Becoming a childminder

Step by step guide to becoming a childminder

This guide has been specifically put together for those interested in becoming a registered childminder in Harrow.

  1. Pre-registration Meeting 
  2. Home based childcare training course  
  3. Paediatric First Aid Course
  4. Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2017 
  5. Complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application form 
  6. Health Declaration Booklet
  7. Childminder Application
  8. Support paperwork to help with your Ofsted Registration visit
  9. Public Liability Insurance
  10. Ofsted Registration Visit
  11. You are ready to childmind
  12. Harrow Families Information Service (FIS)
  13. H. M. Customs & Revenue
  14. The Inspection visit
  15. Other considerations 

1: Pre-registration Meeting

Attending a pre-registration meeting will provide you with all the information you need including training courses, environment, legal responsibilities and sharing experiences in order to make an informed decision as to whether you wish to continue the training.

Cost: £25

To book your place please contact Families Information Service on 0208 901 2690

Back to top

2: Home based childcare training course 

Harrow Council have teamed up with Stanmore College to provide a Level 3, home-based specific childminding training course (Preparing to work in Home-based Childcare HBCA) which must be completed before you can register with Ofsted. This course will enable you to understand how to set up a home-based childcare service.

  • The course takes 14 weeks to complete.
  • An initial verbal and written assessment needs to be completed at Stanmore College before you are accepted onto the course.
  • Once you are accepted on to the HBCA course, you can proceed with steps 3 to 5.

Cost: £300-£350 (depending on how many students enrol).

To register your interest please email the Early Years Team: [email protected]

Back to top

3: Paediatric First Aid Course

You will need to have completed a paediatric first aid course that covers infants and young children.  You will have to pay for this course and course fees will vary dependant on the provider.  Learn in Harrow are a recommended provider.

Back to top

4: Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2017

  • Once you are accepted on to the HBCA course you must read, understand and feel confident in delivering the requirements of the ‘Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2017’.
  • We recommend that you purchase an EYFS pack ( as they will be your daily working documents. You can purchase the pack through PACEY (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years).
  • Alternatively, you can download these documents through Foundation Years

If you are not able to demonstrate to the inspector that you have fully understood and can deliver the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage, Ofsted will not be able to register you.

If English is not your first language, you must be able to speak it well enough to teach children in English, call emergency services, keep written records and understand instructions, such as labels for medication.

EYFS pack cost (Optional): Approximately £6.50

Back to top

5: Complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application form 

Before submitting your application to Ofsted, all applicants and any other individuals age 16 or above working or living on your premises are automatically connected with the application and therefore must complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check online. It is recommended that you join the DBS update service

  • The DBS website provides guidance on how to apply for a criminal record check and assists with any related questions. Applicants must only use this service if they wish to apply for the childcare roles as set out in this guidance.
  • Applicants must have a DBS certificate number and have registered with the update service within 19 days from the date the DBS application number was issued to them. Ofsted will not accept any application without a DBS certificate number or confirmation that the applicant has subscribed to the update service. Each person must arrange to have their identity documents checked as set out in the guidance on the website.
  • If the applicant or any other person connected with the application has lived abroad in the past five years they must disclose the countries they have lived in on the application form or declaration and consent form.
  • Where there is no reciprocal arrangement with the country of residence, the applicant will be required to provide extra evidence of their suitability to look after children. The types of evidence required is dependent on the person’s history and what they can supply to demonstrate their suitability.
  • A certificate of good conduct is the most common form of evidence required where people have lived abroad. The country of origin’s embassy should be able to provide the certificate.
  • Where a certificate cannot be obtained, a reference from ‘a person of good standing in their community’ in the country in which they lived, such as a doctor or lawyer will be considered.
  • For any DBS queries contact customer services 0300 0200 190

As part of your HBCA course at Harrow College, this stage will be explained to you in further detail.

