A home childcarer enables parents to have their children cared for in their own home. Parents may be eligible for financial help towrds the cost, for example, through the Working Tax Credit or NICs and tax exempt childcare vouchers.
What is a home childcarer?
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.
Home childcarers are professional childcarers, offering children safe, good quality care and providing them with play and learning opportunities that contribute to their development.
The Home Childcarer Approval Scheme does:
- verify that the home childcarer has a relevant childcare qualification or has attended an induction course
- verify that the applicant has undergone appropriate first aid training
- confirm the identity of home childcarers
- undertake a criminal records check, including the disqualification lists held by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) and the Department of Education (DE). It also checks other Health and Social Care Trusts (HSCT) 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 a home childcarer?
- by using an approved home childcarer, you know that they have been checked and met basic criteria
- you know the 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 financial support through the childcare element of the Working Tax Credit or through NICs and tax exempt childcare vouchers
- you can arrange to have your child looked after in your own home
- you have responsibilities as an employer of the home childcarer, for example, PAYE, terms and conditions of employment
If you are interested in employing a home childcarer, you can find out more by referring to ‘Employing a Home Childcarer: A Guide for Parents.
To find an approved home childcarer you can also contact the Early Years Team in your local Trust who are responsible for approving home childcarers and who may have a list of approved home childcarers.
Thinking of becoming a home childcarer?
- you may widen your employment prospects in childcare, particularly through increased opportunity for employment with parents who may benefit from claiming financial support through the Working Tax Credit or NICs and tax exempt childcare vouchers
- approval provides recognised confirmation of childcare training and status
- a career in childcare is highly rewarding and enables you to contribute to children’s development through providing developmental play and learning opportunities
If you are interested in becoming a home childcarer, you must:
- be 18 or over
- hold a childcare qualification or have attended an appropriate induction course
- have completed first-aid training
- agree to a criminal records check, including a check of the disqualification lists held by DHSSPS and DE and checks other HSS Trust records
If you meet the above criteria, you can find out more by referring to ‘Becoming an Approved Home Childcarer: A Guide for Home Childcarers’ and downloading an application form.
- Becoming an Approved Home Childcarer: A Guide for Home Childcarers
- Home Childcarer application form (PDF 58KB)
- Help with pdf files
Home childcarers must have a relevant childcare qualification or have completed induction training before applying to become a home childcarer. Information on relevant training is available by contacting the Early Years Team in your local HSCT.