If you’re considering becoming a childminder, you might be wondering what qualifications you need. In fact, when you are thinking about any new career, there are always lots of questions. How long will it take to start earning, for example, or how much time do you need to study on the side before you can start. If you are out of work, you can’t afford to wait for months, or years, to earn your qualifications. And university degrees can be prohibitively expensive.
So, if you want to work with children, what qualifications do you need to be a childminder?
That’s right—none! We are serious. You don’t need any prior qualifications to become a childminder.
That doesn’t mean you can start caring for children without any experience or instruction. You will need to do some training, but that can be done in a matter of weeks. Depending on the route you choose, the training can be expensive.
What training do I need to be a childminder?
Though you don’t need any qualifications to be a childminder, you do need to do some courses. Training for childminders focusses on the safety of the child, so you will need to complete:
- A safeguarding course, and
- A paediatric first aid course
You will also need to be really familiar with the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stages). You don’t actually need to do a course, but it definitely helps, because launching into it without any explanation or support can be hefty. If you are serving food in your setting, you will also benefit from a food hygiene course. It doesn’t mean you have to become a five-star chef. (Yes, it helps, but it’s not a necessary qualification to become a childminder.)
How is training different from qualifications for childminders?
While many formal qualifications take months or years, childminder training can be completed in weeks.
Why do I need safeguarding and first aid training as a childminder?
Aside from the obvious answer—children’s safety—these two courses are mandatory. Ofsted requires that anyone who becomes a childminder has this training. So if you need any qualifications to be a childminder at all, these are it. Everything else has to do with knowledge and passion. But safeguarding and first aid are the ones you’ll need a certificate for.
Where can I get childminder training?
Since you don’t need any qualifications, it can be hard to figure out which courses will give you what you need to pass Ofsted’s registration requirements for childminders. There are lots of courses available online. Often, your local council has something on offer. But if you are already busy working, or looking after your own children, spending time finding the right courses might be a real burden.
What if I already have the qualifications I need to be a childminder?
If you have worked as a childminder before, or in childcare, you may already have lots of experience and courses under your belt. The EYFS gets updated frequently, so it’s important to know you’re up-to-date in your knowledge.
Experience working as a teacher or nursery practitioner can be beneficial when you are looking for families. Parents love that you already have experience looking after children, and teaching them. But you don’t need those qualifications to be a childminder! You simply need to be passionate about working with children, and about the difference you can make, in their lives, and the future of our entire society.