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Giving up teaching for childminding?

(22 Posts)
Pootle31 Sat 25-Oct-14 09:26:01

I am working full time in early years in a primary school but am finding it very stressful. I gave up for 7 years to be at home with my own children who are now 8 and 12. Just wondered if anyone could give me thoughts on this. My main concern is earning enough and I also wondered about not working much in school holidays, whether teachers children would be the way to go? Thanks for any advice/thoughts

BlinkingHeck Sat 25-Oct-14 10:57:58

I've just given up minding, due to the impact it had on my own children, but I was just getting into the position where I could've moved to TTO. But before that I just worked 2 days in the holiday and took 4/5 weeks off in the school holidays.

It's your business so you can run it how you want. Some of my TTO parents paid over 12 months so there was no large dip in earnings during the holidays.

I'm not sure I would give up the salary and pension of a teacher to become a CM. It is a job with its own issues - long hours e.g 7.30-6pm plus prep and paperwork on top. It can also be very up and down. There's no sick pay/ paid time off when your own children are ill.

It is also very hard work, 3 under school age is how to make it pay. Plus 2/3 after school. It isn't for the faint hearted! It can also be very lonely.

There are positives I'm sure another poster will be along shortly to list them smile

Pootle31 Sat 25-Oct-14 11:16:04

Hi thank you for your honest comments. I think I will need to give up how my work life is now for health reasons! I am working 7:30 til 6 and then starting paperwork at 9pm when my children go to bed. I am waking very early in the morning with anxiety. I spend a lot of weekends working as well. I am not against hard work and do enjoy being with children and the play side as well as being out and about.

BlinkingHeck Sat 25-Oct-14 11:43:42

It does sound like you need a change!

Do you have a separate room that you could use for minding? This was the deal breaker for me. We moved house and I lost the large conservatory where I kept all the toys and set up creative things/ messy play. It also had free flow onto a decked area. I'd wanted to convert our garage to a playroom, but DH didn't want to. You obviously don't need to do this but it's a massive bonus to be able shut it all off at the end of the day!

It's something I wouldn't rule out doing again when my boys are older.

Do you want to do before/ after school or do you think you could manage with just pre-school children? CM can offer funded places but you need a good grading so it'd take at least 6 months post reg for Ofsted to come out and do your first inspection.

Also bear in mind that it takes a which to secure customers. I was registered in November but didn't secure customers until the following June.

Could you do supply whilst you built up your business?

Have you contacted your local council re a CM pre-reg course?

Pootle31 Sat 25-Oct-14 11:54:55

I am committed to my current job for the year and want to honour it. So have time to sort out. I don't have a separate room but would be happy having toys around, I have young nieces and nephews. I worry that we have a dog, but she is small and I would divide garden and kitchen so she doesn't need to mix. We could have living room, half of kitchen and patio doors leading to garden, dog can have other end of kitchen and divided garden. Might that work? I never wanted to work from home but my house and life is completely saturated with teaching anyway so at least this would be more me friendly I feel. I could definitely do supply while I was building things up. Thank you.

IAmASkeletonLover Sat 25-Oct-14 12:08:44

My ex childminder was an ex teacher. She is only ex childminder because she is moving away. She was amazing. utterly wonderful. i felt that for us she was ideal due to her background as she was happy to do reading books and help with homework because she was familiar with requirements which was a great help when dcs were there late.

i have 3 dcs so that have her around £1000 a month just from me, i full time and 2 before and after school which gives you an idea for income.

school holidays is up to you to decide i guess. She liked having time off with her dd and her teacher dh so was flexible and so dh took leave in holidays our sometimes i wad off and sometimes grandparents asked to have the children and that have is a good balance of having them in full time some of the holiday and off other times so we all got family time. She didn't have specific holiday policy for charging really, she just didn't charge if we didn't use so we had am incentive to give her plenty of holiday time off.

current childminder only gives us 4 weeks holiday a year. We'll have used that in no time and then be paying through the nose to not send our children there because Funnily enough we like spending time with them when they are off.

Pootle31 Sat 25-Oct-14 12:39:46

I would definitely want to be flexible for teachers and would appreciate the holidays myself with my family!

