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Childminding for over 5s

(18 Posts)
RetroHippy Sat 15-Nov-14 22:50:12

Just putting the feelers out for possible work options post maternity leave. I'm currently teaching in primary school, but on a temporary contract which finishes as I start mat leave.

I am considering childminding as an option for a few reasons...

A) I have always wanted to be a sahm, at least for the first few years, there are very few work options which will allow me to do this.

B) I genuinely like primary school aged children, which helps! I can use my knowledge of the primary curriculum to help with homework, reading at home etc.

C) To do something part time, like supply teaching, would mean I will have to earn enough to pay for childcare as well as covering what I'll lose when maternity pay finishes. So working more for less money.

Anyway, like I say, putting out the feelers. It seems, from the very small amount of research I've done, that providing care for children before and after school could be an option. Breakfast, school drop off and pick up, homework, reading, tea etc. with some school holiday care too.

I know I'll need various certificates; basic food hygiene, insurance, to register on the Childcare Register.

As a teacher I'm no stranger to paperwork, so that aspect doesn't bother me.

As I'm only planning on looking after older children (to begin with at least), is there anything else I need to consider? Do you think there is a need for this?

Anyone who provides this sort of care already, is it a viable way of making a small living at least (I'm talking less than £800 per month)? What would I need to do in my house to prepare?

These are all things (particularly any outgoings) which I need to consider and talk over with my DH (who is very supportive) before progressing further so any input would be very much appreciated.

I also have a large dog. He is very easily segregated from the main part of the house, but could this potentially make this a non starter? Personally, as a dog lover, I would like my children to have contact with dogs in a controlled situation, but I appreciate it may put people off.

Any help or advice very gratefully received, thank you.

HSMMaCM Sat 15-Nov-14 23:44:26

If you do breakfast and tea, that plus your petrol, plus after school craft materials etc will make a massive debt in the money coming in. You don't have to provide breakfast and tea ... Maybe an after school snack.

Contact your local authority for details about registering.

PenelopeGarciasCrazyHair Sun 16-Nov-14 00:01:49

I do this, no before schoolies at the moment, only after. I have two children all week plus a few extras two days a week. I also have another job during the school day, so don't need it to pay all bills, but it is certainly an extra £400-800 a month depending on how many holiday days are included that month, for really very little actual work! (I'm lucky I have well behaved kids and my own DCs to keep them entertained).

I offer after school snack and drinks but no meals to save me doing food hygiene course (although if any children have to stay later then of course I feed them, but don't charge extra for it). I don't find expenses are that much as I walk to school and they mainly play role-playing games and sing/dance.

Obviously I do have plenty of paper/pens/modelling stuff, but we're talking pennies per day. Otherwise they use Lego, puzzles etc which we already have or watch DVDs and play on iPads. I bought a trampoline and have lots of garden toys too. I take them to free parks and if ewe go anywhere more expensive in the holidays the parents offer me entrance fees.

Biggest expenses are initial courses and memberships etc plus extra on insurance, although I found most home insurers wanted to charge a fortune, so I've ended up with a policy that covers me despite my job, but not for any damage caused by the mindees!

PenelopeGarciasCrazyHair Sun 16-Nov-14 00:05:05

Btw, I've done nothing to my home except putting a table and chairs in the small office for crafts to save my dining table getting covered in glue every day! And I'm sure the dog won't be a problem with older children.

Jinxxx Sun 16-Nov-14 08:09:22

I would say taking before and after school children would be a good option, and that your background would be appealing to parents. The only issue might be competition. More and more schools are opening breakfast and after school clubs, and many of these are very subsidised, so that it can be hard to compete with their prices - I have even heard of some free ones. You may find you have to offer something extra such as earlier starts and/or later finishes to bring in children, and this obviously eats into your family time.

VeryThelma Sun 16-Nov-14 08:52:12

I use this childcare for my DSs I prefer they are not 'in school' for long days when I am working

Your USP is that it's a home environment, older kids can read / homework.

I am in Hertfordshire my CM takes childcare vouchers and it costs me just under £300 per month for 2 kids 3 afternoons a week (till 6, 5.30, 5.30) I pay her every month but she only does term time which works for us all. So offering both TT and all year helps with flexibility.

hazelnutlatte Sun 16-Nov-14 09:06:14

I will soon be needing an after school childminder for my dd. She is with a childminder at the moment who she won't be able to continue with once she starts school as the school is too far away for her to do pick up / drop off.
The things important to me would be a nice homely environment, activities to do (but not too much as she will probably be tired after school) and for a meal to be provided. I know a lot of childminders don't do evening meals but I wouldn't be able to pick up until 6pm and it's pretty late go get home and start cooking a meal for dd at that time.
I think a dog would be a positive thing as long as it was well behaved and I had assurances that dd would never be left alone with the dog.
Being a qualified teacher would be a usp and would be impressive for many but I don't think it would be a deciding factor for me.

RetroHippy Sun 16-Nov-14 12:35:29

Thank you for your replies. I know the school I currently work at (5 mins drive down the road) has no wraparound care, and they know me which I hope would be an advantage! There are also two schools within walking distance, though obviously I'd need to consider finishing times.

I might do a bit of research into providing evening meals. I used to work in catering, so am happy with basic food hygiene paperwork and records if necessary, and would be able to work out my costs for a meal etc and maybe charge extra if that's something people were interested in.

I was chatting to a mum at work who had recently had to find a new childminder after years with her old one (due to ill health). It was lovely to hear how much of an important part of the family she had been and how much her DS enjoyed going to her.

