SFBB For Childminders

Food Safety

The Food Standards Agency has produced a Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) pack especially for childcarers such as childminders.

The SFBB pack is for registered childcarers, such as childminders, on domestic premises who usually provide meals and drinks for the children in their care.

If childminders provide meals, snacks or drinks (apart from mains tap water) for children or babies and/or reheat food provided by a parent or carer, or cut it up, they must comply with food safety and hygiene regulations. These regulations say that they need to keep a record of what they do to keep food safe.

The pack has been designed to help them comply with these regulations with as little paperwork as possible. It is based on the same, easy to use, fact sheet and diary system as the other SFBB packs, but it is shorter, and has advice tailored to childminders, including information on feeding babies and children, cooking, cleaning, chilling and looking after a child with a food allergy.

It is designed to help childminders:

  • Make safer food
  • Protect the health of the children they look after
  • Comply with food hygiene regulations

As with other SFBB packs, the diary section of the childminders' pack is based on ‘reporting by exception’, which means something only needs to be written down if there is a problem, or if something changes. A three-monthly review sheet will help them reflect on the past few months and identify any persistent problems with food safety.

You can download Safer Food Better Business for Childminders from the FSA Website.

If you are a registered childcarer or childminder on domestic premises and you usually provide meals and drinks for the children in your care, you may be required to register as a food business operator.

Bassetlaw's Food and Safety team is responsible for the registration of food businesses in this district.

Do I Have to Register as a Food Business?

The Food Standards Agency, following discussions with the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills and the National Childminding Association, has provided the following advice to help identify whether childcarers, such as childminders, should be considered as a food business operators.

If you provide no more than the following levels of food service as part of your normal business, you should 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 - for example, 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 - for example nannies and home childcarers

The regular provision of snacks or soft drinks as part of the normal service would require registration as a food business.

Please note that the advice in the leaflet is aimed at registered childcarers on domestic premises, including childminders, and is not intended for nannies and home childcarers or care operating from non-domestic premises such as nurseries, care homes and schools.

Food Hygiene Regulations

Since 2006, many childcarers, such as childminders, have been covered by food hygiene regulations. These regulations do not apply to all childcarers - it depends whether they regularly provide snacks or meals for the children in their care (see above).