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Self Evaluation Form Part Two in a series of articles designed to support Childminders in completing their SEF


In this article we look at Part A, Sections 1 and 2

Taken from the Guidance Document:


Section 1: your setting

‘Please describe the main characteristics of your setting and the culture and backgrounds of the children who attend, including those who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities, or speak English as an additional language. Include details of:

  • your building including areas/rooms used
  • the area your provision is in, such as ‘residential area close to the local school’
  • any access to an outdoor space
  • access to and within the building, such as a lift, ramps or stairs
  • the days and hours you operate
  • the number and qualifications of the adults working with the children and any support staff such as a cook.

Outline any specific issues that aid or prevent the smooth running of your setting, such as:

  • recent training attended or any qualifications gained
  • difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff
  • recent or impending re-organisation or change of staff.

Please mention any special features of the provision, such as particular methods of teaching or participation in a quality assurance scheme.’

Remember this guidance covers all Early Years settings, daycare, preschools and childminders, therefore some items may need to be adapted or omitted for childminders and those providing childcare on domestic premises.

















Building: describe your property, three bedroom semi detached town house, split level maisonette etc. Include the names of the rooms that you use and whether they are upstairs/downstairs. Don’t forget to include bathrooms/toilets. It might be worth including a map of the layout of the rooms.

Area: describe the area, is it in a more rural area, very residential? Backing onto a park or woods? What facilities are nearby? Stations and other transport links? Schools and pre-schools?

Outdoor space: describe your garden if you have one. Can the children access the garden independently? Include a brief description of the resources available to the children outdoors. Remember the other outdoor spaces that you access with the children...the local park, woods, fields, shops etc.

Access: How accessible is your building, do you have to go up some stairs to get to the front door? Whilst Childminders must comply with the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) they would not always be expected to put in ramps and lifts etc to make their property accessible to a child or parent in a wheelchair.

Days and Hours: so for example, I work Monday to Thursday from 8am to 6pm, however I willingly to negotiate early starts/later finishes, weekend work, evening work....etc

Qualifications: List any childcare qualifications first, then other qualifications that might support you in your role as a Childminder. If you are working towards a qualification it should also be included along with the anticipated completion date.


Unless you work with another childminder or have assistants then you will not have to worry about staffing arrangements.


Include in this section if you have completed any quality assurance schemes (such as Quality First by the NCMA) or are on a Quality Assured Network.


Section 2: views of those who use your setting

‘This section asks you to tell us about the views of the children and their parents or




  • How do you know what their views are?
  • Do you ask parents and others to complete a questionnaire about how satisfied they are with the provision or do you meet with parents to discuss the provision?
  • Are parents represented on the management body?
  • How do you know the children’s views and ideas, and those of the staff?
  • Please give examples of any action you have taken to change your provision as a result of their views.’



Consulting with parents and children within your setting needs to be an ongoing piece of work and not just for the completion of your SEF. Consider using different ways of consulting, here are just a few ideas:

  • Questionnaires for parents (samples are available on the website, some are general and others link to particular outcomes of the every child matters framework)
  • Meetings with Parents to share ideas about the setting
  • Using a daily diary book with parents
  • Involve parents in the writing of new policies and procedures as this will enable them to help develop your practice
  • Questionnaires for children (samples available on the website, younger children may need support from their parents to complete them)
  • Using a digital camera and ask the children to take photographs of the activities and things they like about your setting
  • Use a scrapbook of photographs of activities that you have done with the children and listen to what the children say about them, did they enjoy them, want to repeat them etc.


Start a notebook to record how you have consulted with parents and the children, what has been suggested by them and how you have incorporated the feedback into your service and the difference it has made.


In the next SEF page we will look at: Section 3 and the Every Child Matters Outcomes.