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Children's centres


COVID-19 update

Early years guidance

Childminders are self-employed working in their own home, caring for children from the age of birth upwards for part or all of the day.

Charges for childminding are agreed between parent and childminder and will vary depending upon the number of hours your child is cared for.

Childminders in South Tyneside

If you would like a list of current South Tyneside Ofsted approved childminders contact the Families Information Service on 0800 783 4645.

Update to the guidance for childminders

From Thursday 17 March, if someone in a childminder's household has tested positive or has COVID-19 symptoms, childminders can continue to operate at home. Childminders are advised to follow the steps below to reduce the risk of onward transmission:

  • the person who has tested positive or has COVID-19 symptoms should avoid contact with the children being cared for in the setting
  • where possible, use separate toilet and handwashing facilities. If this is not possible, maintain extra cleaning and hygiene routines, particularly after the person has used the facilities
  • notify parents, carers, and any assistants that someone has tested positive or has COVID-19 symptoms, as soon as reasonably possible and maintain open communication with them throughout
  • consider the need to reduce the spread of COVID-19 with mitigations, such as ventilation and extra cleaning and hygiene routines. They should be applied where practical and safe to do so. Additional information on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 is available in the guidance published by the Cabinet Office
  • comply with health and safety law by reviewing your risk assessment. The risk assessment must demonstrate that the provision of childcare in your setting is safe, and how you will put into place any additional but proportionate measures

Childminders can also consider using alternative places to operate such as other childminders' houses, where possible


All childminders in South Tyneside undertake a course of preparation prior to Ofsted registration.

Once registered, childminders are given the opportunity to maintain skills to a high standard by attending regular training courses and awareness sessions organised by the Council.

It is South Tyneside Council's policy to strongly advise  that all childminders undergo enhanced DBS checks (formally known CRB checks). However the Council has no legal powers to enforce this. It is therefore the responsibility of the parent / carer to check the status of prospective childminders before employing them.

South Tyneside Council strongly recommends that parents/carers request proof of current enhanced DBS clearance from childminders and any other occupant of the house aged 16 or over.

The responsibility for choosing a childminder, or not, based on DBS clearance, rests with the parent/carer.

You may be eligible for the childcare tax element of Working Tax Credit if you use a registered childminder. Visit the HM Revenues and Customs website for more information on Tax credits.

Interested in becoming a childminder?

Ofsted recognised Childminder Training Courses are now available online. These distance learning courses can be delivered in a way which is flexible to fit round your busy lifestyle.

Once you have completed your Ofsted training course and Ofsted registration, we will provide you with support, training and advice in preparation for you embarking on your new career.

For information, advice and guidance contact the Families Information Service on 0800 783 4645 or email

For information about obtaining enhanced DBS clearance contact the Families Information Service on 0800 783 4645.

For help with tax or self employment visit Starting in business e-learning course (HM Revenue and Customs) or HM Revenue & Customs live webinars.

Report a concern about a childminder

If you have a concern or complaint about a childminder, you should approach the childminder direct in the first instance. 

If this is not appropriate, please contact Ofsted on 0300 123 1231.

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  • Families Information Service
  • Town Hall and Civic Offices
    Westoe Road
    South Shields
    Tyne & Wear
    United Kingdom
    NE33 2RL

  • 0800 783 4645

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