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Setting up a new childminding business

This page is for newly-registered childminders. If you are not yet registered as a childminder, please see Register as a Childminder.

On this page you can find out more about managing your new childminding business including marketing, paperwork and buying and choosing equipment.

Managing and marketing your childminding business 

  • Training and Development for childcare providers. Visit this page to find out about our training and networking opportunities and to join our Firm Foundations Network for access to best practice information and discussion, updates, input from peers on their practice and much more
  • Information and advice for registered childcare providers this page forms part of our Universal Offer which is fully funded for all Ofsted registered childcare providers in Merton. Our Universal Offer provides access to essential information, both locally and nationally, and a range of useful support services.
  • Childminder drop-in groups run locally. Most are held at Merton's Children's Centres. These are sessions where you can meet with other minders and the Childminding Support Officers to exchange ideas and discuss any issues, whilst the children in your care get to play and enjoy activities.

Equipment you may need

You will need to think about the following categories. Second hand equipment is acceptable (with the exception of car seats), but it must conform to BS EN safety standards, if appropriate.

  • Safety (e.g. baby monitors, smoke alarms, first aid kit, fireguards, fire blanket)
  • Feeding (e.g. highchair, seating, child-friendly cutlery)
  • Sleeping (e.g. cot, separate bedding for each child)
  • Bathroom (e.g. potty, toilet seat, booster step, changing equipment)
  • Travelling (e.g. buggy, car seat, wrist strap or reins)

Toys and play

You will be expected to have a variety of toys and play equipment in place to meet the developmental needs of children in your care. You should consider the following categories when looking at toys:

  • Social development (e.g. cooking, role play, dolls, garages, cars, animals, bricks etc.)
  • Physical development (e.g. large outdoor play equipment, balls, hoops, trikes, threading beads)
  • Intellectual development (e.g. shape sorters, jigsaws, counting games, number puzzles, water play)
  • Communication development (e.g. nursery rhymes and songs, reading books, writing equipment)
  • Creative development (e.g. mark making tools - paint, pencils, crayons; junk modelling)

All equipment and toys in your home should reflect equality of opportunity. This means that you treat children with equal concern, regardless of their age, ability, gender, cultural and social background.

Examples of how this is done include:

  • Children are not restricted to gender stereotypical toys
  • If you are looking after children with disabilities, you must have the additional equipment you need and make sure activities are accessible to them
  • You have high expectations of all children, whatever their gender, origin or disability
  • Your home has a range of toys, games, books, dressing-up clothes etc. that show people of different cultures, genders and backgrounds in a positive way

Insurance, policies and procedures

Childminders must register themselves as self-employed with the tax office

You must take out Childminder Insurance as soon as you are registered with Ofsted. This can be purchased from a number of providers, including:

Procedures Required:

  • Activities provided
  • Complaints
  • DBS checks (formerly known as CRB) for over 16's
  • Daily routines linking to the EYFS
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Food and drink provided
  • Food preparation
  • Nappy changing and toileting
  • Observations
  • Planning
  • Sharing information with parents

Policies Required:

  • Animal policy
  • Admissions policy
  • Behaviour management policy
  • Confidentiality policy
  • Drugs and alcohol policy
  • Equal opportunities policy
  • Health and safety policy
  • Lost child policy
  • Medication policy
  • No smoking policy
  • Photograph policy
  • Safeguarding children policy
  • Sick child policy
  • Transition policy
  • Uncollected child policy

Useful Websites

Contact details

Early Years, Childcare and Children's Centre Service
10th Floor, Civic Centre
London Road