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Guidance for social workers/practitioners on the CIN process

We have created this page to provide information and guidance regarding the Child in Need (CIN) process.

Is this your 1st time completing a CIN referral, or you have questions about the process and providers?

Then we advise you to read the frequently asked questions and Common myths first? 

FAQ and Myths (see the section below).


Please view the following documents:



Child in Need Placements: FAQ

Q: Can a CIN placement be requested for a childminder to care for the child/children in the families own home?

A: No, childminders are registered by Ofsted to care for children in the childminders own home. Nannies and Au pairs care for children in the child’s own home, if you wish to use their services the placement would not be funded by the CIN funding.

Q: Can childminders care for very young babies?

A: Yes, but most childminders only take babies from 6 months old with a few taking them from 3/4 months. It would depend on the availability of the childminder and if they have a vacancy.

Q: Are all childminders able to offer CIN placements?

A: We generally aim to place CIN children with experienced childminders who have a current Ofsted grading of Outstanding or Good. When looking for a childminder in the required locality we will contact newly registered childminders if there are no designated CIN childminders with vacancies.

Q: The parent/carer does not want to use the services of a childminder but have requested a nursery place, can they choose a nursery of their choice to take up the placement?

A:  No, it is the LA policy to place children 2 years and under with a childminder. This is because research has shown that very young children especially those who are disadvantaged will settle and thrive better in a more homely environment where they will receive 1:1 care in a safe stimulating environment.

Q: Can a child over 2 years be placed in a nursery setting?

A: Yes, however currently there are only 2 WCC nurseries authorised to take CIN placements – Portman Centre in the NE locality and Dorothy Gardener in the NW locality if you wish to apply for a place with them you need to contact the setting directly. Currently there are no authorised nursery settings in the South locality only childminders.

Q: The child is already at a nursery setting in Westminster (but not a CIN authorised nursery) can the Social Worker apply for a CIN placement to cover additional hours of childcare?

A: If a CIN referral has been sent to the CIN panel and agreed then in exceptional circumstances the BBEECS Lead may authorise the placement. However please note the setting may not agree to the CIN funding rate and request top up fees. This would have to be covered by Social Services, the current CIN funding rate is £7.00 per hour.  

Q: Can the parent/choose the days and times for the childcare?

A: Yes, however the childminder may not have availability on the days/times requested and only able to offer the childcare at other times.

Q: Do CIN placements cover school holidays/bank holidays Christmas etc.?

A: CIN placements are all year round but childminders with CIN children are entitled to take 2 weeks paid holiday per year and bank holidays off. Parent/carer should confirm with the childminder themselves regarding holidays.

Q: Will the childminder be able to collect the child from the child’s own home?

A: Generally, childminders do not offer this service as it is the parents/carers responsibility to take and collect the child from the childminders home. Occasionally a childminder may be able to do this if it fits around the childminder’s daily routine/commitments, this would have to be discussed and agreed by all parties prior to the placement commencing.  

Q: The child attends nursery for half a day can a childminder collect (or drop off) a child from this setting?

A: This would depend on the childminder’s other commitments, where the setting is and the time of drop off/collection. If the childminder is caring for other children, this will make it more difficult to provide this service. If you know this is what the placement will require then this should be included on the CIN referral form.

Q: Can a childminder care for twins?

A: Yes, but it will depend on the number/age of children the childminder currently has on roll.

Common Myths

Q: Childminders aren’t qualified.

A: All registered childminders (caring for children 0 – 5 years) will have completed some initial training before registration, this training will have to be recognised by Ofsted. Many childminders hold additional qualifications such as: –

NVQ level 2 or 3 in Childcare & Education, Early Years Foundation Degree, Early Years Degree.

All childminders and their home will be inspected by Ofsted to gain registration, they will have to meet all the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework September 2021. Childminders are inspected by Ofsted in line with other Early Years settings.

Q: The childminders in the local area do not have gardens or access to their own outside area so the minded children will be cared for indoors all day.

A: The EYFS Statutory requirements states that providers must ensure all EYFS children (0 – 5 years) have access to an outdoor play area. In the case of settings including childminders who do not have this facility they will have to take all children outdoors on a daily basis. This could be to a local park, garden, playground, play group with an outdoor area.

Q: Children attending a childminder setting won’t socialise with other children or very few children.

A: Most lone childminders care for more than one child at a time, even those who only care for one child will regularly meet up with other childminders and their minded children outdoors or at drop-in groups and other local amenities such as – libraries, museums, galleries, parks, playgrounds and children’s centres. This will provide opportunities for children to meet/play with other children from a diverse background and to engage with the local community.

(Children attending a childminder setting will often have a more varied flexible routine and activity programme than children attending a group setting).  

Last Updated 06/08/2021

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