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CM club - Can childminding bring you a good income???

(41 Posts)
Hollylou Tue 10-Oct-06 13:24:24

Hi all

Really just wanted to get your advice on this. I'm going through registration process at the moment. I currently have a full time job (well almost full time - I work 4 days a week, Tues-Fri) in the private sector so pretty well paid....but I'm really unhappy there. Have been with the company 3 years - since having my daughter. Love the people just not the job. Long hours, periods away from home. Before I had my daughter I didn't mind that working life style...but now I do.

Anyway, have decided that I'd like to try childminding as will give me an opportunity to spend time with my daughter before she starts school plus will then fit around her when she does start - next Sept. Am excited by the prospect of becoming a minder but am worrying about the income. I don't expect to earn quite as much as I do now but won't need to once I've dropped her expensive nursery fees...but I do still need to earn a decent amount. My husband works but we can't afford to live on one salary...or one and a half for that matter!

Without going into details about the sort of money you all earn doing this...in your experience can a fairly reasonable income come through? OFSTED are recommending I am registered for 5 children under 8 and I'm definately going to take advice from many of you on this site about taking part timers as think this is how you make up your earnings.

I bought a childminding book by Alison Lee which has some really good stuff in there about the business side but one thing she does say is that Childminders rarely earn sufficient money to make them liable to pay tax...which I have to say has put a bit of a dampner on things for me. Is it really that bad??? Do may of you find you are having to take other jobs on as well to earn more money? I guess at the end of the day its down to the interest you get but I just wanted to hear some of you experiences.

Thanks
HL

StrawberryFULLMoonOWOWOWWWWWWW Tue 10-Oct-06 13:39:07

i charge £3 per hour per child between 8.30am 0 5.30 pm..more before and more after plus more again for overnight care.
once my reg comes through(pah ofsted!) i will be able to have 6 all together inc my dd..so £120 a week x 52 weks £6240..if i get another full timer..or two..£12'480 or £18'720 and thats just with four children inc my dd!
i charge full days when mindees are in nursery 1/2 day too...i personally think you get out what you put in..see katymac, shes a prime example she has people working for her shes running things so well!

hana Tue 10-Oct-06 13:42:39

£3 an hour seems so small - not even minimum wage and childminders are worth more than that!

Katymac Tue 10-Oct-06 13:51:27

hana - I love you

LoveMyGirls Tue 10-Oct-06 13:57:20

im not making a massive ammount at the moment but it can be done. i would say for the first year you need to have a pt job as well if you def can't afford to live without a proper wage or have savings to get you through the hard times, also don't price yourself out of the market and do find out who else minds near you so you can think about if there are too many childminders, go along to toddler groups and introduce yourself, get word of mouth going adn you may meet other cm's that are willing to give you advice.

StrawberryFULLMoonOWOWOWWWWWWW Tue 10-Oct-06 14:03:46

im in the middle price wise of one close to me, but am only cm in 'this' area at minute!

it is poorly paid, but the way im trying to look at it is who else can physically do 6 full time jobs all at the same time? earning 6 full time(even though only £3) wages!

6 children @ £3ph pc full time = £720 per week!
but depends how many you can/are able to look after!

i find playgroups/parks/libraries a godsend and break the day up wonderully|!

ayla99 Tue 10-Oct-06 14:03:57

You can earn good money - I've got 10 part-timers all add up to more than I would have earned remaining in any of my previous jobs. And I've got lots of pay days! But my turnover was less than £2000 in my first 2 years and I nearly didn't stick with it.

