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Childminders - have you ever thought of starting a morning drop-off group?

(16 Posts)
BlueberryPancake Sat 28-May-11 20:14:58

I am doing my childminding course and had a chat with another mum who told me that there is a real shortage of morning places for pre-school type care. It would be (all is hypothetical) from 9:30 til 12:00 (maybe 12:30), in my house, for the maximum children allowed per age group, from 2.5 years old onwards. I would charge a flat fee for the morning.

There are a few non-school based pre-schools in my area but they are all full with long waiting lists. Could this be an option for a registered childminder? Has anyone here done this?

Many thanks


andthenshewasdone Sat 28-May-11 20:16:53

my SIL is in process of setting up a saturday club along similair lines

nannynick Sat 28-May-11 20:31:02

The problem I see is that you will be limited in the number of children you can have - possibly being 3 children under the age of 5.

It will depend on what conditions are on your registration, but a childminder near me has:
"may care for no more than 5 children under 8 years; of these, not more than 2 may be in the early years age group, and of these, not more than 1 may be under 1 year at any one time (Early Years Register, compulsory part of the Childcare Register)"
So that means to me that they have 1 child of their own in the early years age group (so under age 5 and not in full-time school), thus have 2 places available for under 5's and 3 places for 5-8's.

Were you thinking that you would be able to care for more children?

KatyMac Sat 28-May-11 20:33:26

I'm with Nick - explain more

BlueberryPancake Sat 28-May-11 20:37:00

oh so it would only be for two kids, not very profitable then! I was thinking that you could have 4 kids between 3 and 5, but in fact it's two. I am still training to register and don't know all the rules yet. Not a very good idea...

nannynick Sat 28-May-11 20:40:57

How many children you can have depends on your circumstances, such as the age of your own children and size of property.
Maximum however is 3 in the Early Years Age Group and 3 aged 5-8 - giving 6 in total. Then the max of over 8's is determined by things like insurance limit and how many you feel you can cope with and also what the regulator would consider practical (care of over 8's must not impact on care of younger children). So maximum total could be say 10 children... 3 under 5's, 3 5-8's, 4 aged 8+.

KatyMac Sat 28-May-11 20:42:19

Unless you register as childcare on domestic premises, employed staff then you can have 1:8 or if you have a degree 1:13

But you need 2yrs managerial experience to do that

nannynick Sat 28-May-11 20:44:31

Have you read the EYFS Framework and Guidance documents yet? Those are your starting point for childminding. Link to Documents

nannynick Sat 28-May-11 20:51:29

A friend of mine does a drop in childcare service - but she's based in a commercial premises and registered as childcare on non-domestic premises. Has the following: "may care for no more than 16 children under 8 years; of these, not more than 16 may be in the early years age group, and of these, not more than 6 may be under 2 years at any one time (Early Years Register, compulsory part of the Childcare Register)"

As KatyMac says, it's a different type of setup as there is a manager and several staff and along with the registration limit, they have to stay within adult:child ratios for age groups and always have 2 members of staff on duty as a minimum.

BlueberryPancake Sat 28-May-11 20:54:32

OK so what I had in mind was a drop off group, where mums could leave their child for 2.5 hours in the morning - fixed days obviously. I have a large house with garden, and the children would have access to a large playroom and a large conservatory, with organised and play, a home corner, weekly themes, snacks, song and story time at the end. I speak Spanish fluently and French is my first language, so I would try to integrate that in the morning games/story/songs etc. I also have a large garden and the children would spend some time outside every morning. I have two older children at school full time. I was thinking that to make it profitable and worth it for me, I'd have 4 children for the 2.5 hour session, which I think is managable - but I can clearly see now that it would be impossible. Thanks for your advice, I can see now that it wouldn't be profitable if I would only have two children for a few hours a day...

KatyMac Sat 28-May-11 20:57:26

Sounds like a lovely childminding set up; you could have different children am & pm

Do you have an NVQ level 3; if so you can do early years education for the children (in our area you have to have a 'good' grade from OFSTED as well)

Using the EYE funding is important for parents

mercibucket Sat 28-May-11 20:58:03

change of tack, but how about running language classes for pre-schoolers instead? you could run it at your house as a mums/toddlers group or in a nursery
more money maybe?

nannynick Sat 28-May-11 21:05:08

If you have two children of your own who are both aged 4+ and who are both attending full-time school (so 9am-3pm give or take) then you will possibly be registered for 3 children under 5 (as your 4 year old would be a 5 year old for ratio purposes as is at school).

EYFS Framework says "however where four-and five-year-old children only attend the childminding setting before and/or after a normal school day, they may be classed as children over the age of five for the purposes of the adult:child ratio;"

So you may have availability to care for 3 young children but for income purposes you will want those spaces all-day, not just a couple of hours.

Sorry to give the bad news, however you are right in thinking about profitability... you childcare space exists say from 7am-6pm (or whatever hours you will be working) so you want to maximise how that is filled, whilst being able to manage and make time for your own children.

BlueberryPancake Sat 28-May-11 21:44:22

Yes Nanny but there's also that I wouldn't have the cared-for children for school pick ups and drop offs, and I wouldn't have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. So some of the overheads would be cut, and also some of the trouble. For example, I wouldn't be able to look after more than three children because of the school drop offs and pick ups. I will have to think about this a lot more and do my maths... Ideally, what I would have liked as a childminder would have been the equivalent of two children four days a week, plus one school drop-off/pick up a few days a week. That would maximise my profit and leave me a bit of time to sort everything out. More than two 'early years' would be hard bacause of school pick ups and drop offs, I live about 15 minutes walk from the school and at the moment wouldn' t be able to fit everyone in my car (unless I change car which is a possibility).

Anyway, I have a lot of planning to do - thanks for all the ideas, I have been thinking about a language group but I find that language groups for young children to which the child attends once a week teaches them very little. I think that if they are looked after by someone from a different language a few days a week they have a better chance to retain some of the words/songs etc.

nannynick Sat 28-May-11 21:50:28

Yes how many children you can fit in your car will be a limiting factor, especially given the size of car seats. It's a problem we all have, even me as a nanny as I use my own car for work.

You need to consider what local parents are wanting and how much they are prepared to pay. Having children part-time can be great... as a nanny I work 4 days a week. However parents these days don't always want just a few hours, or a few days. So you need to try to fit with what parents want.

BlueberryPancake Sat 28-May-11 22:05:28

Yes I will be flexible, but I think that 7:30 am to 6:30 pm 5 days a week would be a bit too full on. I would prefer 4 days a week, so that I can take care of the house during that time.

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