Cost: £52.50

Back to top

6: Health Declaration Booklet

  • Prior to applying to Ofsted for registration, you will need to complete a health declaration form.
  • You can access the form via Ofsted
    • Click on become a childminder or nanny
    • Scroll down to the section ‘what to do before you register’
    • Click Health Declaration Form
    • Part of the form must be completed and signed by you.  You must then take the form to your doctor for him/her to complete the rest of the form.
    • You must provide a pre-paid envelope for the doctor to send the form directly to Ofsted.
    • If you wish to see the completed form which your doctor has completed you may be able to make an arrangement with your doctor to see the report prior to being posted.

Cost: Variable - Your doctor will charge for this service (Between £20-150 dependent on GP).

Back to top

7: Childminder Application

Only when you have completed steps 1-5 do you then apply on-line to register as a childminder.

  • Go to Ofsted
    • Click on become a childminder or nanny.
    • Scroll down to ‘How to apply’ and follow the guidance

There are two forms to complete:

  • EYC – this is the main application form for registration as a childminder
  • EY2 – this is the declaration and consent form and an additional form if you choose to have childminder assistants.

Making an application: The on-line process guides you through the application so that you only need to complete the sections that relate to your childcare. The forms have guidance notes to help you.

Security:  Access to Ofsted’s on-line services is managed via the Government Gateway. This is a secure system to protect the data and information you give. You will need to sign up for a Government Gateway account unless you already have one.

The application forms:  Make sure that you and the other people associated with your application complete the forms as fully as possible. Ofsted cannot process your application if the forms have not been completed fully. The other people named in your application should complete their EY2 forms using the Ofsted online system.

It is against the law to knowingly give any information that is false or misleading in an application. You can be prosecuted and fined if you do this.

If you have any difficulty in following the procedure you will need to contact Ofsted directly on telephone number: 0300 123 1231.

  • When Ofsted acknowledges receipt of your application they will send you details of how to pay their fee
  • Ofsted cannot complete your registration until you have paid the application fee. Please note that the fee is non-refundable.
  • Ofsted will arrange to visit you. This is known as a pre-registration visit.

It is useful to download the Early Years and Childcare Registration Handbook Reference no: 150150 to support with registration

Cost: £35 for Early Years and Childcare register, £103 for childcare register only

Back to top

8: Support paperwork to help with your Ofsted Registration visit

When your Ofsted application is completed on-line, please read the following further supporting documentation to prepare you for your Ofsted inspection:

Becoming a Childminder

Further Guidance

Back to top

9: Public Liability Insurance (Cost variable)

  • Childminders must carry public liability insurance once registered.
  • Childminders will need to pay for their own annual insurance cover. The fee may include membership for additional benefits such as online training, and telephone support).
  • If you have assistants, you will be classed as an employer. As an employer, you must also hold Employer’s Liability Insurance.
  • Local Authority approved insurance companies:
    • Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY): telephone number 0300 003 0005
    • Morton Michel: telephone number 0208 603 0900

Cost: £60-£93 depending on the provider you choose

Back to top

10: Ofsted Registration Visit

Once all suitability checks have been completed, the application fee has been paid and the childminder training has been completed Ofsted will arrange for an inspector to visit you. The inspector will telephone to confirm the time of the visit. Whenever an inspector visits please ask for proof of identity.

The inspector will tell you what you need to have ready when they ring you prior to the registration visit.

Assessing your suitability

  • Checking your knowledge of all aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage (if you are registering on the early years register). As the registered person you are responsible for the recruitment of all staff and the learning and development and the safety of children who attend the setting.
  • Checking your premises. The inspector will want to see all the rooms that you intend to use for childminding, and any outdoor space. He or she will ask you how you have identified and minimised risk to children, and how you intend to make your premises a suitable learning environment for children.
  • Checking furniture, equipment and toys. You will need to explain to the inspector how you expect to organise your premises and equipment to help you to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage and how you will give the children opportunities to play outside each day.
  • In the case of childminder applicants you do not have to have all of the equipment at the time of the visit, but you must be able to tell the inspector how you are going to provide it. The equipment must meet the needs of all of the children you may care for, and you must be able to provide it as soon as you are registered.
  • At the end of the visit the inspector will tell you whether they will recommend you ‘suitable’ or ‘not suitable’ for registration.
    You can withdraw your application at this stage if you think it is going to be refused.



