Childminders provide full or part time childcare within the childminder’s home for all ages up to 18. They offer a home-from-home setting – this means that children will have the freedom and comforts they are used to in their own homes but with the added benefit of a structured routine.
Regulation and registration
Childminders are more formally regulated than nannies who provide childcare in your home. Childminders require Ofsted registration and are inspected to determine the standard of childcare provision on offer.
Cost and flexibility
Childminders tend to charge less per hour than a nanny or nursery so this may be a more attractive option for some families. Childminders may also offer a greater degree of flexibility. This can be particularly useful for families who have to deal with shift patterns that do not follow mainstream work hours.
However, some childminders only work term time. Others may have days where they take leave and you’ll need to find alternative childcare. If they become ill or they’re caring for their own ill child, you may again need to find alternative childcare at the last minute.
Your child may only socialise with a small number of children particularly where a childminder does not attend local play or activity groups although many do realise the importance of visiting groups like this. Only some childminders offer funded education and not all accept childcare vouchers.
How to find a childminder
Family Space Croydon can provide you with details of registered childminders with vacancies who live in your area or near your place of work or study.
'Word of mouth' is also a good reference – ask friends or colleagues if they use or have used a registered childminder they are happy with.