How to register as a childminder: Step by step

Want to register as a childminder? Working with children is rewarding in so many ways. Aside from the cuddles, giggles, and days outside in the fresh air, there’s the knowledge that you are making a real difference. You are helping tiny humans to flourish and grow into kind, confident adults.

When you have made the decision to go into childminding, the next step is making it official! You could register as a childminder with an agency like Koru Kids, or with Ofsted. Our handy step-by-step guide below will give you an overview of the process.

Want to register as a childminder?

childminder playing with children
Here’s our step by step guide to register as a childminder

Step by step: register as a childminder with an agency like Koru Kids

We can’t speak for other agencies, but we can give you a clear idea of all the steps if you choose to register as a childminder with Koru Kids. We aim to get you from application to fully fledged Early Educator, with a home nursery ready for parents to visit, in just 12 weeks.

It might seem like there’s a lot to do, but we hold your hand at every step, and a lot of these things happen quickly. We do everything we can to make registering with us simple and stress-free.

Step 1: Application form

Take about 3 minutes to complete our simple application form. Hit send. If it seems like a good fit, we will email you within 1–2 working days to book a 20-minute intro call.

Step 2: Intro call

One of our friendly advisors will call you. This is a chance for you to ask us any questions you like (no question is too silly!), and it’s also a chance for us to get to know you a bit better.

Step 3: Video call

Time to ‘meet’ over Zoom for 45 minutes, put a face to a name, and show us around your home. We’ll ask you some in-depth questions about your vision for your childminding set-up, and you can ask us more questions too.

Step 4: Background check forms

This is a small series of forms that you can fill in one at a time, that need to be completed before training. They give us all the information we need to do your background checks. You can read an in-depth explanation of all the background checks required in our help centre article here.

You will also need to fill in a health declaration form, signed by your GP. Some GPs will charge for this, and the fees differ, so contact your surgery first to find out what it could cost. Koru Kids will offer to refund this cost after you have completed your background checks, so make sure you get a receipt!

Step 5: Training and Checks

We combine Zoom with e-learning and videos in an online course to cover everything pre-registration. This includes safeguarding, safe sleep, food hygiene, and learning and development for early years. The total training time is around 25 hours. You will also complete your first aid training, a 12-hour course—6 hours in person and 6 online.

We help you complete your enhanced DBS check and all the background checks with information you gave us earlier. If you live with anyone over 16 we will also complete their DBS checks at this point.

When you have completed your 25-hour training and background checks, you and Koru Kids sign a contract to work together.

Step 6: Pre-registration assessment visit 

Koru Kids is an Ofsted-registered childminder agency, so one of our friendly assessors will come to do your registration visit, in the place of an Ofsted inspector. They will call to book a date and time so you can prepare properly, and all the training you’ve done means you’ll be ready to go. We also give you 1:1 support beforehand over the phone, to make sure you know exactly what to expect during the visit.

Step 7: Registration

Congratulations! You are officially registered as a childminder with Koru Kids!

When you have passed pre-registration assessment, we will let you know as soon as possible (usually during the visit itself), and email your certificate of registration to you, along with information on what to do next.

Koru Kids help childminders at every step of the journey

Post-registration training

We want our childminders to have as much knowledge and support as possible, so we take you through some extra training after you register. This is what sets you apart from other childminders, so you can fill your places quickly and confidently. 

A few of the areas covered in our post-registration training are:

  • further EYFS training
  • SEND (for children with special educational needs)
  • Forest School outdoor learning
  • running a successful business as a childminder
  • and setting up your home 

All this training is part of our support package, and you won’t pay anything extra for it. We have delivered over a million hours of childcare to families, so we understand what training parents really value in a childminder.

So, that’s the process to register as a childminder with Koru Kids. Read on for how to register with Ofsted.

What if I register as a childminder with Ofsted?

Before you apply to register with Ofsted, you need to complete any necessary forms and courses, much like the ones listed above. This time, you will have to find the courses for yourself, and spend some time researching where to take them, depending on where you live in the UK. There are plenty of online courses on offer too, so you can consider whether to attend in person or online. 

You will definitely need a safeguarding, a first aid course, and EYFS training. Ofsted expect you to be familiar with food hygiene, safe sleep, and risk assessments too. You will also have to find out if your home is suitable for childminding. Otherwise, think about what adjustments you need to make before you can start accepting families. You will need to get and enhanced DBS check, a health declaration, and everything else mentioned above sorted and ready. According to the site, you will need:

  • an enhanced criminal record check with barred lists from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) – you must get the right criminal record check
  • first aid training for the age group you will look after
  • childcare training – speak to your local council
  • a health declaration booklet
  • contact details for 2 references

Ofsted will reject your application if you do not have the correct documents.

Don’t forget to get DBS checks done for any other people over 16 who live in, or work at, the property you are going to use as the setting for your childminding business.

How long will it take?

It should take about 30 minutes to apply once you have all the necessary documents, checks, and course certificates. After you have applied, it can take 12 weeks or more for you to receive your Ofsted registration visit, and find out whether you pass their checks and can become an Ofsted approved childminder. 

With Koru Kids, it’s around 12 weeks from ‘hello’ to registration. With Ofsted, you need to complete all your training and checks before those 12 weeks of waiting for your registration visit even begin. 

Fees and costs

Some fees to keep in mind if you are registering via Ofsted. Generally, a childminder who wants to look after only children under the age of 5 in their own home will need to pay:

  • £35.00 in Registration fees, yearly
  • £48.10 for your Criminal record check (then £13.00 yearly)
  • £0–£120.00 for your GP to fill in your Health declaration
  • £60.00–£200.00 for your First Aid course
  • £50.00–£200.00 for Safeguarding and other training
  • £25.00-£100.00 for Public liability insurance
  • £40.00 to register with ICO for digital records of children

Some of the above fees will have to be paid yearly and some are one-off fees. Don’t forget to budget for all the equipment you will have to get to set up your home nursery, like cots and mats, high-chairs, toys, books, and storage units. 

To gain the same qualifications as a Koru Kids childminder you would also need to pay for courses like food hygiene, Forest School training, setting up your home as a childminder, positive behaviour management, and child development. These are all courses that we provide for free during our extensive childminder training.

Why should I register with an agency, or with Ofsted?

You legally have to register as a childminder with Ofsted or a childminder agency if you are going to:

  • charge money to
  • look after children under 8 years
  • for more than 2 hours a day
  • in your own home

Registering with a childminding agency removes a lot of the hassle and headache that dealing with Ofsted can bring you. We can’t speak for all agencies, but Koru Kids focuses on the child first, so everything we do is child-centred. That’s why we provide childminders with extra training and support to do their job well. And if you decide to expand and take on an assistant, Koru Kids makes sure they are trained and screened for you, so you don’t have to do any recruitment or checks yourself. 

I’m a childminder preparing for Ofsted… what should I do next?

Whether you’re a childminder preparing to register with Ofsted or an agency like Koru Kids, preparing for your pre-registration visit can feel daunting! Check out our childminder registration checklist to ensure you’re ready to wow the assessor.

Ofsted-approved childminders can certainly tick all the boxes to pass registration. But a Koru Kids registered childminder ticks the boxes, dots the i’s, and goes above and beyond parent expectations. We’re on a mission to provide families with the best childcare in the world, after all.

Want to read more about becoming a childminder? Here’s our ultimate guide.

Want to register as a childminder?