Social work and caring services

Career outlook for childminder

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


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What's it like?

You would look after people’s children in your own home whilst their parents are at work or studying.

You’d make the children feel safe and keep them warm and well-fed. You’d spend time playing, chatting and reading. You’d enjoy having fun with them.

You could look after babies and children under five during the day or older children after school and in the school holidays.

You would:

  • Plan, prepare and serve the children’s meals
  • Change nappies and make up bottles for babies
  • Offer a range of play activities, both indoors and outside, to help children develop
  • Take children on outings, for example to the park or to toddler groups
  • Take children to and from playgroup or school

You’d need to make sure they are safe when they are with you, so you’d need to know about child protection issues, and that your house is clean and hygienic.

You’d carry out parents' requests for their children's diet, routines and religion. You’d also tell them about what their children have been doing when they are with you.

Working conditions


You will be able to set your own hours to some extent, but these will have to fit in with the needs of parents. Some childminders offer a weekend and/or overnight service for parents who work shifts.


Your home will be inspected to make sure it is safe and hygienic, and you may need to make some changes, such as fitting safety gates.


You may have to take the children on outings or to school or playgroup. Some parents may request that you have a driving licence.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Positive attitude
  • Supporting
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Empathising
  • Social conscience
  • Attention to detail
  • Mentoring
  • Motivating others

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Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

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There are no formal qualifications required to enter this self-employed role, though a relevant care or childcare qualification such as a National Certificate in Child Care may be of value.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Care
  • Childcare & development
  • Health and food technologies


You will also need

You must be at least 18 years old.

You must be registered with the Care Inspectorate to look after a child in your home for more than two hours every day. The Care Inspectorate will visit your home to assess safety and your suitability to mind children.  They will undertake further checks each year.

You will require a Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme record check for yourself. You will also require Disclosure Scotland criminal record checks (or equivalent) for all those aged over 16, including your adult children, who live with you.


Helpful to have

  • Work-based experience and qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Children’s Care, Learning and Development (SVQ level 2/3)
  • First Aid Certificate
  • Practical cookery skills

The Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) runs approved short courses through local colleges.

Experience of working with children is very useful.