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Childminder information

What is a childminder?

  • A childminder is registered with and inspected by OFSTED or a registered childminder agency
  • A childminder is registered to look after children on domestic premises for more than two hours each day
  • Childminders provide childcare in a home-based environment for children within a wide age range
  • All childminders must comply with the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) when caring for children birth to 5 years
  • All childminders must have an up to date DBS check and meet the needs of Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation stage. Ofsted website [external website] and hold a current paediatric first aid certificate
  • All childminders must have completed training which helps them understand and implement the EYFS before they can register with Ofsted or a childminder agency
  • Many childminders have other childcare qualifications. Childminders are all encouraged to access continuous professional development, some of which can be accessed through the local authority
  • Most childminders pick up and collect from local schools, playgroups and nurseries
  • Childminders can offer access to 2, 3 and 4-year-old government funded places and can also work in partnership with other settings in order to deliver this.

How do I choose a good childminder?

You should feel happy and confident leaving your child. You know your child best – look for a childminder who you feel will be most suited to your child, yourself and your needs

The advantages of choosing a childminder:

  • Your child will be in a home environment.
  • Childminders support families for years as they grow up, siblings are able to be cared for together.
  • Childminders can offer flexible hours and personalised childcare.
  • Childminders can make use of local parks, libraries, drop in groups and other local amenities.
  • Parents who work are able to claim tax relief towards their childcare as childminders are registered with OFSTED.
  • Children have the chance to make good friends with the other children who go to their childminder and the family.
  • As a parent you should ask to view the childminders latest inspection report.

For more details of childminders in your area contact the Families Information Team or complete a childcare enquiry form [online form, opens in new window]

Becoming a childminder

  • A childminder is registered to look after children, to whom they are not related, on domestic premises for reward and for a total of more than two hours per day.
  • Childminders are registered and inspected by OFSTED or a childminder agency.
  • All childminders must have an up to date DBS check, first aid certificate and meet the requirements of the early years and or childcare register.
  • Childminders are self-employed and work in their own home on their own or jointly with another childminder.
  • This type of care offers a personalised and flexible service for service for families and often pick up from local schools, playgroups and nurseries.

Before considering becoming a childminder you should first think about whether there is demand for this service in your area. For further information, you can read OFSTED's pre-registration briefing for people wishing to become childminders [external link].

For further details, please contact the Childcare Development Officers, Andrea Brennan [email protected] 07467461641 and Catherine Monahan [email protected] 07384 459123

We carry out an annual childcare audit every year to identify what provision there is in the town for childcare and the results of the childcare audit continues to show the demands for the following areas are not being met:

  • after school care
  • holiday care for older children
  • childcare for disabled children

The audit also highlighted that demand is higher in certain areas to town (contact us to find out more).


If you would like to become a childminder, you will need to complete training endorsed by the local authority - this is a legal requirement. The training will support you towards becoming registered with OFSTED. There are several providers that you can access training with.

Darlington Borough Council is one training provider, who offers a flexible package at a reasonable cost, which you can access at a time that suits you and the duration can be tailored to individuals.

To become a childminder in Darlington you can access a council-led training course which is delivered electronically, with some face to face meetings, in a flexible way. The full course cost is £150. Paediatric first aid is also required.

For further details, please contact the Childcare Development Officers, Andrea Brennan [email protected] 07467461641 and Catherine Monahan [email protected] 07384 459123

Alternatively you can access online training [external link]. Charges for these services are variable and you should check with the provider.

Are you considering opening a new childcare setting in Darlington?

If so - we can offer guidance and training. Contact the Childcare Development Officers on 07467461641/07384 459123

Further information


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