Guidance for childminders

If you give food to a child in your care, food hygiene legislation will apply to you and you are responsible for ensuring that food is prepared, stored and handled in a safe and hygienic manner.  This includes all food - from a drink of orange to a full cooked meal.  

The only exception would be when the child's parent or guardian has prepared the food. However, you are still responsible for storing it safely once it has been delivered to you.

You are also required to have a system in place to ensure that children with an allergy or intolerance are not provided with food containing that allergen.

Do I need to register?

Childminders are no longer required to register separately as a food business with Environmental Health.

When you register as a childminder with Ofsted, you are automatically registered with the local authority as a food business. Any relevant information will be shared between authorities.

Inspections

We will not normally inspect domestic childminder establishments unless we receive complaints or if there is a case of food poisoning linked with your childminding setting. 

In these cases, we would carry out a normal investigation and expect the same standards of safety as any other food business.

If you do not receive an initial inspection visit, we will contact you to discuss and verify the nature of your food activities, and to provide some further advice on how to meet your statutory obligations.

Safer food, better business pack for childminders

Like other food businesses, you will have to keep some simple written records. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has produced a food safety management pack to help childminders and other childcare providers meet food hygiene rules.  The pack helps you to keep a record of what you do to make sure the food you give to children is safe to eat. It has important information on food hygiene measures and allergens. It will help you demonstrate that you are meeting food safety rules.

Download the pack below, along with other useful information from the FSA.