Setting up childcare

If you are interested in becoming a childminder, please read the following information and then contact the Early Years Team using this form.

Registering as a Childminder: 

What is a childminder? (Also referred to as childcare on domestic premises)

Registered childminders are self-employed childcare professionals who work in their own homes. They are registered to look after small numbers of children and will often care for a range of ages. As well as providing care, they support each child’s learning in line with their age and stage of development. Childminders can offer flexibility to accommodate parents working patterns, and some work evenings and weekends.

If you work as a childminder or provide day care for children under 8 years old for more than two hours each day, you must be registered with Ofsted, and must be inspected regularly.

There are a number of fact sheets on the Ofsted website explaining the different registers and the registration process. 

Becoming a Childminder in Halton

Before you can register with Ofsted, you will need to: 

Halton Borough Council recommends that if you do not have any previous childcare experience or qualifications, you complete the online Level 3 Preparing to Work in Home-Based Childcare. There are a   number of providers for this course, so you will need to research, and select the one that you feel best meets your needs.

  • Have sufficient understanding and use of English to ensure the well-being of children in your care 
  • Obtain a current paediatric first aid certificate, which complies with Ofsted’s requirements as set out in paragraph 3.25 and Annexe A of the EYFS Statutory Framework 
  • Obtain Enhanced DBS Certificates for yourself and anyone in your household who is over 16 years of age 
  • Complete a Safeguarding training course which is approved by Halton Borough Council 

There are a number of costs involved in registering as a childminder, before you begin earning any money. This initial outlay includes: 

  • Ofsted Registration Fee
  • The cost of a Health Declaration from your GP
  • Fees for training courses
  • Registration with the Information Commissioner’s Office (see below for more information)
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • The costs of any start-up paperwork (contracts, medical forms, registers etc) that you might need to purchase 

Before applying to Ofsted, use the list below to help you decide if childminding is the right option for you. 

  • Can you offer children a safe and stimulating environment, with sufficient toys and equipment to meet their needs?
  • Are you willing to attend training to develop your knowledge and understanding of quality childcare practice and to meet the requirements of registration?
  • Are you able to provide an inclusive environment where children and families are not discriminated against e.g. due to race, background or disability etc?
  • Are you committed to forming professional relationships with parents, sharing relevant information about their children, including any concerns? This might include safeguarding concerns.
  • Can you complete the paperwork and documentation needed to meet the requirements of the Early Years Statutory Framework?
  • As there is no guaranteed income, will you be able to cover your costs and income requirements if you do not fill vacancies straight away or if children leave your setting?
  • Is there enough demand for childcare in your area to help sustain your childminding business? Consult the local Childcare Sufficiency Assessment (see below) for more information
  • Do you have permission from your landlord or mortgage provider, if required, to be able to operate a childminding business from your home?
  • As you will be working in your own home what affect will this have on your home and family? 

Running Your Own Business

  • As a childminder, you will be self-employed and this involves setting up as a small business.
  • For information on Tax and National Insurance, please visit the HMRC website:
  • HMRC offer a free online training course for people running their own business: HMRC Learning Centre
  • There is also a YouTube channel containing useful videos: HMRC YouTube channel
  • As a registered childminder you will hold some personal details of parents and children and will need to comply with certain regulations. You can find out more about this from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and the Data Protection Act 2006 using the following link:  Registering as a Data Controller
  • You might decide to employ an assistant. ACAS offers free and confidential advice for employers and employees in regard ​to legal and human resources related issues:
  • If you require information on employment contracts and working hours, visit the Government website at
  • For information regarding the National Minimum Wage, visit the government website on
  • Further information and advice for childminders is available from the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years or from

There are some situations when you cannot register with Ofsted or when you do not have to register with them please see the following link for details:

Before contacting Ofsted, please complete this form to obtain further support and advice from the Local Authority to help you with your registration.

Setting up other childcare provision in Halton


The Sufficiency Duty Report ​ is a useful document to look at when setting up your business, as it details the location and types of childcare already available, and the supply and demand within each ward in Halton.