The Ofsted health declaration form is just one item on what can feel like a very long ‘to do’ list when you’re thinking about becoming a childminder. Not only do you need an enhanced DBS check that’s up-to-date, you’ll need specific training in safeguarding and paediatric first aid, in-depth knowledge in the EYFS, food hygiene, and safe sleep. Oh, and you’ll need to love working with children.
But another important item is the Ofsted health declaration form. Childminding agencies like Koru Kids can help you fill it in, and we even help with the costs. But even if you go directly to Ofsted, you will still need to complete the form. So what is it, why do you need it, and how do you get one?
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What is an Ofsted health declaration form?
It’s quite simply several pages of your medical history. It asks questions about specific health issues in your past and present. It will ask about conditions like:
- Anything that affects your physical ability to walk, balance, bend etc.
- Anything that affects your hearing or vision, even with aids
- Depression, panic attacks etc.
- Anything that causes excessive drowsiness
- Heart problems and diabetes
and much more. The form also asks about any medication you are currently taking, or any treatment you are receiving.
Why do childminders need to fill in a health declaration form?
If you don’t know why you are being asked to fill in the health declaration form, It can feel intrusive, and unnecessary. But if you think about it, you are about to look after other people’s children. You will be on your own with them a lot, unless you take on an assistant. And it could be as many as 6 children (though only 3 per adult with Koru Kids).
Childminding is work that requires you to be physically able to carry children, help children, run after children, hear and see children clearly to keep them safe and communicate well with them. This form is by no means a discriminatory measure. It’s all about children’s safety and wellbeing. Thankfully, most people will pass Ofsted’s requirements, and be able to become childminders.
Where do I get a health declaration form?
It depends on the route you are taking to become a childminder. If you are registering to be a childminder directly with Ofsted, you will find a form on the Gov.uk site as part of the many steps in an Ofsted registration process.
If you are doing your training and checks with a childminding agency like Koru Kids, we will send the form to you at the right time in your application process, and answer any questions you might have about filling it in. Just make sure you have answered it honestly. It’s really important that anyone looking after children is able to do so safely.
What happens after I have filled in my Ofsted health declaration form?
You bring the form to your surgery, where you are registered with a GP. You generally don’t need an appointment for this (phew!). Just bring it into reception, and leave it there for your GP to complete and sign. It can take a while, so if you want to do this as soon as possible. If you are registering to become a childminder with Koru Kids, we will let you know when to start on your health declaration.
Is a health declaration form for childminders free?
Sadly, it often costs you to get this form completed and signed by your GP. With some surgeries it’s free, but it can cost up to £90–£100. Keep this in mind, and make sure you have money to pay for the form. You can call your surgery and ask if they charge for the health declaration form, and what their fee is.
If you register to be a childminder with Koru Kids, we reimburse you for this cost after you have completed your background checks with us. So whatever you do, keep hold of that receipt—and make sure the surgery gives you one. We don’t want you to be stuck because of money issues. That’s why we cover the cost of your enhanced DBS check, and all your training as well.
What happens after I get my completed health declaration form back?
You would either send it to Ofsted, or to the childminding agency you are registering with. Expert assessors would look at the answers from you and from your GP, and see what the final outcome was. If it’s ‘all clear’, you move on to the next step in your training to become a childminder.
What if something comes up on my Ofsted health declaration form?
Most of the time, the form is more of a ‘formality’ (pardon the pun). But if something does come up that prevents you from becoming a childminder, Koru Kids will discuss that with you. If you worry that something might be an issue, talk to us before you get to this step. We work with experienced assessors who will know what would be an obstacle, and what would be fine.
Ofsted will also “refuse or cancel registration if [they] consider that you are not suitable to care for children, or that you have knowingly withheld information or made a false declaration”. So don’t forget to be completely honest when you fill in the form, and not withhold anything.
What other background checks will I have to complete to become a childminder?
You’ll need things like references, an enhanced DBS check, and right to work check. There are actually quite a few, which is why we offer so much support with completing background checks when you decide to become a childminder through Koru Kids. We start as we mean to go on. Support for our Early Educators is part of our mission. A supported Early Educator is happier, more relaxed, and just all-round better at looking after children and giving them what they need. So if you are thinking about becoming a childminder, let us know!
Interested in becoming a childminder?