Renfrewshire Council

Food safety for childminders

Food safety is very important to childminders, because children are a vulnerable group, which means they can be more seriously affected by food poisoning than adults.

Since 2006, many childminders have been covered by food hygiene regulations, and also need to register as a 'food business operator' with their Local Authority. These regulations do not apply to all childminders - it depends whether you regularly provide snacks or meals for the children in your care.

Do you need to register?

If you only provide the following levels of food service as part of your normal business and no more, you are not be required to register as a food business operator:

  • Provision of mains drinking water
  • Provision of crockery and cutlery for use by children to eat their own packed lunches
  • Provision of chilled storage for packed lunches that belong to the children
  • Occasional assistance to children with cutting up their own food in response to individual need rather than as an established service
  • Occasional provision of food that is not part of the normal service (e.g. a cake to celebrate a child's birthday or provision of food where a parent/guardian has been delayed)
  • Operating in the child's own home and serving food that belongs to the child's parent/guardian e.g. nannies or home childcarers.

If you do any more than this in the way of food preparation you will need to register.

How do I register?

If you need a registration form you can download the form from the 'related media' section of this page, complete it online and email it to us.

You can also print it off and post it to us. Alternatively, contact us and we will post a copy to you for completion.

We will then arrange to visit you and help you put in place practical and proportionate measures to ensure food safety.

Further information

For more information on becoming a childminder visit the Scottish Childminding Association.

For registration forms and legal requirements visit the Care Inspectorate website.

Keeping a record of what you do to keep food safe

Childminders covered by the food hygiene regulations need to keep a record of what is done to keep food safe.

The Food Standards Agency has produced a special pack 'Safer Food Better Business for Child minders', which enables you to do this with as little paperwork as possible.