What you need to do to become a registered childminder in Bristol, why you need to be registered, continuing professional development.

£600 start up grant

Newly registered childminders can get a £600 start up grant. 

To find out more, book onto a free childminder information session.

Check if you live within the Bristol City Council boundary.

What a registered childminder is

A childminder is someone registered, either with Ofsted or a childminder agency, to provide childcare and education in their own home for more than two hours a day.

The childminder agencies in Bristol are:

A childminder can:

  • look after up to six children under the age of eight, although only three of these can be under five
  • look after children from babies upwards
  • work with an assistant
  • provide care before and after school

The majority of registered childminders are self-employed.

If you want to work from the child's own home, visit our nannies and homecarers page.

Qualities and skills you need to be a registered childminder

To become a registered childminder, you should:

  • enjoy being with children 
  • be interested in child development and be able to provide quality play
  • be patient, friendly and responsive to children's feelings 
  • follow the GOV.UK Early Years Foundation Stage Framework of standards you must meet for the care and education of children up to the age of five
  • be able to support children with special educational needs and disabilities
  • be able to keep records, such as completing an attendance register

How to become an Ofsted registered childminder

Becoming a registered childminder:

  • usually takes six months
  • costs about £320

To get registered you need to:

  1. Book your free childminding information session, Childminder Briefing. You can also call 0117 3574 192 to book.
  2. Complete the Introduction to Childminding Practice (ICP) course: 9 2-hour sessions over 9 weeks or you can fast track and complete it in 4.5 weeks.
  3. Complete a 12-hour Paediatric First Aid course.
  4. Apply for an Enhanced DBS check for you and everyone in your household over the age of 16.
  5. Apply to Ofsted to become registered.
  6. Complete a Health Declaration form
  7. Have an Ofsted registration visit at your home.

Book your free childminding information session

Some prospective childminders can access funding support to cover some set-up costs through Future Bright. We'll give you more details about this at the Childminder Briefing.

The Childminding Support Team are here to help you. Email us at cmsupport@bristol.gov.uk.

Your Ofsted registration visit

Ofsted will check that you and your home are suitable to look after other people's children, before they register you. They'll also monitor you through regular inspections.

Our Childminding Support Team will help you prepare for the visit and explain: 

  • what Ofsted might ask you
  • what they'll be looking for

At the registration visit, Ofsted will tell you whether or not you've been successfully registered. You can start childminding when you get your registration certificate.

Once you're registered you can:

Your continuing professional development

After you become registered, you'll become a part of the Bristol Childminding Network. 

This means you'll have:

  • free professional advice from the Childminding Support Team 
  • free professional advice from the lead teacher at your local children's centre childminding group
  • access to free training and updates
  • free access to the self-evaluation framework, the Bristol Standard

A career in child care: childminder video

Watch our video of childminders talking about:

  • why they became a childminder
  • the positive and challenging aspects of the job
  • the opportunities to learn