Livvylongpants Sun 16-Nov-14 12:41:50

Being a teacher would be a selling point for me personally (although by oldest is only 3) especially if you offer homework help

HSMMaCM Sun 16-Nov-14 17:06:12

Out local school used to pass my details on to parents, so hopefully yours will. Word of caution about meals ... What if three parents want them and pay for them and the fourth doesn't ... Do they sit and watch the others eat? It's better to feed everyone, or no one I think (just my personal feeling).

Try to stick to one school. Doing more than one can be stressful if you are held up at the first school by a class coming out late, a lost shoe, or an accident form to sign, etc.

RetroHippy Sun 16-Nov-14 17:18:38

I do tend to have a small handful of stragglers at going home time who wait for on particular CM who does a pick up elsewhere first. Does seem a bit mean.

Do you find that people who want their child feeding tend to pick up a bit later? I was thinking perhaps if you stay past 6 you get fed? DH tends to work until 7ish anyway, so wouldn't encroach too much.

Our new arrival will just have to have a later bath time than most!

lovelynannytobe Sun 16-Nov-14 19:09:26

I would personally not offer to read/do homework with child as I feel it is parent's responsibility not childminder's. Also consider how you're going to manage it with distractions such as other children, your baby etc.
Dog may put off some but may be a plus for some too.
Feeding ... I used to give tea around 4pm and skip the snack as I found that if I gave snack first some children would fill up on it and not eat dinner.
No paperwork needed for over 5s other than contracts.

HSMMaCM Sun 16-Nov-14 19:18:14

Agreed : offer space for a child to do homework as you may not have time for 1:1 with every child and some parents might expect you to help with projects, book day costumes, space rocket building, etc. Any help you have time to give is a bonus.

RetroHippy Sun 16-Nov-14 19:56:39

Good point. So, space for h/w, possibly food, school drop off & pick up, some nice chilled out activities to do after school but not too taxing and think about possible holiday care too.

It would be to start next September, so that gives me time to get the necessary paperwork, put together contracts and advertise. If I get no response then I've got supply to fall back on, though that itself poses an issue with childcare. if only MIL wasn't quite so bonkers

HSMMaCM Sun 16-Nov-14 21:36:02

First contact is your local authority to see what steps to take. I'm completely out of date on how to register. Changes every year !

PhoebeMcPeePee Sun 16-Nov-14 22:43:18

I have quite a few school children & (assuming our school doesn't suddenly open a childcare facilitywink) intend to have just wraparound by this time next year & it's definitely as viable business proposition for me. I do a snack then tea at 5:30pm which means most have gone home by then but the few late (6 & 6:15) finishers get a proper meal. I agree that sitting down to help with homework is probably not practical with your own baby/tea to cook etc but space to work & assistance where possible is certainly appealing to lots of parents.

I get all my business word of mouth (including school 'recommendation') so make yourself known as early as January as this is when the new starters sometimes start looking for spaces but most September enquiries tend to start coming in around may/June time as most people want to be sorted before summer hols.
Work out pricing carefully so you are competitive but don't undersell yourself (or underestimate how much older children eat shock!). Decide if you will charge hourly with minimum fees or a set 'school rate' as every child will count as a space regardless of whether they stay for 1 or 3 hours & don't be too quick to take on the first enquiry if it doesn't fill enough hours. I'd also avoid multiple school drop-offs unless finish times are massively different - fine walking half hour in the summer, not such fun in driving rain hmm.

badgerhead Mon 17-Nov-14 11:38:00

I do before & after school as well as early years care, what you need to consider if you are going to do after school only that if you care for reception age children they come under the Early years (Compulsory) register and then the older children come under the compulsory register for 5-8 year olds & the voluntary register for over 8's. So although you are considering after school only you would need to register for all sections in order to facilitate the full school age range. Being on the early years register doesn't mean that you have care for young children & indeed it does mean that you can care for more 5-8 plus reception age children as long as you include your child in your numbers. You will be able to care for up to 6 under 8's including your dc plus older children.

I have children who come term time only, full time, part time & holidays only as well. I find the school age children tend to want a quick snack when they come in & then I provide a cooked meal for those who want it at 5pm. Some children go before then & some go later but don't eat with us as they prefer to eat with their families.

Activity wise, a chance for them to do homework if they want, but not always necessary, arts & crafts, games, outdoor play all available but don't need to be highly organised as they tend to work out themselves what they want to do. In the holidays I do a mixture of outings & staying at home days each week. Probably one 'good'(more costly) outing per week plus free outings trips like to the park, beach, woodlands etc.

I would concentrate on one school only, probably the one your dc will attend as children often stay with you right from reception to yr 6. I still give occasional care to a family whose eldest child is now in yr 8 (was with me from 1 year old), middle one is in yr 2 & youngest is nearly 2 years old, yes it is for the younger child but is nice to know that they will still use you when needed if you have the room.

You are welcome to message me if you want to know any more.

anewyear Mon 17-Nov-14 13:19:33

Another after school childminder here, dont tend to have them during the holidays
I also work in Pre School till 1pm everyday.

I have an extensive art & craft cupboard, Books, Board games, Lego, Duplo, Barbie, Garage & toy cars, wooden train set, Airport, small world stuff, Dress up clothes and of course the TV, and age appropriate DVDS.

I don't give any of my kids tea/evening meal, at about 4.30 we have a healthy ish snack, fruit, yoghurt, wholemeal toast, Popcorn, Milk or water.

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