Generally speaking, Childminders are regarded as low-risk food premises but they still have responsibilities. It is a requirement for Childminders to register their business with their Local Authority before having children on roll. So do childminders also need a food hygiene certificate? While it is not a legal requirement to take a course and gain a certificate, it’s very much encouraged.
Childminders must have knowledge of the risks involved in food preparation and be aware of how to reduce these risks. A food hygiene course is a perfect way to ensure you stay within the UK food safety laws. Childcare settings can be inspected by Environmental Health Officers so having a certificate covers yourself.
Do I Need a Hygiene Certificate For Childminding?
Childminders in England are required to follow all standards set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Within this document, it states child carers must be competent when it comes to preparing and handling food. It is logical, therefore, that your next step would be to take part in a hygiene course.
Allergies in children are on the rise so it is very important that Childminders understand the risks and show awareness of the food allergens. Childminders who provide meals in their setting need to be able to list all the allergens in the foods they prepare. Understanding issues such as what the 14 allergens are is vital in creating a safe childcare setting. Even those who do not supply meals, still need to understand how to correctly store food and fridge and freezer temperatures.
Our expert guide on how to become a childminder gives a complete overview of all the training, certifications and courses you need to run a childminding business.
Which Food Hygiene Certificate Do I Need for Childminding?
As food handlers, the most relevant certificate for Childminders is a Level 2 in Food Hygiene. This course complies with the aspects of the Food Safety Act which is relevant to Childminding practices. As a small business, they must make sure they and any staff understand their role in keeping all food safe.
Level 2 Food Hygiene Key Features
A Level 2 in food hygiene will cover the following:
- All the most recent guidance for food hygiene.
- The importance of food safety.
- How to safely store all food and drinks.
- The 14 Food Allergens.
- Appropriate hygiene routines.
- Common food hazards and prevention.
- Preparing foods safely.
- Cleaning requirements.
Our guide on how to get food hygiene certificates gives an overview on how you can get certification quickly and easily via online training.
Other Food Training Courses to Consider
Childminders mainly work on their own so it may be helpful to explore other food courses that might add to your knowledge.
Food Allergen Awareness
This is broadly covered in Level 2 food hygiene, however, having a deeper knowledge of them might be helpful. This is particularly the case if you will be preparing all meals and are likely to come into contact with allergies.
Should a Childminder be taking on a child with more severe allergies, such as anaphylaxis, then this course will help you prepare. It ensures you are aware of the risks and how to reduce these and also the signs of this allergic reaction.
There is no formal expiry date on food hygiene certificates for Childminders but refreshing it every 3 years is advised. Laws and guidance often change so it’s important to make sure the knowledge you have is still relevant.
Food hygiene certificates are not a legal requirement for Childminders but they are heavily advised. Childminders have a duty of care and must be following guidance from the Safer Food, Better Business document. It makes sense, therefore, to do one of these courses so that you understand your role as a food handler.