What is a childminder?

A childminder is a person who looks after a child in their own home. They provide a safe and caring environment where children can play and develop life skills and may build a long term relationship with your family, perhaps taking them to and from nursery and school as they get older. All childminders are registered by Ofsted, and trained in first aid, health and safety and child care practice.

Benefits include:

  • flexibility;
  • small numbers of children; and
  • the ability to provide a home-like environment

Choosing a childminder

Visit several childminders to compare them and see how they get on with your child. Ask for any references or names of parents who have used their service. When discussing fees, make sure you are clear about what this includes.

Questions to ask

  • Ask to see a copy of their registration and insurance certificates and their latest Ofsted Inspection report. Registered childminders can care for up to six children under eight years. Of these, no more than three may be under five years, and of these, no more than one may be under 12 months. The numbers a childminder can care for will depend on their space, the number of their own children, and whether they work with an assistant or co-childminder.  
  • What are their normal hours of work?
  • Are they a network childminder?
  • What are their fees?
  • Do their fees include meals?
  • What are their charges for absence or sickness and holidays?
  • When do they plan to take their holidays?
  • What are their overtime rates?
  • Ask to contact parents whose children they have looked after for references?
  • How many other children do they look after and what are their ages?
  • What training and experience do they have?
  • What activities and routines do they provide for the children?
  • What outings will they plan?
  • Will they attend any local drop-ins groups?
  • What do they do about sweets, snacks and drinks?
  • How do they manage difficult behaviour?
  • How would they deal with an emergency?
  • What would happen if you wished to make a complaint? Are you able to see their complaints log?
  • Do they have any pets? How will they make sure children are kept safe around pets?
  • Do they drive? If so, does their car have the right seats and do they have proper insurance cover.

Childminder Network

Our Hackney Quality Assurance Childminder Network (HQACN) are a group of registered childminders who have shown they can provide high quality care for children. They are assessed and monitored by Childminding Network Co-ordinators. Network Co-ordinators provide support to parents in seeking a quality assured Network childminder to meet their needs. Please contact the Network Co-ordinator in your area for support in seeking a network childminder.

Network co-ordinators in Hackney

North Hackney (Woodberry Down, Stoke Newington, Stamford Hill, Upper Clapton)
Mumtaz Hakim - 07768 424 023

East Hackney (Lower Clapton, Homerton, Hackney Wick, Hackney Downs)
Grace Opon - 07810 856 321

South Hackney (Dalston, De Beauvoir, Hoxton, Haggerston, Hackney Central)
Hilary Willgress - 07768 348360

Family Information Service

The Hackney Family Information Service (FIS) offers free, impartial advice and information on childcare, paying for childcare, funded places for 2-4 year olds as well as information and advice on local services and activities for children and families. 

Other support

Hackney Local offer: Hackney's Local Offer website sets out information about services and support available for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) who are aged 0 to 25. It also offers more general information on childcare and family support.


Hackney Family Information Service (FIS)

020 8820 7000 option 6 or 020 8820 7590
This page was last modified on: 2 May 2024