Registration as a childminder, or providing day care services, differs in NIR.
So, you would need to apply for registration through your local Health and Social Care Trust (details below).
Childminder registration would be required if you look after children:
- Under the age of 12 for more than two (2) hours a day.
- That you are not related to.
- In a private home.
- Through any type of day care service that does not charge money (e.g. playschemes, or out-of-school clubs).
Note: A different section explains how to become a childminder or nanny in England by registering with Ofsted.
If there are any other adults living or working at the home where you look after children, they would also need to register. But, childminder registration in Northern Ireland is not required to carry out babysitting activities.
Here’s exactly how it works:
The Children Order Child Minding and Day Care (COG 8) provides a detailed guide to help you complete the full registration process. You can also get help from:
Northern Ireland Childminding Association
Telephone: 028 9181 1015
Early Years (the organisation for young children)
Telephone: 028 9066 2825
Note: You can start the application process on the Health and Social Care Northern Ireland website (go to HSCNI Online). You can also get more information about childcare providers in the overview section.
Next Step to Register as a Childminder
Having submitted the childminder registration application, the Health and Social Care Trust will:
- Ask you to take part in an information session.
- Check the validity of the references you provided.
- Conduct checks through your doctor, the council, and AccessNI criminal record checks.
- Carry out extra checks on anyone else who lives or works at the home.
- Perform a safety inspection of the home used to look after children.
Getting the Childminder Registration Certificate
If you get approved:
After approval, you will receive a childminder registration certificate showing you as a registered childminder. As a rule, the whole process will take between eight (8) and twelve (12) weeks to complete.
Displaying the Registration Certificate
Inspectors, and others, may need to see your certificate of registration. So, you should keep it in a place that is easy for people to view it (or a copy of it).
Fines and Penalties for Unregistered Childminders
There are severe consequences for failing to register as a childminder in Northern Ireland (when required). The result can be a fine of £5,000, you can get sent to prison, or you may get both in some cases.