21/07/2010 12:08 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Summer Childcare: Childminders

In the fourth of our series of childcare guides for the summer, we're looking at the pros and cons of childminders.

What is a childminder?

A childminder is someone who cares for your children from their own home. They often care for a couple of different children at once and can be a long-term solution as well as a temporary summer one.

Best for

Parents who want their child to have a sociable childcare arrangement, particularly if your childminder has a couple of other children they care for too. Great for all ages.

Worth knowing

All childminders must be registered with Ofsted in England (also the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales or CSSIW in Wales, the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care in Scotland and the Health and Social Services Trust in Northern Ireland) in order to care for children under eight years old for payment.


  • Steady and sociable environment for kids.
  • Childminders are usually parents themselves, which gives them the natural skills needed.


  • Potential differences in parenting attitudes.
  • The best childminders are generally booked up, as families hold on tight.


Prices vary as childminders are self-employed, but the average hourly rate is between £6-8.

Useful Links

England: Find Ofsted reports for your local childminders here or use NCMA (National Childminding Association)

Northern Ireland: Find local childminders by searching on the the NICMA (Northern Ireland Childminding Association) website.

Scotland: Search for local childminders on the SCRC (Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care)

Wales: Find information on childminders in Wales on the NCMA website.

Tomorrow: grandparents and family members as child carers.

Do you have a childminder? Any tips to pass on to other parents?