Birmingham Libraries Home Educators and Child Minders Offer

Closed 27 Nov 2018

Opened 23 Oct 2018


Home educating is increasing in Birmingham, with more children being taken out of school than in previous years. A large number of Home Educators and Child Minders prefer little to no contact with the City Council; and it is the aim of the Elective Home Education (EHE) Team to combat isolation and to redress the levels of engagement that this group has with the City Council.

One way to accomplish this is to strengthen ties with council services; especially libraries, and the book stock they hold along with other resources such as room hire for local Educators to hold meetings. In 2016, the EHE Team began working in partnership with Birmingham Libraries through the Library of Birmingham, Children’s Library. Along with discussions of how to develop the library offer to Home Educators, they were also keen for the Library to hold the first ever Birmingham EHE Conference. The Conference took place on Wednesday 13th August 2017 at the Library of Birmingham. Speakers included Councillor Jones and Education Now, a national Home Educators network.

The existing service provided by Libraries allows:

Customers who identify themselves as Home Educators and Child Minders are eligible to apply for a ‘Community Group’ category library card.  They can:

• Borrow 30 books

• Over 90 days

• No renewals

• Lost item charges apply

To be eligible for this category:

• Customers must have a personal library membership card


The proposed changes will allow you to borrow:

  • 10 items (excluding dvds and cd’s)
  • 28 days lending period with up to 3 renewals
  • 12 month membership (to be renewed annually)

There will not be a requirement for formal proof of home educating or child minding but you must hold a personal Birmingham library card to apply.  Additionally there will also be no fines for the late return of items. 

Whilst this is a big change, you will still be able to borrow up to 30 items as per the current offer with 10 items each on your own personal library card, your child’s library card and the card used for education purposes.

Along with the proposed changes to your Home Educators card, the Elective Home Education (EHE) is also looking at ways to use this updated membership to provide access and information to other services, support networks, training and development opportunities. 

Why We Are Consulting

As the existing service provided by Birmingham Libraries is made more widely known to Home Educators and Child Minders, there will be an increase in the amount of stock being taken out of libraries.

As libraries are no longer able to buy multiple copies of books due to smaller budgets, it will become difficult for libraries to support all our customers - of which Home Educators and Child Minders are just one group. Stock taken out by this group could limit access to stock for other customers.

The proposed changes will allow for a much greater use and share of libraries and their resources by all library users including Home Educators and Child Minders.


  • All Areas


  • All residents
  • Asylum Seekers and Refugees
  • Minority Ethnic people
  • Carers
  • Young people
  • Older people
  • Disabled people
  • Children
  • Council tenants
  • Women
  • Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender people
  • Children in Care/looked after
  • Gypsies/Travellers
  • Internet users
  • Parents/Carers/Guardians
  • Older people
  • People with Disabilities
  • People with Learning Disabilities
  • Men
  • Local Residents
  • Faith groups
  • Community groups
  • Voluntary Organisations
  • Newly arrived groups


  • Care & Support for Adults
  • Children & Young People
  • Faith & Religion
  • Voluntary Sector
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Arts & Culture
  • Libraries
  • Children’s Centres
  • Early Years
  • Education