Are all childminders registered and checked?
All the childminders we provide information on are registered with Ofsted and have been through a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check and an inspection. Ofsted inspect the childminders on an annual basis to ensure that the National Standards for childminding are being met.

How do I contact OfSTED?
OfSTED can be contacted by telephoning their help line on 0845 6014771.

How do I find out about Childcare in my area?
The Children’s Information Service (CIS) is available to offer advice about childcare across the whole of County Durham. They hold information on all areas of childcare including childminders, nurseries and out of school care. The CIS can also provide information on costs, opening hours, settings that have experience of dealing with special needs and school pick-ups where available. For details of the childcare in your area contact the CIS on 0800 9172917.

How do I set up a Nursery?
For information on setting up a nursery please contact the Children’s Information Service (CIS) on 0800 9172917, who will be able to send you out an information pack which offers advice and guidance and what to do next. Funding may also be available to support the creation of new childcare places.

How much do childminders charge?
Childminders are a self-employed business, this means that they set their own charging policy. Childminders quite often charge by the hour and have differing prices for pre school and school children. They often have a slightly reduced rate for the second child in a family. The cost of your childcare is something that should be negotiated before you place your child and this should ideally be drawn up in a contract. The contract ensures that you both have a written and signed record of what was agreed between you and your childminder in respect of costs, opening hours, holiday payments and notice periods. This ensures that both parties are aware of what they have agreed to.

Is there any funding available to assist with the cost of childcare?
There is money available to assist with these costs in the form of Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. We provide information on this with every enquiry pack we send out. If you need further advice about either of these forms of tax credit you can contact the Inland Revenue on the Tax Credit Help line 0845 3003900 (England, Scotland and Wales) 0845 6032000 (Northern Ireland).

Which First Aid Certificate do I need?
OfSTED regulations stipulate that a first aid certificate must include adult and pediatrics first aid. SureStart County Durham recommends the following courses: –

  • British Red Cross – First Aid for Childcarers (12 hour course).
  • St John’s Ambulance – Babies and Life Savers Award (NB this is to accompany an Adult first aid certificate).

The National Daycare Standards for Under 8s and Childminders state:7.9 – There is at least one member of staff with a current first aid certificate on the premises or on outings at any one time. The first aid qualification includes training in first aid for infants and young children.

We recommend that in settings, at least one person in each room hold this certificate. In settings where 15 or more people are employed, it is advisable that at least one person holds a Designated Person First Aid certificate.