Becoming a Childminder

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A flexible and rewarding career

With a fantastic package of support, funding and training available, get ready to take the first steps towards establishing your new childminding business.

Is childminding right for me?

Find out what its like to become a childminder

Many people choose childminding as a career as it combines earning an income whilst caring for their own children.

What our childminders love about childminding

Becoming a childminder has been such a great decision for myself and my family.

I’ve had lots of enquiries from families, and I’m really looking forward to getting to know the children, helping them grow and develop.

Claire Mooney

My favourite thing about being a childminder is welcoming the children into my home and creating a really nurturing environment.

I love how the children are all different – it’s so rewarding being able to play an active part in their development. I would recommend anyone thinking about becoming a childminder to do it. It’s hard work but is the most rewarding job.

Karen Frazer

Becoming a professional childminder is one of the best things I’ve ever done.

I have the flexibility of setting my own hours, so I work four days per week. It enables me to earn an income and do a job that I absolutely love.

Zoe Elizabeth Thwaites

How does
it work?

Take the first steps towards becoming a childminder. It’s simple to get started.

First steps

Explore all the information on this page then get in touch through our website today and we’ll email you.

Watch the recorded information sessions to get a better understanding of the programme.

Reach out to us using the ‘chat’ or ‘get started’ links in the email.

We’ll help you check if you’re eligible for the programme.

Phase two

If you’re eligible, we’ll send you an SCMA Candidate Agreement to sign.

Once you sign and return it, you’ll officially join the programme.

We’ll send you the Childminding Induction Support Programme materials and the Strong Foundations Pack to help you get ready.

Phase three

Watch our videos, join fun group sessions, and get personalised help from an expert.

Download and read the Care Inspectorate’s guide to registering as a childminder.

Create your Care Inspectorate account (registration may take around 6 months).

After submitting your application, enjoy free online childminding courses.

Phase four

Once you’re registered, you’ll get your certificate and unique registration number.

You’ll also become an SCMA member!

To help start your business, you’ll receive a business start-up grant!

I’m interested!
What happens now?

We provide dedicated, one-to-one support and can answer all your questions

Frequently Asked Questions

There are no specific professional qualifications needed to become a childminder, however, it is good practice for all to complete SCMA’s Childminding Induction Support Programme and 12 hours of continued professional learning (CPL) per year to ensure the high quality of your childminding business. It is also essential that you have a passion for working with and supporting the learning and development of children.

You must register with the Care Inspectorate to become a childminder. SCMA will support you at every stage of registration and beyond, our dedicated staff are experts and here to help.

Once you have submitted your application for registration to the Care Inspectorate, registration could take an average of up to 6 months.  This is dependent on you submitting all the relevant information for your application to be processed.

To become a childminder via this programme, candidates should live in one of the local authorities listed and, where appropriate, within one of the specific communities being targeted.

Childminders normally care for a maximum of six children at any one time under the age of 16, (of whom no more than three are not yet attending primary school and of whom no more than one is under twelve months). You should also consider your own children, and any children in your household, and their ages – as they are always included within the maximum number of children you can care for at any one time.

It is still possible to become a childminder no matter where you live in Scotland!  We are working to make this programme available in more areas in future years , however  if you live in a local authority area that isn’t currently part of the Programme, you can start your journey by visiting our Becoming a Childminder webpage to find out more.  While the approach is different and the same funding may not be available, we have years of experience in assisting new childminders, and you will receive expert support throughout the process from SCMA.  You can also call SCMA Helpline on 01786 449063 to discuss becoming a childminder with one of our friendly team.

As a participant on the Programme, once you have completed registration with the Care Inspectorate and HMRC, you’ll have access to a minimum £750* business start-up grant which can be used to help with any start up costs and to reimburse you for purchases. Proof of purchase will be required so please keep all receipts.  

* £750 Minimum – value may vary in some local authority areas.

Additional information on applying for the start-up-grant is available via your Workforce Officer and through our support sessions which you will have access to as a candidate on the programme. 

Places on the Programme for eligible candidates are allocated on a first-come-first served basis so please make sure you complete the required information as quickly as possible.


  • Childminding induction training and your first year of SCMA membership
  • One to one tailored support throughout
  • Start-up package of three childminding-specific training courses
  • Minimum £750* Business Start-Up Grant (the value of this may vary throughout local authority areas)

More than 80% of childminders in Scotland are SCMA members – it includes a range of exclusive benefits which help to support your childminding career, including:


  • SCMA Practitioner Insurance
  • FREE Continuous Professional Learning; a host of resources and funded learning in your Membership Dashboard
  • You’re part of a wider network of professional childminders – be part of something bigger!
  • Exclusive access for members to advertising via our online childminder search service
  • Exclusive access to our Annual Conference, training, & regular updates including our dedicated ‘Childminding Magazine’
  • Access to our SCMA helpline, childcare and legal helplines for guidance

For more information on SCMA membership benefits, please visit our Membership page.

Register your interest

Ready to take the first step?

We are recruiting in the following areas:

West Lothian
Dumfries & Galloway
East Renfrewshire
Aberdeen City

Scottish Borders
South Lanarkshire
Argyll & Bute

Thank you to all funders and partners involved in the Programme for Scotland's Childminding Future