planning on transporting children in your care for days out, school runs etc. Please make sure you check with your car insurance company that you are covered for social, domestic, pleasure AND business use. (Business Class 1 insurance).
Have Appropriate Insurance Cover
You must have appropriate insurance cover, including Public Liability Insurance. Parenta work in partnership with Morton Michel. Get a free review here.
"Our childminder insurance is one of the most comprehensive policies on the market for registered childminders who have children in their care, up to the age of fifteen, on a full daily or part-time basis."
You will need to register yourself as ‘self-employed’ with HMRC if you will be running your own childminding business.
If you are self-employed, it is your responsibility to pay your own Tax and National Insurance to HMRC and keep all accounting information up-to-date including income and expenditure. The Finance Act 1994 and the Finance Bill 2016 state that accurate accounting information must be kept. Further information on this can be found on the HMRC website.
National Insurance Contributions
There are two different types of National Insurance contributions. The amount you are required to pay is dependent on how much you earn per year. Typically, most childminders will pay Class 2 but it will be higher, the more you earn.
Class 2 National Insurance – if your profits are £6,205 or more a year
Cost - £2.95 per week (rate for tax year 2018-2019)
Class 4 National Insurance – if your profits are £8,424 or more a year
Cost - 9% on profits between £8,424 and £46,350 (rate for tax year 2018-2019)
There are certain allowable expenses that HMRC have agreed for registered childminders, please see further information here.
If you are currently receiving benefits from the government, you will need to inform the agencies you are with that you are starting your own business. Any benefits that you are currently receiving maybe stopped.
Childminders in Rented Accommodation
If you live in rented accommodation, you will need to speak with your landlord and check that your rental/leasehold agreement allows you to run a childminding business from the property. Please ensure that you get written permission from the landlord before moving forward with registration.
It is important to note that you may need to make changes to the property to provide a suitable environment for young children. For instance, adding stair gates, making sure all cupboards are security-locked etc. You will need to make sure your landlord is also happy for you to make these changes.
Childminders with a Mortgage
If you have a mortgage on the property, you will need to check that there isn’t a clause in the agreement preventing you from running your business from your home.
You may be required to make some small home improvements so that your property is suitable for young children, for example fixing broken fencing in the garden, installing security, adding stair gates etc.
Register as Self Employed
You will need to register yourself as self-employed with HMRC if you will be running your own childminding business.
Check Your Allowable Expenses
In calculating any taxable profits, HMRC allow as deductions from childminding income expenses which are directly attributable to childminding.
Disclosure & Barring Sevice (DBS)
A DBS check will be required for both yourself (the childminder) and anyone who is 16 years-old or older living or working in the property. This includes:
- All household members - any members of the family, any members of the family who live away at University but come home to visit (even if it isn’t that often), lodgers, housemates and children over the age of 16.
- Anyone who may come into the property, during childcare hours, to work either as a childminding assistant, regular cleaner etc.
What is the DBS?
Its sole purpose is to carry out enhanced checks on anyone working with children, to make sure the children are safe. The checks themselves usually take up to 6 weeks and cost £52.10 each. The certificate that you receive at the end of the process is needed to be able to register with Ofsted and can be available to show to parents if necessary.
Did you know? The DBS helps employers make safer recruitment decisions on more than four million people every year?
Apply now at the Ofsted DBS website. You will need:
- A debit or credit card.
- Your home addresses for the past 5 years.
DBS checks usually take about 6 weeks and cost £52.10. Once you have applied online, you will need to complete an Identity Checking form. This needs to be verified by a professional (not a relative) such as a teacher, doctor etc. The identity Checking Form must be submitted within a month of the online DBS application.
Once complete, you will be given a certificate that you can show to parents or employers. This will need to be shown to Ofsted on registration.
We recommend you also register for the DBS update service. Registration cost £13 per year.
If you don’t join the DBS update service and there are issues or mistakes that delay your application, you might have to get a new DBS check.
If you have lived abroad in the last 5 years
If you or anyone connected with the application have lived abroad in the last 5 years, Ofsted needs to know which countries you or they have lived in on the application. This is for safeguarding purposes so you will need to be prepared to supply all addresses on application.
Apply for DBS Check
A DBS check will be required for both yourself (the childminder) and anyone who is 16 years-old or older living or working in the property.
Complete Identity Checking Form
Once you have applied for a DBS check online, you will need to complete an Identity Checking form.
Register for DBS Update Service
We recommend you also register for the DBS update service. Registration cost £13 per year.
GDPR Data Protection Requirement
On 25th May 2018 the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) alongside the new DPA (Data Protection Act) became the new EU required legislation for Data Protection (replacing the Data Protection Act 1998). All Early Years Settings must follow and adhere to the news rules on how to store and share both manual and electronic data.
Information Commissioners Office (ICO)
The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent authority which reserves the right for public information to be accessible and promotes data privacy for personal information.
As a childminder, if you will be processing personal information electronically for your setting (this includes taking photographs of children in your care using a digital camera) then you need to notify the ICO.
Further information can be found here:
- If registered in England call – 0303 123 1113
- If registered in Wales call – 029 2067 8400
- If registered in Scotland call – 0131 244 9001
- If registered in Northern Ireland call – 028 9027 8757
What are the requirements of GDPR?
