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Advice about setting up as a childminder

(15 Posts)
sims2fan Tue 07-Dec-10 18:26:02

Hi, I haven't really done much research into this idea, but thought I would ask about it here first as I am less likely to get jargon and waffle than I am on other websites!

I am a qualified primary teacher living in an area with a lack of full time jobs. So I have done some long term supply posts, and day to day supply but can't seem to get a permanent teaching job and the day to day supply seems to have dried up also. I have thought about becoming a childminder in the past, but it didn't seem feasible as we live in an upstairs, very small, flat. However, my husband is now getting keen for us to rent somewhere else, and a couple of places we have looked at are proper houses, and one even has a garden! So, I have started to think about childminding again. I love working with children, and would love some of my own but my husband is adamant we can't afford any at the moment. If I did get into childminding then this is a job that I could combine with looking after my own kids.

Without blowing my own trumpet I think I would be a very good childminder. I have taught children from nursery to Year 6, and also worked in a private nursery for a year. I often look longingly at adverts for children's events in my area and think how nice it would be to take children to story times etc. Childminding is something I would really love to do.

However, I have no idea how I would go about getting into this. I know you have to be registered with Ofsted, but what does this process involve? Also, approximately how long does it take from deciding to do it to being able to look after kids in your home? (bear in mind that I don't have a suitable home yet, and am just thinking ahead!) I know there are childcare courses for would be childminders but would I need to go on one as I am already a qualified teacher? What about first aid courses? I would like to do one of course - would it have to be one offered through the council that is especially for childminders etc? Basically I just want a bit of advice and practical tips about starting out! Thanks!

aceandskill Tue 07-Dec-10 19:08:49

Aha well you might want to start now as the process can take up to 9 months if not more. You may be slightly vexed to know that not only do you have to take the Intro to Childcare practice course which is the first unit of a level 3 qualification, but your teaching qualifications will count for naught, and neither will your CRB which you will need yet another one of.

First aid for early years is run by st johns ambulanceusually funded by the local authority who are your first port of call in becoming a childminder - you need to find out who your early years officer is and get booked onto the next pre-registration course which will tell you all you need to know. It's usually an evening thing, one or two sessions.

Sounds like you will be an amazing childminder. Also, if you want kids of your own it doesn't have to cost that much you know...

ChildrenAtHeart Tue 07-Dec-10 23:28:34

If you look on the Ofsted website they have a guidance sheet about childminder registration. You need to contact your local early years department who will be responsible for running childminder registration courses and be able to tell you of the availability in your area. As far as training is concerned, unless you have completed a recognised childcare course (covering the common core of skills - see QCA & CWDC websites) eg NVQ CCLD, BTec, NNEB , CCP, DHC etc you will need to do a course which is normally 12-15 hours long. Most training providers are currently offering the childminding unit of the new childcare diploma as the 'accepted' course instead of the old ICP (Introducing Childminding Practice). In most areas this is paid for by the LEA but not all. Paediatric 1st Aid is a requirement (12 hours) and there are many providers. Your lea may have a list of approved providers and may fund this (in West sussex its funded but you have to fund subsequent renewals yourself). You will also need a food safety cert if you provide food in your setting and register with your environmental health dept. CRB's are done automatically by Ofsted on anyone aged 16+ in your household and at the moment there is no cost for this.
Other set up costs include public liability insurance (via NCMA or Morton Michel) and registering with the ICO if you intend to use a PC or other digital device (eg camera) for info about your clients, Ofsted registration fees, safety equipment, resources etc.
Registration is supposed to take about 12 weeks but can take a lot longer. You can also combine Cm'g with another PT job so do supply where you have no children.
Check with Landlords befotre you sign as some won't allow CM'g on the premises.
Good luck - sounds like the perfect job for you!

sims2fan Wed 08-Dec-10 08:14:40

Thanks for the advice. I hadn't thought about food safety but that does make sense of course.

So my teaching qualification wouldn't be classed as a recognised childcare course? That does seem a bit daft, but I suppose it would be good to get a bit of training about younger children as most of my experience has been with those aged 3+. I presumed I would need a new CRB. I have them coming out of my ears as it is, but that's just how it is these days.

So my first port of call would be my local early years department? Presumably I can details of them on the council website.

I will look into it all. Thanks both of you.

