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How long did it take you to set up as a childminder?

(10 Posts)
Marymaryalittlecontrary Fri 30-Sep-11 19:41:25

Just wondered how long it was between you deciding you wanted to be a childminder and actually welcoming the first child on their first day.

maggi Sat 01-Oct-11 07:39:43

I was lucky that the courses were at the right time ie straight away. I decided in an August and was fully registered by November but did not get my first child until February and didn't have the number of children I wanted until June. Maybe you have some clients lined up?

Marymaryalittlecontrary Sat 01-Oct-11 10:26:22

Noone lined up, it's just that I've fancied childminding for ages but my husband hasn't been keen due to him working different shifts etc. He's just found out he's working 300 miles away for 7 months starting Monday, and as I'm currently unemployed I wondered if it might be a good time to set up. For one thing the house will seem really quiet without him!

What would be my first steps?

maggi Sun 02-Oct-11 15:46:46

Try your local CYPIS (childrens and young persons information service), they're linked to the council so you might find the detiails through them. Or else your local ncma (national childminding association) office. Either of these groups will invite you to a taster or introductory evening where you will hear the basics of what to do and what it is like.

If you want to go ahead after that, you need to book onto an introductory course which is a few hours each week to gain your first certificate. I say first certificate because there are plenty more you can gain. You will also need to:
do a pediatric first aid course
register with EHO as a food business
get third party insurance
write all your policies
create or buy all your paperwork
get specialized house insurance
get specialized car insurance
apply to Ofsted
pass an inspection by Ofsted
child proof the house and garden
apply for grants to start up
register with the Inland Revenue
begin marketing for clients
erm....there's probably more
All that may sound daunting, which is why you need the introductory course to explain it all and advise you how to begin.

Childminding will be as successful as you make it. Do as much training as you can and join the ncma. You can begin running groups or training teenagers to be mums. Or how about helping children whose parents are in trouble with the law or aren't coping. Or step into the realm of short term fostering. Or becoming a mentor to other childminders. Or be involved with educational trials. (I hadn't mentioned it but you need to have a teacher hidden inside of you, as you will be responsible for the education of 0-5 year olds and will have to keep the records to prove you are doing it)

One last thing - it is the best move of my whole life.

Marymaryalittlecontrary Sun 02-Oct-11 15:53:00

Thanks for your advice. It does seem like a lot of work to set up! I am a qualified teacher so not too worried about the educational side of things. What I'd really like is to foster a child for a few months, as it seems such a waste to have a spare bedroom and just me pottering about with my husband gone, but I know it takes about a year to become a foster carer.

HSMM Mon 03-Oct-11 08:12:19

From previous messages on here it seems that registration can take from 8 weeks to 6 months. Getting on your local authority course and getting crb checks returned can take the longest.

Finding children who only need care for a few months might be tricky?

You could offer to do some babysitting, or tutoring?

Marymaryalittlecontrary Mon 03-Oct-11 09:28:57

HSMM - I would carry on once my husband was back. I've been out of work for a while so once the money starts coming in I don't think my husband would object to me childminding. It just would be easier to start while he's away.

But, I'm not sure our house would be suitable anyway. It's 2 floors of a bigger house, so there are other people in the other parts, and we rent it so I don't know if I would be allowed to childmind from it. Plus I have no garden, although we are close to 2 parks. But I know Ofsted likes children to have constant access to outdoor areas these days so they probably wouldn't be keen.

I have advertised as a tutor but noone's responded.

maggi Mon 03-Oct-11 09:49:33

If your living area is self contained so that others are kept out by locked doors, then that is fine. A garden is not essential but you will have to show what plans you have for a substantial amount of outdoor play. Outdoor play should include everything from dressing up to writing numbers, not just swinging past the local park after snack time every day. Walking school runs do count as you can do so much as you are walking along not least of which is simply holding a conversation. Going to the shops counts providing you are teaching something at the same time (veg names, using a self checkout, keeping yourself safe from strangers..).

Talk to the other tenants about your ideas as you will need permission from your landlord to run a business such as this and they may site inconvenience to other tenants as their reason for saying no. As a teacher you will know how noisy even one child is and having up to six will impact on your neighbours. If your walls are thick enough to disguise the noise of screams and pounding feet, think about what happens when you try to exit your section of the house and enter the communal areas on your way out. Is there a safe area for the parents to park when they are dropping off/collecting or will they be blocking other people's spaces?

maggi Mon 03-Oct-11 10:46:26

As for earning money... You might get £16,000 pa before tax - if you are fairly full all year, only take 2 weeks hol and are prepared to do strange hours at the drop of a hat. The hours are long - mine are currently 7.30 to 7pm, I also do weekends and overnights, as needed, but hours are of course personal preference. There will be many more hours work above the hours you have children in your care:
training hours
travelling (if you pick up/drop off at the start/end of day)
cleaning - dont under estimate the extra cleaning involved
paperwork (the EYFS records, checklists, reviews)
reviews/updates with parents
time for self reflection and improvement plans
set up planned activities
set up each morning and the massive tidy each eve
shopping for particular resources
risk assessments eg visiting venues before you take mindees..
and the rest...
It can all add up to an extra days work each week which is part of the price of being self employed.

You need to be prepared to think of this as a career rather than something to fill a gap.

It's a wonderful life.

Tas1 Mon 03-Oct-11 17:07:43

It all depends where in the country you are.
I'm in Kent and it took me 9 months from my first info meeting to becoming registered and that was with me pushing all the way. It also depends if you can get on all the courses or if they have a waiting list, they get cancelled quite alot and you have to wait for another course to come around.
I was lucky and had Mindee's lined up for when my certificate came through so I could start straight away but I know of other Childminders that have been registered for months and have either got no Mindee's at all or just a few and are struggeling finacialy and thinking of giving up.

My best advice would be, search your local area first and see if there is a need for more childminders or if the area is already flooded.
If you have a job at the moment, DO NOT hand in your notice until you are registered and have had some interest.

Good luck in your journey.

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