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Decided To Go Into Childminding


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Last year I went to a childminding information evening but at that particular time I was not in the right frame of mind to pursue it any further due to a change in family life and with work commitments.

 

However now my circumstances have changed dramatically and I have taken steps to go on the next introduction to childminding course, my husband and I are in discussion to convert our garage into a playroom (something we had discussed anyway) so that I have a work space.

 

I am very experienced in the EYFS so that bit doesn't worry me and I worked as a nanny so I have experienced home based care (though I appreciate there is a difference in nannying and childminding) I'm worried about all the policies and paperwork more so!

Oh and the Ofsted!

 

I am a bit worried that there are A LOT of childminders in my town, I know this cos I rang a load up when I was trying to arrange short term provison for my daughter. They all seem to know each other and have quite a strong network which is very good and the ones I visited were really big business CMs, with sign written minibuses and 14 children on their books. I'm not into a big setup I really want to earn enough to cover our bills while being with my child and caring for other peoples children in a cosy home environment. I think this is because the CM I was using is a small set up and this is one of the things that appealed to me.

 

I have a few questions though-

 

1) As I mentioned there is a strong network of CMs in my town, will they accept a new girl on the block?

 

2) I want to keep my provision for under fives as I don't want to be piling children into cars 3 times a day to do pick ups, will this severely restrict me? I am happy to do walking school/nursery runs and the odd pick up in the car but I don't like the idea of constantly driving around :o

 

3) Will there be opportunities for furthering my qualifications? I have a BTEC ND and a BA(hons) and would love to acheive EYPS, but is this possible as a CM as I understand you have to work in a range of settings.

 

I really hope I don't offend anyone with what I have said because I think as a CM you can potentially have whatever setup you like (obviously within the legal requirements!) I just want to do something fairly small with a certain age group and I don't want to be in the car all the time!

 

Thats all I can think of for now but I am sure I will be back for more advice!

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I have a few questions though-

 

1) As I mentioned there is a strong network of CMs in my town, will they accept a new girl on the block?

 

In my experience childminders tend to be tied to particular schools so unless you want to be active in networks etc, you can happily get around with a small group of childminders. You will be competition, but if you differentiate your business you will attract business from people who may not use the other settings. I have formed a strong working relationship with another childminder with similar work practices and we share the care of children we can't always accommodate in all week. She has Fridays off, I have Mondays and Tuesdays and school holidays off, so we cover each other. It's a very nice thing.

 

2) I want to keep my provision for under fives as I don't want to be piling children into cars 3 times a day to do pick ups, will this severely restrict me? I am happy to do walking school/nursery runs and the odd pick up in the car but I don't like the idea of constantly driving around :o

 

I rarely use the car for business. We live close to school and I get around to wherever we can walk or take the train. And quite frankly, the children like to be in the house and garden and as I've gone to all the effort to make the provision we may as well use it. But remember that the financial rewards for after school work may be worth it when your own child goes to school.

 

3) Will there be opportunities for furthering my qualifications? I have a BTEC ND and a BA(hons) and would love to acheive EYPS, but is this possible as a CM as I understand you have to work in a range of settings.

 

I can't see there being any funded training getting around any time soon, but you can always study off your own back. I'm about to start OU Cert in EY (So you're way ahead of me) and you can use your own setting for research purposes.

 

 

Very best of luck,

 

Honey

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Thanks Honey,

The childminders here go to all three of the towns schools and all the preschools for pick ups. I think as I would be offering a different service that may be appealing for parents.

The way I see it (and as a mum who used a childminder)parents choose that provison because they want their child to be in a home environment, this is what put me off a CM I visited because they used the garden for the dog so it meant she would take them to the park thus in and out of the car, this may not be an issue for some parents but for me I didn't like it.

Definitely as my child gets older I would look into taking older children, as I think this is the sort of business that would evolve with us.

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I think you will offer a different sort of service from the bigger set-ups and will cater for different parents so don't worry about that. Bigger is not necessarily better.

 

It would probably help you to link with at least one other childminder to give each other back-up but that will probably fall into place in time.

 

I've always found other childminders to be very accepting and supportive of new people joining their ranks.

 

I would be careful to say to parents that you don't do school runs now but may in the future because many parents I've worked for have continued to use me after school when their child started because they like that security and continuity of care.

 

Good luck

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I'm worried about all the policies and paperwork more so!

 

Don't forget our resource library section here where people have shared policies so you could adapt some of those for purpose.

 

In terms of observing and monitoring have you looked at PRAMS here This is free to download as a full member of the forum and as you can upload photos and write comments it would be an easy place to keep track of your children's progress.