  • Congratulations you are now a registered childminder
  • The Harrow Early Years Team are available to support you prior to Ofsted re-visiting

Not suitable

  • Being refused registration disqualifies you from applying in future– so it’s important that you have everything you need in place (criminal records checks, health declaration, first aid certificate and knowledge of EYFS) when it’s time for Ofsted to make a decision.

If Ofsted register you, they will send you a registration certificate and tell you how to get information about what will happen next.

Back to top

11: You are ready to childmind

  • Once you have received your Ofsted Registration Certificate and Public Liability Insurance Certificate you are ready to childmind.

You cannot childmind until you have copies of both these documents.

Back to top

12: Harrow Families Information Service (FIS)

  • Ofsted notify Harrow FIS of all new registrations.
  • FIS will email you a questionnaire requesting details of your vacancies, days, times and age ranges of children and information relating to the childcare you offer.
  • On completion of this form and receipt of your signature (either by post or a scanned email) FIS will advertise your vacancies/details by telephone, printed list and website.
  • You can choose not to advertise your vacancies
  • It is your responsibility to keep Families Information Service informed of your vacancies on a regular basis and any changes to your contact details including mobile numbers and email addresses. Without current contact details, you may miss vital updates relating to your childminding business.
  • Harrow Early Years will contact you via FIS with details of termly forums, annual conferences, training and industry updates.

Contact Families Information Service

Back to top

13: H. M. Customs & Revenue

There are 2 free support tools from HMRC Tax Advice for Childminders and Budget tool for your Self Assessment tax bill if you're self-employed

 You will need to inform H. M. Customs & Revenue of your childminding business.

  • You have up to three months from your first day of childminding in which to register with H. M. Customs & Revenue.
  • Failure to do this may incur a penalty charge.
  • If you have assistants you will need to register as an employer. This is because any employee must be on your payroll.
  • There is advice and guidance relating to HMRC on the Harrow Early Years website or you can contact HMRC directly Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm on 0300 123 1083.
  • Any assistants you employ over the age of 25 must also be paid the living wage. The living wage ensures everyone aged 25 and over receives at least £7.20 an hour (since April 2016) with the figure rising to £9 by 2020.
  • If you become an employer you should also check your responsibility for pensions auto-enrollment.

Back to top

14: The Inspection visit

  • At approximately 30 months after your pre-registration visit, Ofsted will contact you to make a follow up inspection to ensure all that is required is in place, and provide you with an outcome Ofsted grade.

Back to top

Other considerations

Fire Safety

You can seek advice and general information on fire safety matters from your local fire authority. You will have to meet any recommendations made by your fire authority. For a free home fire safety visit please contact: 0800 0284428 to make an appointment.

Planning permission and building control

You can seek advice on planning permission from the Harrow planning department. You must ensure that the local authority building control and/or planning department is satisfied with the standard of any building work undertaken.

Information Commissioner

If you intend to take photographs of children as part of your ongoing observations, you MUST register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) (£35 per year).
The ICO has guidance on the restrictions that childminders and childcare providers have on taking and using photographs of children. Further information can be found on the Information Commissioner’s website.

Back to top

Families Information Service

Lines open 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays. Telephone: 020 8901 2690 (option 1)

Address: Civic Centre
Station Road


Ofsted registers and inspects childcare for children aged from birth to 17 years.

Address: The National Business Unit
Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
M1 2WD

Telephone: 0300 123 1231


Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years

Address: Royal Court
81 Tweedy Road

Telephone: 0845 880 0044