Unhelpful assumptions about the childcare sector can be frustrating for childminders, who know only too well the hard work and dedication that goes into helping shape little futures. Here are some common childminding myths debunked, for anyone who wants to set the record straight.
Myth: Childminding is an unregulated industry
Fact: Just like any other education or childcare provider, childminders register with their regulatory body (Ofsted in England.) They will have regular inspections, hold a first aid certificate, be DBS checked, have had a doctor certify they are physically and mentally capable of caring for children, and will have public liability insurance in place.
Myth: Anyone who looks after children must be registered
Fact: In the majority of cases, this is true. In fact, childminders who aren’t registered with the relevant regulatory body risk being hit with a fine of up to £5,000. However, there are a few cases where a person is exempt from registration. These people are sometimes known as non-registered childminders. There’s more information about the exemptions here.
Myth: Children don’t learn as much with a childminder
Fact: This is probably the one that gets to childminders most. Childminders have to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework, just like nursery nurses and reception teachers. They have to meet the same targets and will have a daily routine in place to ensure children’s learning and development needs are being met. It could even be argued that, because the adult to child ratios are higher, children who are looked after by a childminder can benefit from a more personalised experience which meets their specific needs.
Myth: Childminders don’t offer the government’s 30 hours free childcare scheme
Fact: The majority of registered childminders can deliver funded places to three to four-year-old children of working parents up to a maximum of 30 hours per week. Whether or not a childminder decides to do this is totally up to the individual, and they also have the option of offering just a portion of the hours. If a childminder is offering the scheme, parents first need to register to access childcare support. There are more details on the 30 hours initiative and what it means for childminders here.
Myth: Childminders can look after lots of children all at once
Fact: How many children a childminder can look after at any one time is strictly limited and depends on a variety of factors, including where you live, the age of children, and how much space is available. Childminders must count their own children within these ratios too. A detailed breakdown of how many children a childminder can look after can be found here.
Myth: Childminding is only for women
Fact: Come on guys, it’s the 21st Century! It’s true that the childcare sector generally has more women than men, but there are lots of male childminders and it’s a career path that an increasing number of men are choosing to take. It’s not uncommon to see couples running a childminding business together either.
Fish Childcare Insurance offers registered and non-registered childminder insurance starting at just £49 per year? For more information, click here or call a friendly member of our team on 0333 331 3930.
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