Childminders – “a vital community asset”

A recruitment campaign has been launched to encourage more people to become childminders. The areas identified as having a shortage of the essential workers are: Argyll & Bute, Dumfries & Galloway, Highland, Moray, North Ayrshire (Arran and Cumbrae),Scottish Borders, Orkney, Shetland, Stirling and Cne Siar. 

Recruitment is already underway in Orkney and all spaces on the pilot project have been filled. However, if you are still interested in becoming a childminder in Orkney, please register your interest anyway and we will be in touch should there be further opportunities.


The Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) with £170,000 partnership funding from South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) aims to create more than 100 new professional childminding jobs and up to 900 much-needed childcare spaces for families in these areas.

Graeme McAlister, Chief Executive, Scottish Childminding Association, said:

“Childminding is a vital community asset providing local flexible childcare and family support .

“As we emerge from COVID-19 there may be people considering a change of career which supports working from home – this is a fantastic opportunity for those living in these target areas to access a wealth of support in setting up their own sustainable childminding business and to undertake a rewarding new career.”

A survey by SCMA in 2020 reported positive experiences of those who had decided to change their career to childminding – with 88% saying they would recommend it to others. 93% who had their own children before becoming a childminder particularly valued using their own knowledge and experience to help other families.

How to Apply

This is a pilot scheme. Those who apply and are accepted will be supported every step of the way by a dedicated member of the SCMA team, from induction training and support through the registration process to establishing their new business.

On completion of registration with the Care Inspectorate and HMRC, the new childminder will receive a £750 start-up grant to help cover any costs associated with setting up their new business from home.  They will also receive a unique package of childminding-specific training courses.

As some work to recruit more childminders has already commenced in Orkney, a modified package of support is available in this area.  More information on the target areas where new childminding businesses are needed, including eligibility and criteria is available at *

No previous childcare experience is required to become a childminder but applicants do need to be passionate about working with children.  It’s a rewarding career which provides the opportunity to contribute to children’s development, learning and wellbeing and provides a valuable childcare service within the local community.  Childminders are self-employed business owners who come from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds. They often switch to a career in professional childminding to enable them to combine caring for their own children whilst running their own business from home and earning an income.

Image credit Noel Donaldson

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