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Becoming a childminder


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Hi all

I am considering becoming a childminder with my deputy (working together). It would mean I need to find a house to rent that we could also work from. I currently run a preschool but we are very low on numbers (only 12 children) which from parents views etc is because we are in a tiny village (one road) and we have no passing traffic. We have just got a few questions.

Has anyone changed from preschool to childminder? Did you lose the children you had at preschool?

Do you work all year round? What about holidays?

Can you live comfortably off the income from childminding?

Do you get funded 3/4 year old come to you rather than a preschool?

What sort of ages are the children you look after most?

Do you have business car insurance?

Sorry for all the questions, any advice would be welcome! xx

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Hi,

Honeypancakes returning from the deep.

I am a childminder and I have put a lot of thought into this sort of business. I'm pretty sure it is financially doable but not as a lovely 9 - 3.30 term-time option. As a childminder, only a proportion (10%?) of the house expenses are deductible so you'd need to cover most of the rent/mortgage and utilities before taking anything for yourself. And pray for house prices to rise!!

I would plan to include before and after school care, school holiday cover etc, if only for siblings of daycare children.

Working with another childminder would mean you could divide the hours up. Maybe one do breakfast, both of you do day sessions and the other do after school, and then divide up the school holidays. Maybe consider closing for a week at Christmas.

The location I have identified for my dream business is in an estate a mile or so away, which is close to a school with a higher proportion of children on free school meals. Until recently thiis has had an impact on funding rates and ability for children to access two year old funding, but I think this is becoming less important with recent policy changes.

Lots of food for thought, I've been chewing on this for a few years now.

Very best of luck.

Honey

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I know of someone that has 'sort of' done this local to us. Slightly different as she had set it up in her own home- dividing it up into well defined separate living/setting areas, and the setting side has its own entry point and garden. Her main problems are the neighbours are not that happy due to noise and parking issues.

She is very successful and now works with two other staff members. She is open slightly longer hours, and during the holidays though.

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I think one of the things you would need to look at is how good the local support and training if doe childminders in your area, and also what the sufficiency of childcare is in the area.

Also if you rent a house specifically for the purpose of childcare, then surely that would be a preschool/nursery and not childminding, or would one of you be moving there for it to become your home?

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As Mundia has highlighted it is really a registration issue - Ofsted registration for the set up you describe would probably fall into the category of being a childcare provider on non-domestic premises as you are not planning to live there:

 

These are the definitions:

 

Childcare on domestic premises

A group of four or more people working with children in someone’s home

Childcare on non-domestic premises

A person or organisation providing care on premises that are not someone’s home, such as a purpose-built nursery, or a village hall. This covers private and voluntary nurseries, pre-schools, out of-school clubs and holiday playschemes

The guides can be viewed here:

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/early-years-and-childcare/become-childminder-agency-childcare-provider-or-childminder

Sorry about the formatting - it has picked it up from the Ofsted website

 

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And car insurance for my little old car is £20 extra per year. The household insurance is more difficult to get at a good price for childminders. Always pays to shop around.

I do funded 3-4 year-olds, mainly until they start school nursery in the September, but one I have at the moment will stay with me until she starts school the year after.

Regarding living comfortably...Childminding is part time, term time for me and I don't earn a taxable income. If all my places were filled and I worked 7.30 - 6 pm, 48 weeks a year then I think I could earn £27,000. Nobody I know makes any where near that though.

Louby Lou's friend has the right idea. Section off your own home. I'm always knocking through to the neighbours in my dreams.

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