Introduced by the Department for Education in 2014, childminder agencies are ‘one-stop shop’ organisations that register childminders and provide them with training, advice, administrative support and marketing to families. They also provide a valuable service for parents looking for high quality flexible childcare.
Aim of childminder agencies
- Provide childminders with a range of support services including marketing, administration, training and development
- Provide parents with matching services to help them find a childminder, access to holiday and sickness cover and regular updates about the quality of their childminder
- Raise the quality and professionalism of the childminding workforce
- Attract new childminders to the profession
For a list of CMA contacts, please click here.
Becoming a childminder agency
Any organisation that is committed to providing parents and children with high quality childcare can apply to be registered by Ofsted as a childminder agency.
The Department for Education has published guidance for anyone wanting to register and operate as a childminder agency, which sets out the legal requirements and other issues to consider for anyone registering or operating as a childminder agency. The guide is available on the department’s website here.
Once registered, agencies will be able to register and quality assure childminders, ensuring that they will provide a high quality and safe service for parents and children.
Cost of registering an agency with Ofsted
The Ofsted registration fee for childminder agencies is £220.
Funding of agencies
Agencies are self-funded. It is up to agencies to determine the sorts of services they will provide and the associated charges, either to the childminder, parent, employer or others.
Services to be provided by agencies
As a minimum, agencies are required to register childminders, undertake the necessary quality assurance visits and provide the prescribed number of continuing professional development and support hours to their childminders.
Registering with a childminder agency
Childminder agencies are a great way for childminders to get the support they need for their business. Agencies can provide childminders with a range of services including training, advice, marketing support and conducting inspections. Childminding agencies are also attractive to new childminders, who want an accessible network of experienced childcare providers right at their fingertips. Additionally, an agency can help alleviate a lot of the burdensome paperwork and administration that comes along with running a childminding business.
Registering with a childminder agency can give you access to:
- Ongoing training and professional development
- Immediate quality assurance checks
- New clients
- A support network of other childminders and childcare experts
- Helpful childminder resources, including games and activities
Cost of registering with an agency
Each agency will have different rates, depending on the overall package of support they provide. Please contact your local agency for pricing and packages.