IAmASkeletonLover Sat 25-Oct-14 12:43:22

Come live here and I'll send you my lot grin

busyDays Sat 25-Oct-14 13:35:37

I honestly would not go into childminding with the aim of finding a better work/life balance as it is extremely hard work. You say you work 7:30 - 6pm with paperwork in the evenings but those are the exact same hours I am working at the moment as a childminder. I also have lots of paperwork to do in the evenings plus I have to tidy the house each night, ready for the next morning. I often have to attend training on the weekends or do more paperwork. I work harder/longer hours than I ever did in my previous office job. It suits me at the moment as my children are young and I want to be at home with them but as soon as my youngest starts school I will looking for an alternate job. Childminding is a lot of work and extremely tiring. It definitely has some benefits but less work/stress is not one of them! Unless you can afford to only have 1-2 children part time, but then you won't earn very much.

luckylou Sun 26-Oct-14 08:19:53

I am a former teacher now working as a childminder. I co-childmind with another former teacher.

Yes, childminding means long hours and a lot of paperwork. But I can promise you, and assure other people, that the paperwork is NOTHING compared to the paperwork you do as a teacher. And you can set aside one evening a week to catch up (or less as you're so used to it) - something a teacher can only dream of.

You need to be aware that it pretty much takes over parts of your home; and resign yourself to the fact that you haven't finished with Ofsted...

Being a qualified teacher is a big plus as far as filling places is concerned. You can offer term-time only; you should be able to fill the places easily.

You can't hope to make as much money as you make now, but you should be able to make a reasonable income. You don't say where you are, and of course childminding rates vary. We're in the south east and currently charge £58 per child per day.

To make sure you do have a reasonable income, charge by the day (eg 8am - 6pm, 10 hours a day) rather than by the hour. Families can then use the hours as they wish - if they want to bring their child at 9 and/or collect them at 4, fine, but with no reduction in charges.

As for funded places - we don't offer them. The reimbursement you get is certain to be considerably less than your normal rate (for us it was £4.25, which worked out at £906 per child per year). You end up subsidising families who almost certainly (and certainly if you're term time only) earning more than you are.

Pootle31 Sun 26-Oct-14 17:40:41

Thank you for all replies. Lucky lou, I really appreciate the feedback from you having experienced both. I was starting to think I was better off staying where I am if as much paperwork as teaching. It is good to know it isn't.

I am in the South West where unfortunately the money isn't as good as the South East. Someone I know only charges £24 a day. She isn't a teacher so I suppose I can charge more. I will research fees here including for nurseries.

I can survive my Ofsted relationship continuing! Thank you once again.

BlinkingHeck Sun 26-Oct-14 19:21:08

There's definitely not as much paperwork as teaching! I don't think anyone said that. You have less kids for a start. But you are expected to have a closer relationship with parents. And do daily diaries/ emails.

But your days with the kids there are longer 7.30-6 (occasionally 6.30 am starts) Which is draining. Then you have to tidy and prep outside your 10.5-11 hour child filled days. Plus you don't have that commute home where you have some time to yourself! Before you have to sort your own out.

The kids can tidy up obviously for a set time and be waiting for parents. But you then have to clean your house, as you are always on show. Some house keeping is ok during minded hours, but it always crops up on CM v. Nursery thread about how some don't like their CM cleaning/ washing etc when there DC are there. You might be lucky and gave practical parents who don't mind you doing this or running errands. or just don't tell them I had lovely parents who didn't mind a shopping trip every now and again, as they wanted their kids to do what they'd be doing if they were at home.

My house was 10x messier when I was minding. Drove me potty!

mrsnewfie Sun 26-Oct-14 20:43:28

Another ex teacher turned childminder here.

I worked full time in an academy and the impact it had on my children was horrendous. I resigned at Easter and haven't looked back since.

Work life balance is so much better. The paperwork is peanuts compared to a teacher's workload! Unbelievably, once I take away the amount I was spending on my own child care from my inner London, high grade salary, I'm pretty much breaking even. I only have two children on my books and I have every Friday off! The only down side is the lack of pension.

I would say it has been a no brainer for our family!

BlinkingHeck Mon 27-Oct-14 08:03:45

MrsNewfie, It's definitely going to offer a better work life balance if you only have two kids on your books! And a day off. It depends on how much OP would like to earn as to the level of stress involved.

At my busiest I had 3 under 3, and was collecting 5-6 children from school. grin it was too much for me.

