Childcare on domestic premises (CODP) allows you to work with more than 2 staff at a time from your home, rather like setting up a mini nursery rather than a childminding provision. CODP is a new type of registration that first came into force in 2008.
Ofsted released a factsheet about CODP in 2013 which was subsequently withdrawn and little specific information has been forthcoming since apart from a few brief mentions in the Early Years and Childcare Registration handbook - https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/650103/EY_and_childcare_reg_handbook.pdf.
The Early Years and Childcare Registration handbook states – ‘Childcare on domestic premises is where there are four or more people working together, for example four childminders, or two childminders and two assistants or one childminder and three assistants.’
Note that CODP must be on ‘domestic premises’ which means ‘premises which are wholly or mainly a private dwelling’ (EY Registration handbook – definitions).
You cannot be a childminder and operate CODP at the same time – if you need to change your registration to CODP you will retain this registration, even if you go under 3 staff members or below occasionally during the week. However, you will need to ensure you comply with the CODP rules at all times eg having a manager with the relevant qualifications.
Under new rules in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act (Jan 2016), providers of CODP can ‘spend up to 50% of their time working on approved non-domestic premises … for example in purpose-built premises, village halls, school premises. Such childcare normally includes nurseries, pre-/after-school clubs and holiday clubs’ (EY registration handbook – definitions). These providers will need to be registered under the 50 / 50 rules with Ofsted.
You will find more information about the new 50/ 50 rules here –
There are lots of things to consider before making changes to your registration status from childminder to CODP including:
· Planning permission – it is likely that you will need to apply to your Local Authority for planning permission before you expand your provision. Information about planning permission rules here –http://www.childmindinghelp.co.uk/freeresources/Free%20downloads/planning-permission-rules-england.html.
· Floor space – you must use the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS, 2017) to check what floor space you need if you are going to take on extra children. Your rooms can be multi-use eg used for children during the day and as a home environment at night – you just need to be creative with your spaces. Information about floor space requirements to comply with the EYFS here –
· Mortgage or rental status – you must have permission from either your mortgage provider or rental agency to provide CODP. Some mortgage providers might charge extra and some rental agencies might not give permission if they cannot get appropriate insurance – you might consider looking into this and providing them with some possible solutions.
· Insurance - public liability – you will need to check your public liability insurance covers you for the extra staff members and children. It is likely that you will have to buy extra cover.
· Insurance – buildings and contents – you will need to ensure your buildings and contents insurance covers you for the extra staff members and children on the premises. You might find that most insurance companies limit the amount of children you can care for under normal circumstances to a maximum of 6 under 8s and you will need to find an insurer which allows you to buy more cover.
· Registration status - CODP can be registered in an individual name or as a limited company – you should take legal advice before making this decision because being a limited company can impact on all sorts of other areas as well.Note that if 4 or more registered childminders want to start working together as CODP they might be advised to form a company, partnership or informal association such as a committee so they are all equally responsible for the registration. One of the group will be the ‘nominated person’ who acts as group representative with Ofsted but this person will not have any more responsibility for the registration than any of the other members of the group (Ofsted guidance: 080142). Legal advice should be taken before entering into this sort of arrangement.
· Registration fee – all providers are required to pay a registration fee to Ofsted. The fee to register as CODP is currently £220.00 a year (correct 2017). You will find more information about fees here –https://www.gov.uk/register-childminder-childcare-provider/how-to-apply.
· Qualification requirements – you need to ensure you comply with the qualification requirements in the EYFS relating to ‘the manager must hold at least a full and relevant level 3 qualification and at least half of all other staff must hold at least a full and relevant level 2 qualification’ (EYFS, requirement 3.23). When employing staff you will need to check that their qualifications are ‘full and relevant’ – you will find more information here - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/early-years-qualifications-finder.
· DBS checks – every employee will require a Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) check to ensure they are suitable to work with children -
· Employer – as an employer you will be responsible for paying staff wages (payroll), tax, national insurance, sickness pay, holiday pay, pension etc. You should weight these extra expenses up against the possible / expected extra income your new CODP business is likely to generate.
· Manager – a CODP provision must have a manager before it can operate. The manager should have ‘at least two years’ experience of working in an early years setting, or have at least two years’ other suitable experience’ (EYFS requirement 3.23). The manager is responsible for ensuring staff work together to support children’s care and learning and that staff are appropriately qualified, supported and trained in the same way as a nursery manager operates (EYFS requirements 3.20 – 3.22).
· Deputy Manager – note the requirement in the EYFS that ‘The provider must ensure there is a named deputy who, in their judgement, is capable and qualified to take charge in the manager’s absence’ (EYFS requirement 3.23).
· Safeguarding training – it is likely that your Local Authority will require you to undertake a safeguarding training course as a manager which is more detailed than the one you previously took as a childminder. Every CODP provider needs a designated safeguarding lead (usually the Manager) and a deputy who can answer parent questions in the Manager’s absence.
· Fire safety – as a mini nursery you will have to comply with your local fire safety officer’s advice including providing fire extinguishers, emergency lighting and emergency signage. Most CODP providers also need a fire safety policy which might need to be drawn up by a specialist company.
· First aid – note the requirement in the EYFS that, ‘At least one person who has a current paediatric first aid (PFA) certificate must be on the premises and available at all times when children are present, and must accompany children on outings’ (EYFS requirement 3.25) and that ‘All newly qualified entrants to the early years workforce who have completed a level 2 and/or level 3 qualification on or after 30 June 2016, must also have either a full PFA or an emergency PFA certificate within three months of starting work in order to be included in the required staff : child ratios at level 2 or level 3 in an early years setting (EYFS requirement 3.25 and relevant footnotes).
· Ratios – you must understand the ratio requirements as stated in the EYFS in relation to the amount of children you can care for and the qualification requirements for staff members. If a staff member has to leave the provision to, for example, go on a school run ratios should be checked to ensure the children still on the premises are within the correct ratios. If a staff member uses their car to transport children to and from school, appropriate vehicle insurance must be purchased (usually class 1 business use).
· Staff break room – the EYFS states that staff must be provided with a place they can take breaks away from the children. This does not necessarily need to be a separate room but it must allow the staff member to rest without being disturbed.
· Health and safety at work – if you work with 5 of more staff members you will need to comply with Health and Safety at Work legislation including RIDDOR and COSHH requirements. You will find more information here - http://www.hse.gov.uk/ and a free booklet to give to your staff here - http://www.hse.gov.uk/.
When you have fully prepared, gained planning permission and carefully considered your business plan, you will need to inform Ofsted that you wish to change your registration from childminding to CODP.
After completing your application, Ofsted will inspect you and check that the premises and manager are suitable to operate a bigger provision – in English (see EYFS requirement 3.26) – with appropriate resources and equipment to support the children’s care and learning needs.
If you have any questions about the process of changing your registration from childminding to CODP you should contact Ofsted – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you – as ever – to Denise Tupman from Grafton Childcare for proofreading and pointing me in the right direction for things I’d missed.
Sarah | Knutsford Childminding.