Wanted! New childminders for Somerset

Ever thought about becoming a childminder? Somerset County Council is calling for anyone interested in making a difference to a child’s life to consider childminding as a rewarding career with fantastic benefits.

Childminding offers a professional career path, an opportunity to be your own boss, and work flexibly from your own home – perfect if you have your own children to look after. In 2014-15 over 80% of Somerset’s childminders were rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

It is a fantastic option for people seeking to start on the road to self-employment or to change career. You might be a mum or dad, a former teacher, a student, someone interested in going into Early Years education, or none of the above.

Somerset County Council can offer support, guidance and training, with huge scope for personal development. New childminders are also currently able to apply for a childcare business grant of up to £500 from Central Government to help with start-up costs – to find out more, phone 01633 652143 or email childcaregrantenquiries@liberata.com

A childminder mentoring scheme is also available, with 15 lead childminders county-wide holding drop-in sessions offering peer-to-peer support.

A Somerset County Council spokesperson said: “Childminding is a very worthwhile, flexible and rewarding career with many benefits.

“As an authority we are committed to helping families find the right childcare option that best suits them, whether it is with a registered childminder, or their local pre-school or nursery, at the price, location and convenience that suits their need.

“With more and more parents now able to claim up to 570 hours of funded childcare a year, it’s all the more important that parents know what’s out there.

“We provide a range of support to individuals starting their childminding career, and to anyone interested in finding out more, please get in touch.”

As a first step, individuals interested in childminding can click the following link to sign up for an information pack: http://www.somerset.gov.uk/childrens-services/childcare/register-as-a-childminder/

Once signed up, they will then be invited to a Childcare Pre-Registration briefing session, to hear about the registration process and to have any questions they might have answered.

To find out more about becoming a registered childminder, please visit http://www.somerset.gov.uk/register, email sfid@somerset.gov.uk or phone 0300 123 2224.