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Becoming a childminder


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Hi

As some of you know I had to make the decision to close my setting just over a

week ago. I've been thinking about what to do next and the thing that is sticking in

my mind is childminding. Now at the minute I live with my parents so apart from getting my own place what other things should I be mindful of?

 

- how many children do you roughly have before/after school

- do you have an assisstant?

- how much do you charge?

- what are your hours?

- what meals do you provide?

 

Thanks in advance x

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I resigned as I didn't want the threat of being disqualified. I then had to fight for a copy of the report from the monitoring visit so that I had proof that ofsted were going to cancel our registration and disqualify me. We have a huge folder of evidence and a scrapbook of photos and we have passed them onto our MP who has sent them to the department for education to be reviewed so fingers crossed!

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I love childminding and the money can be good, but it's hard and lonely and takes over your home if you're not truly ruthless.



- how many children do you roughly have before/after school -

-- My insurance covers me for 12 children at any one time including my own, although it isn't thought good practice to have more than ten. I find I can manage eight. .

- do you have an assisstant?

-- I don;t have an assistant but I can see the benefit. Many assistants are the husbands or older children of the registered childminder who can be called upon to cover for a school run - not active practitioners. Many of course are full and active and have their own ratio. There's a move to apprentices as a cost effective way of staffing. If there were a mix of qualified assistants and apprentices working extra to ratio (there's a word for that but I can't find it!), then a very good care level could be maintained without the risk of staff not turning up. Pros and cons. If you don't have a place to work from there's an option of gaining your own registration in another childminder's setting. I would have loved to have someone else to work with but not be responsible for their children or business.

- how much do you charge?

-- Fees are very much area dependent but my theory is to think about how much a tradesman earns a day, add expenses, and work out a rate that matches up. I don't know any childminders who charge exactly the same. Each offer different services, flexibility, experience and experiences for children. It's important to think about funded places and how they might affect income.

- what are your hours?

-- I work 8am-6pm but you need to think about what is called for and what you can offer.

- what meals do you provide?
-- I provide all meals - inclusive in fees, but I ask for a contribution from funded children (in which case the option must be given that parents can provide meals).

 

Have a look at the Pacey website and there's a new one that I can't remember the name of - will think about it - it's linked to that Childcare.co.uk website.

 

Good luck.

 

Honey

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It can be hard to get on the pre-registration courses for quite a while so it's worth looking at the PACEY online course if you want to be up and running before Christmas.

 

Usual hours are 7.30/8.00am to 6.00pm but be prepared to extend those hours to accommodate the right parent's working hours.

Be very businesslike from day one. People who will respect your rules and systems in a group setting seem to find it easy to expect your to bend the rules and do things for free in your own home.

 

Find out about the food hygiene rules for your authority and whether they change depending on whether children bring their own food. I've heard tales of people being expected to have a dedicated shelf in their fridge. It's good practice to get parents to send food for babies under a year old anyway.

 

You can claim masses of expenses against tax so find out what they are early on. Don't wait until your first tax return is due.

 

Good luck!

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I shall be watching this with interest, have Been toying with the idea myself. The thing that puts me of is it taking over our home .

Now, as much as I really hate the idea of Childmindng Agencies, I've been working on the idea of a Childminding Co-operative. A like-minded group of childminders taking on premises together, sharing resources, maybe planning together, being each other's emergency cover, but being financially separate and having their own registration. Would probably have to be registered to their homes, maybe breakfast and teas in the home with after schoolies. I;m thinking the house could be rented, or bought by the co-operative...and this is where my cunning plan falls down. I had the idea that the house would be an investment, but who's got that kind of money? The whole benefit of childminding is that there isn't extra costs associated with premises.

 

Or if someone had a big house, and their children had grown up, then they could make themselves a little flat and sell space to other childminders.....well a girl can dream.

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Now, as much as I really hate the idea of Childmindng Agencies, I've been working on the idea of a Childminding Co-operative. A like-minded group of childminders taking on premises together, sharing resources, maybe planning together, being each other's emergency cover, but being financially separate and having their own registration. Would probably have to be registered to their homes, maybe breakfast and teas in the home with after schoolies. I;m thinking the house could be rented, or bought by the co-operative...and this is where my cunning plan falls down. I had the idea that the house would be an investment, but who's got that kind of money? The whole benefit of childminding is that there isn't extra costs associated with premises.

 

Or if someone had a big house, and their children had grown up, then they could make themselves a little flat and sell space to other childminders.....well a girl can dream.

 

I'm sure I've heard of a set up like this years ago- possibly the Thomas Coran centre in Soho, London ? It was on a key-person approach seminar, and the son of John Bowlby was talking about the benefits of this kind of set-up. The childminders all run there own business within the main centre- this enabled them work together sharing resources for different age groups etc

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It's a lovely idea but, when I investigate the possibility of childminding children of staff in a cottage in the grounds of a small independent school, I was told firmly by Ofsted that I had to be caring for the children in my own home.

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It's a lovely idea but, when I investigate the possibility of childminding children of staff in a cottage in the grounds of a small independent school, I was told firmly by Ofsted that I had to be caring for the children in my own home.

 

 

 

I've just worked out my seminar was about 10years ago, and I guess we've had so many changes since then. It did all sound like a fabulous idea though.

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You can register a non domestic premises as a childminder for less than 50% of your care. You have to be quite explicit about how the 50% is made up. If you haven't seen it have a look at theearly years and childcare registration handbook which explains it all. Sorry I can't do the link.

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You can register a non domestic premises as a childminder for less than 50% of your care. You have to be quite explicit about how the 50% is made up. If you haven't seen it have a look at theearly years and childcare registration handbook which explains it all. Sorry I can't do the link.

Yeah, and how many childminders spend 50% of their day in the setting? What, with school runs, toddler groups, parks, the beach, museums, art galleries, country parks, train trips, bus trips, going to the shops, meeting the people out and about, watching the diggers etc, would have to be a very dull day to spend 50% in the house.

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