If you’re a childminder looking after children at home then you and any adults who live with you or work there regularly during childcare hours will also need a DBS check. This could include your partner, cleaner, housemates, lodgers and children over the age of 16.

Apply on-line for your DBS, you will need a debit or credit card and your home addresses for the past 5 years.

Ofsted will only accept a DBS certificate within 3 months of the issue date. Because of this, Ofsted strongly recommends that you sign up for the DBS update service to keep your certificate up to date.

If you join the service, you can then use your DBS for any new jobs or roles with children. You won’t have to apply for a new certificate each time. It also means that if Ofsted needs to repeat your DBS check in the future, for example if your circumstances change, they can do this without you having to pay a fee for a new check.

You have to subscribe to the DBS update service within 30 days of your certificate being issued.

If you've got increased demand or simply want to expand your childcare service, employing a childminding assistant can help you offer more places. With an assistant you can care for up to six extra children, subject to the space you have available and the staff to child ratio requirements of the EYFS and any local planning requirements. Childminder assistants need to hold a paediatric first aid certificate, and with written parents’ consent can have sole charge of the children for up to two hours – this can be very useful for school runs.

You will need to create a basic job description, detailing the working hours, environment, pay, and level of experience required. Your assistant will need to undergo a DBS check, and then complete an EY2 form, available on Ofsted's website. There is more information about the process in Ofsted's guidance.

There’s a lot to think about when you become an employer, HMRC has an online guide which takes you through the steps. You can register as an employer online - the process takes approximately four weeks.

As an employer, you will be liable for tax and national insurance contributions for each assistant. You will need to factor these costs into your business plan, along with holiday pay, sick pay and pensions contributions. Don't forget that you will need to pay your assistant at the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage, the rates change each year and vary depending on your assistant’s age. You will also need to ensure that you have Employer's Liability Insurance cover in place.

If you are considering employing a childminder assistant take a look at these 7 things you need to do when employing staff for the first time:

  1. Decide how much to pay someone - you must pay your employee at least the National Minimum Wage.
  2. Check if someone has the legal right to work in the UK. You may have to do other employment checks as well.
  3. Check if they have a current DBS or need to apply for a DBS check (formerly known as a CRB check).
  4. Get employment insurance - you need employers’ liability insurance as soon as you become an employer.
  5. Send details of the job (including terms and conditions) in writing to your employee. You need to give your employee a written statement of employment if you’re employing someone for more than 1 month.
  6. Tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by registering as an employer - you can do this up to 4 weeks before you pay your new staff.
  7. Check if you need to automatically enrol your staff into a workplace pension scheme.

If you are employing a childminder assistant you have to provide a workplace pension scheme for eligible staff as soon as your first assistant starts working for you.

You must enrol and make an employer’s contribution for all staff who:

  • are aged between 22 and the State Pension age
  • earn at least £10,000 a year
  • normally work in the UK (this includes people who are based in the UK but travel abroad for work)

If staff become eligible because of a change in their age or earnings, you must put them into your pension scheme and write to them within 6 weeks of the day they meet the criteria.

Childminders are self-employed and are therefore responsible for keeping their own accounts and paying their tax. HMRC, the Tax Office can support you with this why not visit general tax advice for childminders or budgeting for your self assessment tax bill to find out more.

If you have a childminding assistant working with you, you are their employer and will be responsible for setting up and administering a PAYE system to pay their salaries, tax and national insurance contributions through. Childminding assistants cannot be self-employed because they are delivering the childcare service under your Ofsted registration.


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