Childminding as a Career
Please note that this refers to Childminding within Northern Ireland only.Pre Registration Briefings
Are you interested in caring for children?
Can you provide a safe, stimulating environment within your home?
Childminding offers the opportunity to:-
What Is A Registered Childminder?
A Registered Childminder is:
"a person who looks after 1 or more children under the age of 12, for more than 2 hours per day, on domestic premises, for reward" - (Children (NI) Order 1995)
- Registered Childminders are self employed daycare providers who work in their own home to provide care and education for other peoples children within a family setting. They are inspected and registered by Social Services on a regular basis.
- Registered Childminders may be registered to care for up to 6 children between the ages of 0 - 12 years of age (including their own children)
- Only Registered childminding is eligible for the Childcare Element of the Working Tax Credit for working parents
What does registration mean?
A Childminder MUST BY LAW register with the local Health and Social Services Trust. The purpose of registration is:
- To protect children
- To provide reassurance to parents using childcare
- To ensure that childminding services meet acceptable standards
To achieve registration a Childminder is required to comply with standards of safety, equipment, numbers of children etc. The home environment is checked to ensure that it meets the standards required and that it is suitable to care for children. References and health checks are required as are criminal record checks on all individuals in the household over the age of 10. The Children (NI) Order 1995 states that registration should be completed within three months of receipt of the completed application form. Following on from registration, childminders are inspected annually by the Health and Social Services Trust.
NICMA recognise that childminding is a professional day care service and as such, the registration process is the first step towards the provision of quality childminding.
Benefits Of Registered Childminding.
Childminding is a unique daycare service for children aged 0 –14 years in that it supports the effective learning of children in their early years by providing opportunities for individual attention as well as the rich learning environment of the home and local community.
If you enjoy working with children and can provide a safe, stimulating, positive environment in your home, then childminding could be the career for you?
Your first step is to contact your local Early Years Team and complete a Childminding Enquiry form. On receipt of this form, your name will then be forwarded to NICMA and you will be invited to attend a PRE-REGISTRATION BRIEFING SESSION, which will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed choice about childminding as a career.
This session will provide you with information on the role of the registered childminder, the registration process and a brief introduction to what is involved in running your business. Following the information event, if you still wish to proceed you will be given an application form and all necessary vetting forms to continue.
Minimum Standards for Childminding and Day Care for Children Under Age 12
The Minimum Standards for Childminding & Day Care for Children Under Age 12 which were launched in July 2012 and will ensure quality child care for all children and parents who use registered services. For the first time, they mean that all parents and children who use registered child care can expect to receive a consistent minimum standard of care, no matter where they are in Northern Ireland.
The standards will be used by Health and Social Care Trusts to register and inspect childminding and day care services for children under age 12.
The Standards state that all registered childminders must attend training in 3 core areas:
- Health & Safety
- Child Protection/Safeguarding
- First Aid
A copy of the Standards & the Implementation Guidance can be found at the following link: http://www.hscboard.hscni.net/publications/Policies/031%20DHSSPS%20Early%20Years%20Standards%20-%20July%202012%20-%20PDF%20879KB.pdf
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Registered Childminder, contact NICMA for a free information pack: "How to become a Registered Childminder" or download NICMA's booklet 'Childminding as a Profession - a guide to registration'.
Please note that this information pack applies to legislative requirements specific to Northern Ireland
The Business Side of Childminding
Please note that a new tax year began on 6th April 2015 - Further information on what has changed (including personal allowances) can be found in NICMAs Getting Off to a Good Start Booklet, available for members free of charge in the members area.
Got a lot of questions about tax, National Insurance, business records and expenses?
This online tutorial from HMRC will build your confidence by guiding you through everything you need to know to get started. There are useful tips from others who have been where you are now and practical case studies to help you along the way.
Webinars highlighted this month are:
10 December 2015 at 7.30pm using this link: HMRC Childminder webinar