Coronavirus, early years and childcare

Early education and childcare during coronavirus

For child safety, early education and childcare providers follow the guidance issued by the Department for Education. Early education and childcare settings are now open to everyone. 

Children's centres remain open

All 12 Children’s Centres in Tower Hamlets will remain open with the easing of lockdown. Health and safety remains our top priority - for staff, families and the community. We have adapted our services to be ‘Covid-secure’ and we continue to offer:

- Health appointments

- Early learning for two-year-olds

- Face-to-face support for vulnerable, and newly vulnerable, parents 

- Collection of vitamins

Some small group sessions will be operating, please check our timetable for details.

We follow the latest government guidelines, which means our timetables and services are subject to change.

Please phone your local children's centre before you visit to make an appointment and find out the latest information.

Training sessions 

We continue to provide blended learning for our first aid and safeguarding courses and adult education courses.

Thank you

We would like to express our gratitude to all early education and childcare settings and childminders who have continued throughout COVID to offer Tower Hamlets children a wonderful, safe, caring and stimulating time. Thank you!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Google+ Addthis

Becoming a childminder in Tower Hamlets

Registered childminders are self-employed and run their own business from their home, caring for other
people’s children. They provide a home-based childcare setting for small groups of children of different
ages. Working as a childminder is a very rewarding career.

The early years workforce development team can:
  • Give Tower Hamlets residents guidance on routes into childminding through our information session;
  • Provide residents with advice on appropriate training opportunities to become a childminder;
  • Help residents register with Ofsted.
Information you can find on this page:
  1. Information session
  2. What is a childminder?
  3. Can I register?
  4. How long will it take?
  5. Childminding drop-in sessions
  6. Contact details of Early Years Advisors
  7. More information 
  8. Useful Childminder resources

Information session

We offer group information sessions led by our Early Years Advisors team who will provide in-depth advice on the process of becoming a registered childminder in Tower Hamlets.

By the end of the session you will be informed of what you can expect from childminding, what is expected of you and have an understanding of the Ofsted registration process. Our information sessions aim to help you establish if childminding is a career option for you. There will be many opportunities at the session to ask questions.

The group information sessions are delivered over a two-hour period.

Crèche facilities are not available at the sessions, therefore if needed you are advised to arrange childcare prior to the day.

The dates we have booked are:

  • Tuesday 12 February 2019, 10am-12pm
  • Thursday 20 June 2019, 10am-12pm

Return to top of page 

What is a childminder?

A person who regularly looks after children under eight years of age who are not the parents or close relatives of the children in their care, for reward or pay, in their own home, is required to register with Ofsted. Ofsted is the government department responsible for registering and inspecting childminders in England.

It is illegal for an unregistered person to look after children under eight years old for reward of pay for more than two hours a day.

Return to top of page 

Can I register?

You can register as a childminder if you:

  • have the right to work in the UK

  • are aged 18 or over

  • are allowed to work with children – you’ll need to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check beforehand, along with everyone else you live with aged over 16

  • are physically and mentally capable of caring for children. Your doctor will have to sign a health declaration booklet to confirm this.

You cannot register as a childminder if you:

  • are barred from working with children

  • have been refused registration previously

  • have had your registration cancelled for a reason other than for not paying your annual fee

  • live in the same place as someone else who is disqualified.

Return to top of page 

What you need to do to register

Before you submit an Ofsted application to register as a childminder, you will need to complete a:

People living or working in the childminders household aged 16 or over will have to have a DBS check.

Return to top of page 

How long will it take?

It takes anywhere from four to nine months to register as a childminder, depending on the variables listed under the ‘What you need to do to register’ section.

Return to top of page

Childminding drop-in sessions

The following drop-in sessions run only during term-time.

Tuesdays 9.30 – 11.30am
Isle of Dogs Children’s Centre
Stebondale Street
Isle of Dogs
E14 3BX
Early Years Advisor:
Brenda Lubrun – Tel: 07966089251
Wednesdays 9.45 – 11.45am
John Smith Children’s Centre
90 Stepney Way
E1 2EN
Early Years Advisor:
Julie Ulla – Tel: 07961831660
Wednesdays 10am –12pm
Meath Gardens Children’s Centre
1 Smart Street
Bethnal Green
E2 0SN
Early Years Advisor Carol Akyeampong – Tel: 07904844658
Thursdays 10 – 11.45am
Overland Children’s Centre
60 Parnell Road
E3 2RU
Early Years Advisor:
Sarah Champion – Tel: 07904158757
 Fridays 10am –12pm
Chrisp Street Children’s Centre
23-27 Market Way
E14 6AH
Early Years Advisor
Monwara Ali – Tel: 07984369790

Contact details of Early Years advisors

If you would like to become a childminder and would like to speak to someone to get more information and advice, you may contact one of our Early Years Advisors. Please call the advisor that deals with the area in which you reside.
 Contact Name Email address Contact number Area (post code)
Carol Akyeampong

020 7364 4144       

07904 844 658


Julie Ulla

020 7364 4837

07908 831 660

E1 & E1W

Sarah Champion

020 7364 4145

07904 158 757

E2 & E3 (Bow and Mile End)

Monwara Ali

020 7364 4293

07984 369790

E14 (Around Poplar & Chrisp Street)

Brenda Lubrun

020 7364 4495

07966 089 251

E14 (Isle of Dogs)

Pat Wells

020 7364 4896

07908 456 720

Strategic Quality Manager

More information

You can download a Childminders information sheet, where this will give you specific information on what you would need to become a childminder.
You can find more information about a career as a childminder from the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY), an organisation promoting best practice and supporting childcare professionals to deliver high standards of care and learning.

Useful childminder resources

1. Administration

 2. Two year old integrated review

3. Health and safety

4. Learning and development

5. Safeguarding

6. Statutory and guidance documents

7. What if..?


8. Useful links

Childcare and childminding associations

Ofsted contact details and links

Tel: 0300 123 1231
Website: Online Ofsted

Becoming a childminder

You will have to set up an online account with Ofsted.  

You will be given an Ofsted key number, make sure you take a photo and write this down carefully, along with any passwords. You will not be given these again.

EYC Childminder from

EY2 form


To be completed by members of the family or other people living in your home or visiting regularly over the age of 16.

Also for assistants


Disclosure and Barring Service

Everyone over the age of 16


Health declaration for the childminder

Google, Health Declaration 2012 form

To be printed, completed and take to the doctor for verification.

This is then to be sent to Ofsted at:

Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
M1 2WD



If documents below are not submitted after 8 weeks of sending off the EYC form, Ofsted will close your application:

  • EY2 forms
  • DBS checks
  • Health Declaration form
  • Application fee paid
  • HBCA (Preparing to work in Home Based Childcare) certificate number
  • First Aid certificate number

If you have not worked for 36 months after your registration, Ofsted will cancel your registration. If you do not pay the registration fee each year Ofsted will cancel your registration.

Ofsted guidance 

Remember you must have a relevant and valid paediatric first aid certificate; (full certificate 12 hour course)

Further companies offering Ofsted required First Aid courses can be found on the internet and  you can also access details of courses on offer by Tower Hamlets Early Years or telephone 020 7364 7947.

Return to top of page