Child minders are day-care service providers who care for other people's children in their own homes. Child minders are typically employed by working parents. Parents bring their children to the homes of child minders in the morning and pick them up at the end of the work day. Child minders usually set up an area in their homes where the children can comfortably play and socialise.
Child minders spend most of their time tending to children and performing care-giving activities, such as feeding children and supervising their play and nap times. Child minders with infants in their care also prepare bottles and change nappies. They teach children proper behaviour, improve their social skills and language development through storytelling and acting games. Child minders also serve nutritious snacks and meals to promote good health and eating habits.
Training and qualifications
Child minders are regulated by Ofsted. Anyone who provides care for one or more children aged between birth and 18 -- to whom they are not related -- and for reward must register with Ofsted. Individuals interested in pursuing child care worker jobs can usually obtain employment with less than A level qualifications and little or no experience. Some parents or private employers may require specialised training or a degree. Many parents prefer individuals who express genuine care for the well-being of their children.
Child minders are enthusiastic, attentive and firm but fair. They communicate effectively with children and create a warm and inviting atmosphere where parents feel their children will be safe and cared for. Child minders are mature, patient and able to maintain emotional control during stressful situations. They routinely lift and interact with young children and may occasionally move furniture in their home; energy and physical stamina are a must. Because they are independently-employed workers, child minders must also have business sense and management abilities.
Private child care can be physically and emotionally demanding. Child minders stand for long periods of time and constantly bend, stoop and lift to attend to the various needs of the children in their care. Child care workers suffer a larger-than-average number of work-related injuries or illnesses. Child minders may also end up working long or unusual hours if parents fail to pick up their children on time.
According to the National Careers Service, as of 2014 the fees charged by childminders ranged from £3.63 to £5.42 an hour for each child, depending on the area of the country.