Choosing an Approved Home Childcarer

Become a Childminder
An approved home childcarer enables parents to have their children cared for in their own home.  Parents may be eligible for financial help towards the cost, for example, through the Working Tax Credit or NICs and tax exempt childcare vouchers.

What is an approved home childcarer?

Home childcarers are professional childcarers, offering children safe, good quality care and providing them with play and learning opportunities that contribute to their development.
Some families, for example, those who work outside the traditional Monday to Friday, nine to five working hours, families with children with disabilities or larger families, may prefer childcare in their own home.

the home childcarer approval scheme:

  • The Home Childcarer Approval Scheme provides recognised status for individuals providing childcare in a child’s own home. Whilst this type of childcare is not required by law to be registered, the checks undertaken by Health and Social Care Trusts (HSCT) provide a basic level of assurance for parents.  Using an Approved Home Childcarer also entitles parents to access childcare benefits and support that is made available by the Government.
  • Verifies that the home childcarer has a relevant childcare qualification or has attended an induction course.
  • Verifies that the applicant has undergone appropriate first aid training.
  • Confirms the identity of home childcarers.
  • Undertakes a criminal records check, including the disqualification lists held by the Department of Health and the Department of Education.  It also checks other Health and Social Care Trusts records to ensure that there is nothing in the home childcarer’s background that suggests they are unsuitable to work with, or have unsupervised access, to children.

the home childcARER approval scheme does not:

  • Verify whether the home childcarer is eligible to work in the UK.
  • Clarify the age group the home childcarer is suited to work with.
  • Check the medical history of a home childcarer.
  • Guarantee that parents using an approved home childcarer are entitled to financial support.
  • Remove the parent’s ultimate responsibility to make sure that home childcarers are individually suitable to look after their children.
  • Enable parents to claim the childcare element of the Working Tax Credit if using relatives for approved home childcare.

thinking of employing an approved home childcare?

  • By using an Approved Home Childcarer, you know that they have been checked and met basic criteria
  • You know the Approved Home Childcarer has some understanding of children’s needs and what to do in an emergency
  • By using an Approved Home Childcarer you may be able to access a range of financial support that is made available by Government to support the costs of childcare
  • You can arrange to have your child looked after in your own home
  • You have responsibilities as an employer of the Approved Home Childcarer, for example PAYE, terms and conditions of employment

You can find out more by referring to ‘Employing an Approved Home Childcarer: A Guide for Parents’ at