What is a Registered Childminder?
A Registered Childminder cares for children from babies up to the age of twelve years in their family home. Registration includes an assessment of the person’s suitability to care for children and the suitability of the premises.
- attendance at two pre-registration meetings;
- a ‘fit person’ check, which includes a police check on the applicant and all members of the household over the age of sixteen years;
- a health check and personal references on the applicant;
- a visit to the premises by the Manager of Child Care Registration for an assessment of safety and hygiene of the premises, and suitability of the applicant to care for children;
- a second assessment by the Child Care Officer to ensure adequate age appropriate toys and equipment are available before children are cared for;
- obtaining public liability insurance before a certificate of registration is issued
Depending on a successful audit and the outcome of unannounced follow up and pop in visits, the Registered Childminder will be re-registered on an annual basis. The annual audit includes self evaluation and consultation with parents.
Using child care in a home environment can be more flexible than some other forms of child care. Also, the children can enjoy real-life learning experiences like cooking, shopping, gardening, mealtimes and outings to the park and library. The registered childminders can be spontaneous too an unexpected sunny or snowy day is a great opportunity for outdoor play and learning.
Adult / Child Ratio Registered Child Care
Certain conditions apply when calculating the adult child ratio in registered child care, and this calculation must take into account the persons own children under the age of twelve years who are residing in the family home.
Taking this into account the adult child ratio in Family Child Care is:
- no more than three children below the age of full time school entry can be cared for at any one time, which includes the registered childminders own children;
- if caring for a total of two children under the age of school entry, no more than one child must be below the age of one year;
- if caring for a total of three children under the age of school entry more that one child must be under the age of eighteen months;
- no more that six children under the age of twelve years must be cared for at any one time, and this includes no more than three children below the age of school entry
Managing Children’s Behaviour
Registered childminders must not inflict any form of physical or emotional punishment on children in their care. Such punishment is defined as smacking, slapping, shaking, humiliating a child or forcing them to eat or drink against their will.
Even if parents want this form of punishment used with their child, registered childminders cannot comply with this request. Nor can registered childminders be involved in force feeding or ridiculing a child in any way.
Ways of dealing with unacceptable behaviour must be discussed with parents so the child’s behaviour is handled consistently by both. Ideas on dealing with children’s behaviour can be very different so it is suggested that a time is set aside to talk when the child is not present.
Registered childminders are provided with training on how to manage behaviour in a positive way.
If the registered childminder is aware that the child is not behaving in the usual way, they will discuss it with the parent and ask if there could be any reasons for the change. They expect that if there are any changes to the child’s normal routine or social or family life, parents will let them know.
If there is a Court Order giving one parent more rights than the other, it is important that the registered childminder is provided with this information, so it can be included in the child’s personal details.
Personal Details on Each Child
registered childminders must keep an individual record on each child containing the following information:
- name by which the child is known, both first name and surname;
- date of birth, home address and telephone number;
- parent’s address and telephone number;
- an alternative contact name, address and telephone number in the case of emergencies;
- name of child’s health visitor;
- details of allergies and special dietary requirements;
- record of immunisation
Policy on Illness and Exclusion after Illness
Registered childminders receive training on infection control from the Environmental Health Officer on how to avoid cross contamination when a child in their care has a contagious illness. Children are, therefore, required to stay at home for a period of time after sickness, diarrhoea or childhood illness.
For further exclusion information from Health Protection Department, Health and Social Services, please click here.
It is important that the family child carer is told if a child is taking any medication or has been in contact with anyone with a contagious disease.
Only prescribed medication can be given by registered childminders and written parental permission must be given on each occasion the child requires prescribed medicine or treatment. If a child has an accident before being left in the care of the registered childminder, it is important that the person is given an explanation of the event, so that he/she can watch your out for any after effects of the incident.
ESC Exclusion letter
A registered childminder is encouraged to provide a wide range of experiences for children in their care, which may include visits to shops, friends, pop in groups provided by the local family child care association, parks, the beach and other places of interest. However, they are advised that too many visits can be disruptive to the periods of exploratory free play which is necessary for young children’s learning and development, for example constructive, imaginative and creative play and time to explore for babies and toddlers. These important aspects of learning are disrupted when children spend long periods of time travelling in a car.
As part of the requirements for registration that focus on the healthy all round development of children, registered childminders are required to spend on average no more than 25% of time outside of the home, which is calculated in accordance with the overall time the child is in their care.
Questions to ask a Registered Childminder at Interview
- How long have you been a registered childminder?
- Why did you decide to become a registered childminder?
- Do you have any relevant qualifications?
- What training have you done?
- Do you belong to a registered childminding group or network?
- How many other children do you look after, how old are they and how long have you been looking after them?
- Do you have any children of your own?
- Can you describe a typical registered childminder’s day or week?
- How do you make sure you keep a good working relationship with parents?
- What arrangements do you have for meals and snacks?
- What do you consider unacceptable behaviour, and how do you deal with it?
- What would you do in an emergency involving yourself or one of the children?
- Do you ever take the children out in the car, and if so do you have suitable insurance cover, seat belts and car seats for this?
- Do you and the children regularly go on outings during the week?
- Do you have pets or a garden?
- What do you do about holidays – both ours and yours?
- How do you make sure the individual needs of each child are met?
- Please show me your registration and insurance certificates
- Can I see any references from parents?
- Can I see your policies?
Parent and Registered Childminder Agreement
The JACC annually provide an agreement recommended for each of their members individual use. This should be completed by parent and childminder before childcare begins. For an example of the current agreement please click here.
Registered Childminder Fees
The JACC recently conducted a survey of fees charged by it’s members.
For a summary of it’s findings please click here.