Oh, also, ace - I think we could manage to have kids now but it's my husband who is adamant that we should wait. Which is all very well, but men don't have to worry about biological clocks and things do they?! Lol.

ChildrenAtHeart Wed 08-Dec-10 13:28:58

I know what you mean about your teaching qualification but unless it covered specific training for care of children ageg 0+ it doesn't count. Just the same as I have been on many padiatric 1st aid courses where there are qualified, experienced nurses. The course also covers elements of legal responsibilities, business & financial management, marketing too so not just childcare.
CRB's are only valid for the place that requested it in the 1st place but Ofsted will sort that out as part of the registration process.
I would talk to your Early years Dept next and go from there. Incidentally, here in WS they are now charging cm's £35 to go on the pre-Reg course though if you go ahead and register you get 1st Aid & a year NCMA membership/public liability free - how long they will be able to afford even that though I don't know.

nannylocal Wed 08-Dec-10 20:42:34

Have you thought about nannying? A teaching qualification plus experience would be a massive bonus and you would probably get good money. You wouldn't need to worry about your house and you don't have the stress/trouble/work of Ofsted! Just a thought smile

thebody Wed 08-Dec-10 21:00:51

i am a qualified district nursing sister and still had to do the first aid course..

so agree with the last post.. good luck.

surfandturf Thu 09-Dec-10 12:31:50

Hi Sims,
I am in the same situation as you but am a few steps further on. I have attended a briefing session and am ready to book to start the course in February next year.

The only doubts I had were that the council told me there wasn't a big need for more childminders in my area, however I have done some research of my own and am still happy to go ahead with my plans.

I would maybe suggest just doing a bit of research too to make sure there will be work for you once qualified.

Good Luck

sims2fan Thu 09-Dec-10 14:36:57

Surf and turf - I am a little worried about that as I was standing in a Post Office queue a few months ago and the woman behind me was telling a friend she wasn't doing childminding anymore as she couldn't find any clients. However, I suppose I don't know the full story there - they might have all left because she was rubbish! Lol. Plus, with us hopefully renting a slightly bigger place soon we'll probably have to move to a different area of our town, so maybe there will be more clients there! And, without blowing my own trumpet (again!) I am hoping that parents will think it's a plus to have a qualified teacher as a childminder. I hope you don't mind me asking, but what research have you done? How do you go about finding out if people might want a childminder in the future?

nannylocal - I would love to be a nanny. Unfortunately in my area there doesn't seem to be much call for them, and those that I do see adverts for all require a car driver, which I am not. Personally I think that if I don't mind taking their kids places on the bus then they shouldn't either, but it's down to them I suppose! I did join a nanny agency about a year ago but haven't heard anything from them.

surfandturf Fri 10-Dec-10 17:23:28

I looked on the council website, google and yell and noted down any e-mail addresses for childminders in my area. Then I e-mailed them all to ask how business was going. I thought I was being a bit cheeky but they were all really helpful. The only other way is to call them and maybe pretend you are looking for a minder and ask if they have places available (maybe a bit mean getting their hopes up though!)

I currently have a full time job so will do a lot of marketing beforehand and won't give up my job untill I have enough interest to make it worth my while [fingers crossed]

looneytune Fri 10-Dec-10 18:12:37

Think most of it has been covered, the only thing I couldn't see mentioned is that Ofsted require a full medical history thing completing by the Drs - cost me a LOT and that was nearly 6 years ago!

First thing is to get booked on the next briefing session the council are running. They will then tell you when they are running the next lots of courses. You should learn about all the legal requirements, how to do risk assessments, observations/planning etc as well as learning about child protection, maybe fire safety, how to do your policies and procedures etc etc.

Bromley childminding have a website with lots of useful info/templates if that's any use? Here's a link

surfandturf Mon 13-Dec-10 16:38:49

Really Looney - I hadn't heard about a medical?! Something to look forward to... [bush]

surfandturf Mon 13-Dec-10 16:39:17

I meant blush not bush!!!

BoysAreLikeDogs Mon 13-Dec-10 19:55:24

oh yes, the medical - it's a form you fill in to the best of your knowledge, then pass to GP to countersign and approve you for CMing; I wsn't caleed in for an actual examination, the GP just signed name and sent off

I paid I think £20-25 but I have heard of folks having to pay much more

BoysAreLikeDogs Mon 13-Dec-10 19:56:04

omgawd terrible typos there

<hangs head>

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