Under the GDPR regulations you are required to:
- Let the parent/carer know what data you have - and why you are storing it.
- Only collect the data you need.
- Manage the parent/carer/child’s data in a structured way.
- Store all personal and sensitive data securely.
- Know who is responsible for collecting, handling and processing data.
- If information is shared with others you need to record who it has been shared with, what has been shared and why it was shared.
- Know how data is being used by third party services that you may use. Ensure you know what data is being collected, why it is being collected, how it will be used, how it is processed and if the information is then shared with anyone.
- Keep all data accurate and up-to-date.
- Allow parents/carers the right to access, process and erase their data.
- Promote a security-aware culture for all staff and clients.
Register for Data Protection Fee
Since 25th May 2018 every organisation or sole trader who processes personal information must pay a data protection fee to the ICO, unless they are exempt.
Data Protection Self Assessment
This self assessment toolkit has been created with small organisations in mind. Find out what you need to do to make sure you are keeping people’s personal data secure.
All Ofsted registered childminders must:
- Be registered on the Early Years and/or the Childcare Register.
- Hold an up-to-date paediatric first aid certificate.
- Be Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checked.
- Complete an introductory childcare course.
- Ask your doctor to fill in the health declaration booklet.
- Have appropriate insurance cover, including Public Liability Insurance.
- Deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for children on the Early Years Register.
- Have two references.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
If you want to join the Early Years Register to look after children under the age of 5, you must follow the safeguarding and welfare and learning and development standards set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. This training needs to be in place before you apply to Ofsted.
Special Educational Needs & Inclusion
It is your duty and responsibility to follow the guidelines set out by the Government to provide help for children with special educational needs and disabilities. Your Local Authority may also have their own additional requirements for you to follow also known as a ‘Local Offer’.
What is a Local Offer?
A Local Offer is part of the SEND requirement for all Local Authorities to publish and provide provisions they expect to be available for across education, health and social care for children and young people who have SEN or a disability.
The Local Offer has two key purposes:
- To provide clear, comprehensive, accessible and up-to-date information about the available provision and how to access it.
- To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations - by directly involving disabled children and those with SEN and their parents - and disabled young people and those with SEN, and service providers in its development and review.
Further information about The Local Offer can be found here.
Register with Ofsted on Early Years/Childcare Register
It should take about 30 minutes to fill in the form and up to 12 weeks to process your application. It usually costs £35 to register with Ofsted.
Complete Health Declaration
The Health Declaration Form is used to see if you have any underlying health issues that may affect you looking after children. Please download and hand to your GP for completion.
Find Your Local Offer
Find your local authority and local offer, which sets out in one place information about provision they expect to be available for children and young people in their area who have special educational needs.
Food & Drink
If you have a childminding business and are looking to provide food/drink you must inform Ofsted. Ofsted will then pass your information onto your local Environmental Health Officer (EHO). You may have a visit from the EHO to check you are complying with laws.
You can find further information on the safe preparation and storage of food here.
It is a legal requirement to provide correct allergen information and to give the ingredients list of food and snacks you will provide.
As a registered childminder it is your legal requirement to safeguard all children in your care. You must keep up-to-date with the latest policies and procedures which must be strictly adhered to at all times.
More information can be found on the Working Together to Safeguard Children Guide.
If you have concerns regarding the safety or welfare of a child you must use the guidance from LSCB (Local
Safeguarding Children Board) to obtain further help for the child in question.
If an allegation of child abuse is made against you or a member of your family then you must contact Ofsted and the Designated Officer at your Local Authority straight away to report it. Further details can be found from your local LSCB.
The Prevent Duty
The aim of The Prevent Duty in the Counter Terrorism & Security Act 2015 is to reduce the threat of terrorism in the UK by actively stopping individuals from becoming drawn into a terrorism group.
The early years sector is possibly one of the most vulnerable areas of society, therefore any childcare provider needs to be aware of potential safeguarding or child protection issues a child in their care may face.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) clearly defines that childcare providers need to keep children safe and promote their welfare. As a childcare provider, you will be expected, as part of your duty of care, to protect all children in your setting from potential harm. Current Ofsted inspection requirements for early years settings also reinforce this.
‘The Prevent Duty’ is focused on the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. The criteria outlines that all childcare providers have a duty to prevent children and young people from being drawn into terrorism and have to demonstrate this through their policies - , identifying children at risk and reporting these where applicable.
The Prevent Duty works alongside the ‘working together to safeguard children’ and ‘keeping children safe in education’ publications.
In addition to this, providers will be expected to promote and show their understanding of fundamental British Values.
What are British Values?
As a childminder you will be expected, by Ofsted, to actively promote the fundamental British Values. These are:
- The Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual Respect, and tolerance of, those with different faiths and beliefs
The aim is to ensure children treat others with respect and tolerance regardless of their background.
Download Free Food Safety Pack
Free food safety management pack for registered childminders on domestic premises who usually provide meals and drinks for the children in their care.
Keep Up-to-Date with Safeguarding Publications
As a registered childminder it is a legal requirement to safeguard all children in your care. Keep your policies and procedures up to-date and adhere to them at all times.
Promote British Values
As a childminder you will be expected, by Ofsted, to actively promote the fundamental British Values. Download our free guide How to Promote British Values.