Factoring in what you would have to pay in childcare is a good way of looking at things.

It's something I might look at doing again, when mine are older. I'd actually considered going into teaching, but with the way things are at the moment (I'm a Governor at a school) I'm not sure it's for me. Plus I want to be able to pick my own children up sometimes.

Good luck OP if you decide to take the plunge.

mrsnewfie Mon 27-Oct-14 16:07:03

BlinkingHeck, you are stating the obvious! �� That was the point I was making. I have only two children, four days a week and I'm pretty much breaking even. I no longer have to pay for my own child care, cleaner, etc, etc.

Obviously more children would make the job more stressful. However, compared to thirty kids in a class, books to mark, blah blah blah....child minding is still less stressful in my mind.

Good luck OP with whatever your decision is.

Pootle31 Mon 27-Oct-14 17:20:06

Thanks everyone. Certainly lots for me to think about over the next few months. Appreciate the comments and advice.

januarysnowdrop Wed 29-Oct-14 14:36:44

I do both - teach one day a week, childmind 3 days. It's a great balance for me. Two of the days are crazy, on the other one I usually just do breakfasts and after school, but occasionally have preschool mindees for extra days if parents ask. If you have enough mindees (and depending on the going rate where you live) you can end up earning a pretty comparable rate to teaching (especially if you factor in childcare costs, although that might not be an issue for you given your dcs' ages). Although obviously you have to sort out your own pension.....

I find plenty of people are happy with a basic offer of term time only care, and then we sort out holidays by arrangement - I'm happy to do odd days if I'm around, otherwise they tend to juggle grandparents/ annual leave/holiday clubs etc. If they have older children they have to juggle the school holidays anyway.

I agree with whoever it was who said the paperwork is NOTHING compared to teaching! You'll find it a doodle if you've been teaching Early Years.
Oh, and parents love having a teacher/childminder. I doubt you'll have trouble finding mindees. It's fun being self-employed. You can decide how much to do - although you may find you have to get pretty good at saying no to people. Good luck.

Appervine Fri 31-Oct-14 08:25:07

My old child minder worked part time, term time only and had no shortage of parents who wanted to use her. Like me, many of them were teachers who didn't need child care in the holidays and she didn't charge for the holidays as she wasn't available. We are in a part of London where decent child minders are very thin on the ground though.

HSMMaCM Fri 31-Oct-14 11:11:35

Also ... Doing paperwork for your own business is not as annoying as doing paperwork to someone else's deadlines. You have curriculum guidelines, but can implement and record them any way you wish.

Steffichops Tue 04-Nov-14 14:49:41

Hi all, am new to this so might not know all the lingo so pls bear with smile I stumbled upon this thread when googling for advice for starting out as a childminder! I too am a primary teacher, recently returned from mat leave but with two kids quite close in age and both pre school age I'm struggling to make any profit once I've paid childcare!

I'm in hemel in herts and have been trying to find an existing childminder but it all seems a bit competitive so no one is interested in holding hands with the newbie while she stumbles around in the dark!

There seem to be loads of teachers moving over to minding. My main reason is to be there for my kids and be able to take them to and frm school etc, ideally I want to work term time only but I am not sure how much interest id get? Even a couple of kids kit before and after school would be worthwhile for me because of the money id save paying out on childcare for my two !

FabulousFairy Tue 04-Nov-14 15:02:38

I left teaching to become a nanny. I was on UPS1 in 2012. I working 50 hrs a week and earning about 2grand less. Loving it. No paper work. Become nanny.

RetroHippy Fri 07-Nov-14 20:34:57

Bumping this before starting my own similar thread.

Currently 29 weeks, finish work at Christmas from a temporary contract teaching y4. I have nothing to go back to so am contemplating supply, but I really don't like the idea of putting my 9mo in nursery. I would also have to earn enough to cover childcare fees plus at least smp amount.

Contemplating switching to childminding, the major plus being that I can spend time with my own child. If I could earn £1000 per month I would be better off than doing 3 days a week supply and paying for childcare.

I'd love to do pre and post school pick ups, homework, reading, tea if necessary.

I do have a large dog, but he is easily segregated. With no DCs currently the house is not set up for younger children, but with one 6mo already I wonder how possible it would be to look after another of a similar age?

I'm still at the pondering stage, so just wanted to get some idea of what the reality is.

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