 

I think as others have said it is horses for courses and if I was looking for a childminder I would want a home from home environment

 

Good luck and keep us posted

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I think you will have great fun. Something did strike me however - its great to have a garage - but what access to daylight and the outside does this have? Is the garage heated for the winter - if not how will you heat the area safely?

 

Also during the summer how will you ventilate the garage?

 

Wishing you lots of luck though and fingers crossed for you

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I think you will offer a different sort of service from the bigger set-ups and will cater for different parents so don't worry about that. Bigger is not necessarily better.

 

It would probably help you to link with at least one other childminder to give each other back-up but that will probably fall into place in time.

 

I've always found other childminders to be very accepting and supportive of new people joining their ranks.

 

I would be careful to say to parents that you don't do school runs now but may in the future because many parents I've worked for have continued to use me after school when their child started because they like that security and continuity of care.

 

Good luck

 

I would consider school runs when my child is older (sorry if that sounds selfish!) and would do pre school and nursery, I am just not keen of being in the car three times a day everyday!

 

Thanks for your postivity :o I think offering a smaller service will set me apart.

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Don't forget our resource library section here where people have shared policies so you could adapt some of those for purpose.

 

In terms of observing and monitoring have you looked at PRAMS here This is free to download as a full member of the forum and as you can upload photos and write comments it would be an easy place to keep track of your children's progress.

 

I think as others have said it is horses for courses and if I was looking for a childminder I would want a home from home environment

 

Good luck and keep us posted

 

Thanks Sue, I've not been on for ages having been working with other age groups at work so I didn't know so many resources were available on here! ceratinly puts my mind at ease.

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I think you will have great fun. Something did strike me however - its great to have a garage - but what access to daylight and the outside does this have? Is the garage heated for the winter - if not how will you heat the area safely?

 

Also during the summer how will you ventilate the garage?

 

Wishing you lots of luck though and fingers crossed for you

 

We are thinking of fully converting it into a room, so it would have a window in it and a door to the outside. A few people on this estate have converted their garage successfully, my nrighbours having one it recently to give them more living space.

Our house is a 3 storey town house so it's not separate to the house.

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Hi Jester,

 

I studied for my EYPS whilst childminding full time. I took the training days as holiday (they amounted to approximately 20-30 days over the 18th months).

 

There are many different pathways to the EYPS and the course centre will help you decide which pathway is most suitable for you.

 

I originally applied for the short pathway (6 months) but was placed on the long extended bespoke pathway (18 months) which I am very grateful for now as I certainly wouldn't have had the time to complete all the work in 6 months.

 

I also received funding from the university for my training which will vary in each county but if available to you it helps to cover your holiday time and expenses.

 

If you are just starting your childminding now would probably be the best time to start your training as you may have more time, as opposed to when you are fully established.

 

I am part of a childminding group in my area and although I am aware we can be quite daunting to others outside of the group, we are very welcoming and support each other in passing on work, so I would definitely recommend chatting to a few of them and asking if you can join their network. Once you get to know them they may even be able to cover your training days.

 

Lastly the great thing about childminding is that is your own business, so you can choose to start off minding the under 5's then include school children later if you wish or simply take on a couple of school children rather than a huge number across the week. You could also consider providing school holiday contracts only or term time school contracts only. It all depends on what work is available in your area and what you want to provide in your service. You may have siblings where one is under 5 & one is at school in which case you may make an exception to doing a school run. This may not help much but I'm just trying to explain how flexible you can be and that you should do what you feel comfortable with at the time.

 

I hope this helps.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
Hi Jester, it's been a month and I was just wondering how your childminding was going?

 

Hi, I've not been on a while due to various reasons. I was made redundant in July and I am expecting my second child in January!

I started my ITC last night and before starting I was under the impression that I was not able to register until I had done this course. Someone else on the course was told exactly the same. However, last night the two of us got talking to a lady who was registered and working and had to do the ITC as a condition of her registration so left us feeling confused!

 

There seems to be so many of us that have been told different things! I was told that my qualification might be out of date as was another lady and we were told we had to "look it up" but weren't told where, also some people weren't told how to apply for the course and had made lots of phone calls and had not heard back so left last night feeling a bit unsettled about it all!

 

Anyway my plan is to start getting my policies and paperwork together and then apply to register as I want to be registered before baby comes even though I will be taking maternity leave to take me to september which is when I will officially start as my daughter will have her five sessions then.

 

Plan to start small and like someone else said at least I can be flexible as to what I want to do to suit the needs of my family.

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