The Scottish Care Inspectorate states the legal definition of a childminder as:
“A person who works with children for more than two (2) hours a day in the childminders own home for some reward (may include payment in kind)”.
The process to register a care service uses an application form that falls under the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010.
To become a childminder in Scotland you would need to register online with the Care Inspectorate.
Note: You can also get paper copies mailed to you by calling the Contact Centre on 0345 600 9527.
Childminder registration would be required if you look after children:
- Under the age of 16 for more than two (2) hours a day.
- In a private home.
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 Scotland is not required to carry out babysitting activities.
Note: The initial registration fee for registering a childminding service in Scotland is £28. There would also be an annual continuation fee to pay which is £17 (last time we checked).
Next Step to Register as a Childminder
Having submitted the childminder registration application, the Care Inspectorate will:
- Check the validity of the references you provided.
- Conduct checks under the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) membership scheme and carry out Disclosure Scotland criminal records checks (some fees will apply).
- 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 Scotland (when required to do so). The result can be a fine of £5,000, you can get sent to prison, or you may get both in some cases.
Registering as a Childminder in Wales
You would need to register with the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) to get paid for looking after children under the age of 12 in Wales for more than two (2) hours a day.