If you love working with children and are thinking of setting yourself up as a childminder from your own home, you may be eligible for start-up funding from the Department for Education. 

To help you get started on your journey to being a childminder, whether finding out about funding, training or for more information on what is involved, contact Sefton Council's Families Information Service on 0345 140 0845 or by email:

Below are some commonly asked questions about childminding as a career and more information about the Childcare Business Grant Scheme and how it can help you get you started.  


What is a registered childminder?

Registered childminders are self-employed and look after children in the childminder’s own home. Children can go to a childminder from a few months of age right through until they reach secondary school, thus offering real continuity of care in a home-based setting. Childminders can provide a child with care, learning and play opportunities and lots of fun in family sized groups within a home setting. They can make the most of their local parks, playgrounds, toy libraries, drop-in groups, community centres and children's centres.

Am I eligible for start up funding?

This scheme is intended to reimburse you for the costs of setting up your childcare business.  The scheme is only open to newly registered businesses. From 1 May 2017 a newly registered business is one that has been registered with Ofsted or a CMA within the last 3 months.

Please note that from 1st May 2017, if you have been registered with Ofsted for longer than 3 months you are not eligible for a grant. This rule will be strictly upheld.

How much grant can I access?

Details of revised Scheme from 4th April 2018

There is a higher level of award (£1,000) for childminders who care for children with SEN/D and for new Childminder Agencies (CMAs), and introducing two tiers of general award:

  • A universal award of £300 for new childminders across England;
  • Introducing a locality supplement of £200 to the universal award, providing a total grant of £500. This will be paid to new childminders within certain local authorities (LA) where there are low numbers of childminders, and the LA has been highlighted as facing challenges around rurality and disadvantage.

 You can find out more about your eligibility at the Childcare Business Grant website.

How long do I have to claim the funding?

The Childcare Business Grants Scheme is funded by the Department for Education. There is a fixed amount of funding available and is demand-led and operates on a first come / first served basis. Our advice is to not delay your application

Why is this funding important?

As a childminder you will be self-employed and going into business for yourself. This will mean certain start up costs, such as training to prepare you for your role as a childminder or making adaptations to your home where appropriate.   

Ordinarily, new childminders have covered these costs themselves - so this funding represents a unique opportunity that might not be repeated.  

What other support can I expect?

All prospective childminders in Sefton are required to receive three support visits from a Sefton Quality Improvement Officer.

Should you decide to go ahead with the registration process you must have completed training which helps you understand and implement the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).  A range of training and skills will be covered.

Once I'm a registered childminder, what support will there be?

Sefton provides the initial and the ongoing support so that you meet safeguarding and welfare requirements to build and improve the quality of provision and the learning and development of children.  

There are a number of short training courses on offer to keep your skills relevant and up-to-date. Most of these courses will uncur a small fee.

Sefton's Families Information Service will also update your vacancies several times per year and help promote your childminding service to local parents.

How do I find out more? Where do I start?

Contact Sefton Council's Families Information Service on 0345 140 0845 or by email:

You will be sent an introductory pack explaining all that is involved in becoming a childminder. You will also then be given the opportunity to discuss the process in more details with a Quality Improvement Officer. There is absolutely no obligation and this support is just to help you in deciding if childminding is the right choice for you.

Last Updated

Last updated: 19/08/2019


Skip back to top of page