Support and guidance for registered childminders
The council works to support Ofsted registered childminders Brighton & Hove.
- If you are looking for a childminder please see the Family Information Service pages.
- To register as a childminder, please see the Becoming a Childminder pages.
This web page contains information to help meet the requirements of Ofsted, the Early Years Foundation Stage and local authority regulations.
There is advice on how to write your childminding documents and policies along with lots of other useful information. You can download templates and planning sheets. We've also included all the important links to other websites to support your childminding practice.
We also have a page about getting out and about, childminder drop ins and ideas for places to go.
Training for childminders
There are a wide variety of training courses for early years providers in Brighton and Hove. As a registered early years provider you can access these courses and book online. Remember that you need to renew your Paediatric First Aid every three years.
As we know it is difficult for childminders to attend courses during the day, we have invested in elearning courses for childminders which can be completed anytime.
Ofsted has also launched a facebook page for childminders - details here.
All information on registration requirements for childminders, including publications, guidance and advice, is provided by Ofsted. They published a new Early Years Inspection Handbook in September 2015 which is a guidance on inspecting Early Years Providers. You can Register for updates so that you receive email notification when documents are published or updated. Remember, it's very important to notify Ofsted of significant changes to your setting. Ofsted expect you to reflect on your practice, and you can choose to use the revised Self Evaluation Form and Guidance to help you.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Early Years Free Entitlement
If you are a childminder caring for children aged 5 and under, you must follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. You can also apply to offer Early Years Free Entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds and, if you have a Good or Outstanding Ofsted grade, you can apply to offer free childcare for two year olds. Some 3 and 4 year olds in receipt of Early Years Free Entitlement are also eligible for the Early Years Pupil Premium. This is additional funding for early years settings to support the development, learning and care for three and four year old children from families in receipt of out of work benefits.
Get detailed information for parents about Free Childcare for Two Year Olds, and watch our short film, Childminders, Free for 2s, showing how childminders can offer an ideal childcare environment for this age group.
Quality Improvement Schemes
Ofsted expect you to reflect on your practice, and you can choose to use the revised Self Evaluation Form and Guidance to help you.
Help with writing your policies
You can use our guidelines to writing policies which tells you why you need policies and what to include. You will also find templates for parental consent forms and emergency permission slips.
Getting your childminding documents organised
You can use the Document Checklist to make sure you have all the relevant documentation in place.
You MUST have up to date Public Liability Insurance. It is also advisable to use official contracts, record forms, and accident and incident books. These are available from PACEY or Morton Michel. Your contracts should include details of who has parental responsibility.
If you process information about your childminding business on a computer, or store digital photographs you will need to register with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO).
The Pre-School Learning Alliance Retention Periods for Records lists requirements and recommendations on the length of time you must retain records. This information can either be stored electronically or on paper.
Safeguarding and keeping children safe
A copy of the Safeguarding letter should be given to the parents of every child in your setting.
Use the Brighton and Hove local safeguarding children web site to ensure you are aware of Local Safeguarding Children's Board procedures. You can also download a copy of the government booklet Working Together to Safeguard Children from here.
We suggest that you read the Themes arising from the Plymouth Serious Case Review. It gives recommendations for those working in early years settings, including childminders, following lessons learned from this case.
From 1 July 2015 all registered childcare providers are subject to a duty to have "due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism". This duty is known as the Prevent Duty. Prevent Duty Departmental Advice complements the statutory guidance and refers to other relevant guidance and advice. Childcare providers can also build resilience to radicalisation by Promoting Fundamental British Values .
You should have a written complaints policy and procedure. You can use the Guidelines to Policies document above to see what to include.
You must keep a complaints log with details of any complaint made against you. You can use the Complaints Log to do this.
Building your partnership with parents
What to give parents gives you an idea of the things you should share with parents. There are lots of other things you could include when you design your own welcome pack.
You should also give parents a copy of Parents' Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework to which you can add your own logo and your own text.
Here are some observation, assessment and planning sheets that you can use or adapt. For support on how to use the forms please contact your Childminding Development Officer. We also recommend you attend Observation, Assessment and Planning training.
- Celebrating Me (Word 62KB) will give you a useful starting point to record information about a child
- The Learning and Development Observation format (Word 31KB), Learning and Development Summary (Word 34KB), and Adult led or supported activity format (Word 29KB) can be used to record observations children's progress and planned activities.
- Prompts for observations (PDF 18KB) gives useful guidance on observing children.
- There are three different suggestions for environment plans; Circles indoor environment proforma (Word 49KB), Circles outdoor environment proforma (Word 46KB) and Planning Sheet for the Environment (Word 35KB).
- For ideas from home, the Childrens Interests for parents (Word 34KB) can be used.
- Plans on how you intend to develop and improve your childminding setting can be recorded on the EYFS Long Term Plan (Word 32KB).
Progress check at age two
When a child is aged between two and three,childminders must review their progress and provide parents/carers with a short written summary of their child's development. The EYFS individual summary 2 yr check is the format that should be used to record this information. Here is an EYFS individual summary 2 yr check example. From September 2015 it has been a statutory requirement to share the 2 year check with a child's Health Visitor. Parents/carers should provide you with the name of their Health Visitor, but if they don't have this information you should send the check to your local Children's Centre Health Visiting Team marked CONFIDENTIAL. Parents will be invited to complete an ASQ questionnaire with their health visitor and when this is completed a summary sheet will be completed. Parents/carers should also give you a copy of the new ASQ3 summary following their child's 27 month development check with their Health Visitor. The ASQ3 summary form is an overview of the Health Visitor check and covers the following areas:
- Gross Motor,
- Fine Motor,
- Problem Solving,
- Personal Social.
It will give you guidance on whether a child's development is on schedule, requires additional learning activities and monitoring, or requires further assessment with a professional. It will also give you information about any follow-up action taken. If you would like a full explanation of the process please contact Sheila Inwards 01273 294525
Health and Safety
Five Steps to Risk Assessment (PDF 226KB) is the Health and Safety Executive guide to writing risk assessments. You can also use the Risk assessment checklist for childminders (PDF 72KB) to identify necessary actions, and the Risk assessment template (PDF 26KB) to write your action plans.
You should have an emergency evacuation plan in case of fire or other emergency, and be aware of the suitable safety precautions you should take to prevent fire. The Fire Safety Advice Centre has information on all aspects of fire safety.
Public Health England have revised their guidance on infection control. This is now published as a guidance rather than a chart. The National Health Service has wide ranging information on all aspects of health care, including advice on bottle feeding, prevention of cot death and flu advice.
Providing food - advice on good practise
The Food Standards Agency have advice and information for childminders. If you register as a childminder with Ofsted, they will automatically register you with your Local authority as a food provider. You can download the booklet Safer Food Better Business for Childminders which will help you to be organised.
Free Milk is available to registered providers under certain circumstances.
Working with others
If you are planning to work with assistants or another childminder you may need to apply for planning permission. In Brighton and Hove if you have more than six children on your premises at any one time then this is classed as intensification of use and planning permission should be sought. You can contact planning on 292222 for any further advice.
If you work with another childminder or an assistant you will need to have a Key Person system in place. The Guidance to a Key Person (PDF 17KB) fact sheet explains this. Also, the Guide to recruiting and managing childcare staff has lots of information to support you.
More information and ways to contact us
Here is a list of useful telephone numbers for childminders in Brighton and Hove.
Join the discussion and get involved
- Get all the latest updates from the Family Information Service