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Can I do it?

(10 Posts)
puppie Tue 06-Nov-12 08:08:21

Hello lovely experienced Childminders, Nannies etc.

I have a quick question as I am tentatively looking to become a childminder. I have not looked into in-depth as of yet so I would like to start with some basic questions and I would be really grateful for any answers/insight.

Basically I want to have another child and once I do, it just would not pay me to travel into London 5 days a week anymore and pay £1300-£1600 in childcare for my own children as well as a further £300 in travel!

I do love children so that is a start I guess and am under no illusions about how hard/exausting being a CM can be. I get up 4.00am every morning for work and only get home again at 6.15pm so not averse to hard work!

My main questions for now are;

a) How long did it take you to get your first mindees (after how many interviews)? It must be difficult to trust someone if they are not experienced yet and are not Ofsted rated yet!

b) How long did it take to qualify and do necessary training/courses and was it expensive?

c) Would I be at least able to make £1200 profit a month once up and running?

These are my basic questions and I would appreciate any answers : )

HSMM Tue 06-Nov-12 08:35:16

I'm not sure how long registration takes now, because they have changed the rules recently (hopefully someone else can answer that one).

How old are your children? You can only have 3 children under 5, except in exceptional circumstances. You can have up to 6 children under 8. What do Childminders charge in your area?

For example: Where I live ... if I had 2 children under 5 of my own, I would only have 1 more child under 5 and would earn £950 per month, before tax, NI and expenses. That would be my choice not to have school children.

HSMM Tue 06-Nov-12 08:41:15

Oh ... and ask your Local Authority what the demand is for Childminders in your area.

Flisspaps Tue 06-Nov-12 08:46:38

How much you make depends on your area.

I have two school boys, on a shift contract, some days until 9pm. I work 22 hours min. a week and make less than £600 a month.

Even when I had a full timer and 2 part timers (under 3s) I earned less than £800 a month, but the hourly rate here is low.

I had a mindee lined up from the start - I registered to look after her. The only children I've looked after who weren't friends or family are the boys I have now.

ilovesparklythings Tue 06-Nov-12 09:38:33

Hi,
tried to answer as best I can..!

a) How long did it take you to get your first mindees (after how many interviews)? It must be difficult to trust someone if they are not experienced yet and are not Ofsted rated yet!

- I had enquiries before I was able to start - people at my kids school knew I was training so was lucky to have people lined up. The rest just trickled in. This was my main fear when I started out - what if no one wants me?! But I'm full now and turning people away.

b) How long did it take to qualify and do necessary training/courses and was it expensive?

- Took about 8 months from initial course with council to ofsted issuing certificate - not sure on timescales now. Course cost about £250 inc first aid (I think)

c) Would I be at least able to make £1200 profit a month once up and running?

- If you live near London (and I assume you do as you're talking about commuting etc) then yes. I currently make about £2500 profit a month - but I 'm shattered and beginning to wonder if its worth it.

Hope this helps... Good luck with your decision x

MaryPoppinsBag Tue 06-Nov-12 10:10:55

I started the Local Authority course May 2011 completed June 2011.
Applied to Ofsted July 2011.
Registration visit - November 2011.

Loads of enquiries Summer 2011 onwards by word of mouth.
However, nothing worked out due to a number reasons - wrong school, courses being cancelled, not being registered in time for parents needs. Plus I was uncertain about whether I actually wanted to do it, so dragged my feet a bit and was really choosy about who I took on. Concentrating on one school.

First mindees June 2012 grin by word of mouth.
Then I've had a steady influx mainly by word of mouth and me promoting myself on Facebook. I.e. I put lots of positive comments about CM courses etc.

I have 3 sibling pairs and two individual children now.

I am not at capacity except for a Monday (sometimes I have 9 kids on a Monday!!!) And only have one child all day Monday / Tuesday. The rest are before and after school.

I take approx £300 a week. No idea what actual take home is yet not worked it out.

I take £120 on my busiest day, however, I an not sure I want 9 children (including my own every day!)
I have the potential to earn another £150-£200 per week if I fill my spaces.

But at present I have a nice balance.

Runoutofideas Tue 06-Nov-12 14:49:07

I decided I wanted to childmind this February and was registered by April. I completed my CYPOP5 course in May with the NCMA. (This now has to be completed before registration - the rules changed in Sept.)

I had 2 families already lined up so I nannied for them in the short term before my registration was complete.

My own children are school-aged so I can have 3 little ones. I work 2.5 days a week, term time only, and earn roughly £1000 per month before tax and expenses. I am pretty much as full as I want to be, and have turned lots of children away. It depends on the demand in your area, but round here after school care is hugely in demand. I only do 2 after school days per week because of it affecting my own children too much - they still want to do swimming, gymnastics etc - but I could make a lot more money if I chose to fill up the after school days, especially as over 8's don't count in your numbers. It does hugely depend on demand in your area though.

ZuleikaD Tue 06-Nov-12 15:02:42

a) everyone who has come for an interview has wanted to use me, and I had enquiries within a day or two of advertising on childcare.co.uk. HOWEVER I already knew from the local authority that there was a scarcity of CMs in my area. This is crucial information as it will radically affect your business - I would talk to them before you do anything.

b) it took me four months to qualify (but I wasn't rushing) and about £300.

c) £1200 profit a month is optimistic unless you can take on two mindees, and if you are going to have two children of your own under 5 then you'll only be able to take one under-5 mindee until your eldest is in school. I charge £50/day which is top rate for Oxford - I too can only have one under-5 mindee as my own two are under-5 - and when you factor in bank holidays and holidays it comes out at an average of under £1000 a month. Of course you can have 5-8 age bracket mindees but then you're into school runs.

puppie Tue 06-Nov-12 15:19:55

Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much for all your various replies. My son is 5 so at school already. So this means I gather that I can have two under 5s as well as my future planned DC as my son is over 5?

I live in the Kent area and will be moving to nearer my sons school soon. I don't know what the demand for childminders is but as suggested I will check with the local authority. Is there a website that I can get numbers for local area to find out?

The going rate for CMs in the area I will be moving to seems to be £5.00 to £5.50.

£1,200 profit would be my ideal but if that is unrealistic I am not too worried! The situation if I returned to work would be I would be paying almost £1600 to £1900 per month in travel and childcare just to get to work to a job I don't love that much! That would leave me with a profit of £250 to £300 so surely I would make more money childminding and looking after my own kids grin Does not make sense to hand over my children to someone else to look after for that amount!

I would do a school run to his school as I would have to pick him up anyway. Is it possible to do school runs to more than one school?

It is encouraging that many of you have had no problem getting your first mindees but I guess that does also depend on supply and demand! If there are already a lot of Childminders in my area then there may not be enough children to go around.

I always presumed it would be difficult because given the choice I though parents would always go for someone with more experience.

Runoutofideas Tue 06-Nov-12 15:42:54

I would advise chatting to loads of people at your son's school and let them know that you will be childminding. All of my childminding children are linked in someway to my dds' school - Younger siblings of schoolies and teachers' children. It makes sense to only do pick ups at one school as the timings will generally clash if you try to be in two places at once.

I wouldn't do anything too much until you move as Ofsted will need to inspect your setting. You could get the training course underway though if you wanted to. I did all of my application direct with Ofsted rather than through my LA which made the process much quicker for me. Some LAs are ok with this and some aren't so you'd need to check.

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