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What is a childminder?

A childminder is a person who looks after a child in their own home. They provide a safe and caring environment where children can play and develop life skills and may build a long term relationship with your family, perhaps taking them to and from nursery and school as they get older. All childminders are registered by Ofsted, and trained in first aid, health and safety and child care practice.

Benefits include:

  • flexibility;
  • small numbers of children; and
  • the ability to provide a home-like environment.

Choosing a childminder

Visit several childminders to compare them and see how they get on with your child. Ask for any references or names of parents who have used their service. When discussing fees, make sure you are clear about what this includes

Questions to ask

  • Ask to see a copy of their registration and insurance certificates and their latest Ofsted Inspection report? Childminder’s certificate of registration states how many children they can care for. Depending on their space and the number of their own children up to six children under eight years, of these no more than three may be under five years, of these no more than one may be under 12 months.
  • What are their normal hours of work?
  • Ask if they are a network childminder?
  • What are their fees?
  • Do their fees include meals?
  • What are their charges for absence or sickness and holidays?
  • When do they plan to take their holidays?
  • What are their overtime rates?
  • Ask to contact parents whose children they have looked after for references?
  • How many other children do they look after and what are their ages?
  • What training and experience do they have?
  • What activities and routines do they provide for the children?
  • What outings will they plan?
  • Will they attend any local drop-ins groups?
  • What do they do about sweets, snacks and drinks?
  • How do they manage difficult behaviour?
  • How would they deal with an emergency?
  • What would happen if you wished to make a complaint, are you able to see their complaints log?
  • Do they have any pets, how will they make sure children are kept safe around pets?
  • Do they drive? If so, does their car have the right seats and do they have proper insurance cover.

Hackney Network childminders

Our Childminder Network belongs to a national quality assurance scheme called PACEY Children Come First. Network childminders are a group of registered childminders who have shown they can provide high quality care for children. They are assessed and monitored by Childminding Network Co-ordinators, who work for us. Network co-ordinators provide support to parents in seeking a quality assured Network childminder to meet their needs. Please contact the Network Co-ordinator in your area for support in seeking a Network childminder.

Network co-ordinators in Hackney

North Hackney (Woodberry Down, Stoke Newington, Stamford Hill, Upper Clapton)
Mumtaz Hakim
Tel: 020 8815 3250 / 07768 424 023

Central Hackney (Rectory Rd, Hackney Downs)
Grace Opon
Tel: 020 8815 3250 / 07768 424 023

East Hackney (Lower Clapton, Homerton, Hackney Wick)
Grace Opon
Tel: 020 8986 7441 / 07810 856 321

South Hackney (Dalston, De Beauvoir, Hoxton, Haggerston)
Hilary Willgress
Tel: 020 7749 1210 / 07768 348360

Family Information Service

The Family Information Service (FIS) can also provide up to date information on childminders in your local area. Call 020 8820 7590 or email fis@learningtrust.co.uk

Are you interested in becoming a childminder?

Find out more about the registration process and how we can help you become a childminder in Hackney