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Childminders - Costs and conditions

It is not the responsibility of Families Information Direct or OFSTED to set pay and conditions for childminders. Childminders are self-employed people.

Please note the following is for guidance only and the information has been taken from different sources such as local childminding groups, awareness of local conditions and examples of good practice.

You do not have to stick to these guidelines if it does not suit your particular situation. However it is important that parents and childminders reach an agreement regarding pay and conditions through a written contract that is signed and dated by both parties.


Pre-printed contracts are available through the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) (formerly NCMA) or Childminders and parents may draw up their own contract.

The current average costs of a childminder in Redbridge are:

  • Full Time Place: £150 - £250 per week (average £207.55)
  • Part-time Places: £30 - £35 per day
  • Before and After School: £3.50 - £5.50 per hour (average £83 per week)

Many childminders are happy to provide families with part- time places. A part-time place may be 3 days a weeks etc. If a childminder does not usually mind on this basis, then he or she may charge for the full place (i.e. full time).

Before and after school childminding could start from 7am until 9am and from 3pm until 7pm. The rate for 'unsociable' hours may be slightly higher.

Childminders may take a deposit to secure the placement for the child - which is refundable on termination of the contract.

Fees vary depending on the total number of hours, and whether they include unsociable hours, which are normally before 8.00am and after 6.00pm. Hours and terms and conditions must be negotiated with the childminder. There may be an extra charge for babies depending on what the childminder and parent have agreed to provide between them, e.g. nappies, wipes, food.

Holidays and Absence

Parent's Annual Holidays
When parents are on holiday, but the childminder is still working and the place is therefore available, then full fee would normally be paid. When a parent has extended holidays or leave, special arrangements may be agreed whereby the childminder makes a reduction in his or her normal fee. This must be discussed in advance. Childminders usually take up to four weeks holiday in a year. As self-employed people childminders would not normally expect to be paid when they are not providing a service. However, traditionally in Redbridge some childminders have preferred to keep their weekly charges as low as possible and if parent and the childminder are able to be on holiday at the same time then the childminder is paid for this holiday.

Bank Holidays
Traditionally childminders would expect to have paid bank holidays off. However, this will be discussed and agreed as part of your contract. If parents are going to work Bank holidays and may require the services of their childminder, it is important for them to request this in advance and that an increased fee is arranged.

Parent's Occasional days off
Usually parents will pay the childminder as usual in these circumstances because the service is still available and the payment is for the place.

Childminder's Occasional Day Off
Usually childminders only have the odd days off in special circumstances, and are advised to give parents as much notice as possible. Parents would not pay because the service is not available.

Parent's or Child's Sickness

If a place is not used because of parent or child's sickness the full fee is usually still charged. For long term sickness the childminder may be prepared to negotiate a reduction in fee. However this must be discussed in advance and agreed by both parties. If a childminder is unable to offer the usual service because of sickness in their family then parents do not usually pay the child's fee as they may have to pay someone else for childcare.

Overtime & Unsocial Hours
Not all childminders are able to do overtime, so it is important to discuss this. The childminder will need to know if you are going to bring a child earlier or collect later. There may be a charge if it is outside your normal hours. Childminders often work in a very flexible manner, and sometimes may be able to cover unsocial hours/ or weekend working, however this service must be requested in advance. You should expect to pay more for unsocial hours.

Teachers' Children
When teacher's children are cared for it is usual for a retainer fee to be agreed for holiday periods. This will usually be half fee for Easter, summer and Christmas holidays. Full fees may be charged for half terms. However some childminders are specifically registered for term times only, or request term times only -in these circumstances no fee is paid for holiday periods. When a childminder is accepting a retainer fee, then s/he should be prepared to care for the child at times during this period. However this must be planned in advance and the childminder will obviously expect to be paid a full fee for these occasions.

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