The problem is the irregularity & uncertainty, I find. Every time I work out my budget & figure out how much I've got left over, somebody changes their hours/days & I've got to have a rethink. My income is rarely the same 2 weeks running. B

I've met lots of lovely families and have built up a nice portfolio of recommendations but my idea of looking after children from babies to teens just isn't happening. Within a year or two one of the parents' jobs will have changed or they will move or find someone nearer/cheaper or their tax credits have stopped or a grandparent/neighbour will step in and take over some/all of the care...

dmo Tue 10-Oct-06 14:05:38

£3 does sound small but if you have 3 children thats £9 per hour

i charge £3 also

you have to think of the parents if they earn £6 per hour they are paying you half their wage to look after their child (i know some parents get family tax credit)

i earn now 3 times more than i earned when i worked at a nursey school and i was there 13yrs

amphion Tue 10-Oct-06 14:06:35

Things bad for childminders in my region (East Anglia) - I charge only £2.50/hour (average is about £2.50 to £3.00) and am not full up as the number of children locally is going down, the school I currently serve is the smallest in this town, and there is a lot of competition from nurseries and now kids clubs. Even charging this small amount (includes food), parents quibble about still paying me when the child goes to playgroup - have had to accept just being paid half for these hours. I am an experienced childminder with lovely facilities and like the job, but I do wonder if there's a future in this round here.

LoveMyGirls Tue 10-Oct-06 14:35:01

im the same as you amphion, there are lots of nurseries by me, the school i pick up from has a nursery and kids club so its hard for me. we also charge between £2.50 - £3 i charge 2.50 and im still struggling.

amphion Tue 10-Oct-06 14:39:45

Glad it's not just me!

Hollylou Tue 10-Oct-06 18:10:07

Hi everyone

Thanks for such a great response. Its really nice to hear your experiences and I agree with you that it really is what you make it. I guess there are so may different factors to making it work - which many of you have pointed out below. I just need to give it a go.

Katy Mac - I'd love to know more about what you do. You sound like you have a real thrivin' little business going there! And you employ others too???

Thanks again
HL

makemineadouble Tue 10-Oct-06 18:43:53

Hollylou, I am cm in midlands, I work 11 hours a day, 5 days a week (but I am at home if my ds 14 is off sick or any other emergency) Thats why I started this, when his older sibblings were little they went to cm, I hated it!!! When last ds was born I had to do something that allowed me to stay at home, I take it very seriously (I AM NOT A BABY SITTER ) and I think I'm the best in my area, you have to, if your serious about earning a proper living?! I am proud of all I'v achieved and cant imagine doing anything else, I love my job, BTW I earned 25,000 last year and hope to top that this year! Good luck to you, certainly give it your best shot

gooseegg Tue 10-Oct-06 18:54:23

As a full-time childminder IF you get a good amount of children then you will earn a good wage. If you invest solidly in your business from the start, buying materials and equipment and advertising, then you may not find that you have too much spare cash for the first year at least. Quiet times can be a real worry if you are relying on your income to pay bills or eat. My advice would be to try to reduce your hours in the secure job you have now and run childminding alongside that until you have built up a good reputation and references and you are sure that childminding is for you. It's certainly the most stressful job I have ever done even though I love it and would do it full time like a shot if only it had the benefits of holiday/sick/pension pay that my second job does.

StrawberryFULLMoonOWOWOWWWWWWW Tue 10-Oct-06 19:17:29

and also speak to local childrens info service / surestart for help and advice, in certain areas they offers lots of support and training!

makemineadouble Tue 10-Oct-06 20:25:47

Goose I am in private pension but thats another thread, not worth paper its wtitten on better just saving money in high interest?! I charge half charge for hols well at least we're worth that much...? Parents get it. sick pay ??????????? cant afford to be sick lol but know excellent cm and we cover for each other if we have to

Katymac Tue 10-Oct-06 22:06:06

Hollylou - CAT me (top of the page)- I never mind talking about me

ThePrisoner Tue 10-Oct-06 23:09:55

The reason that this book mentioned that childminders "rarely earn sufficient money to make them liable to pay tax" is because we are allowed to offset our huge and vast expenses against our income, so leaving us with lots less profit to be taxed on.

However, I earn a very good wage doing this job (far more than if I did a "grown-up" job in the real world) and certainly wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't financially worth it.

I pride myself on offering a professional and caring service, despite what I might post on Mumsnet to the contrary, but I do work very long hours, and all the extra stuff that goes with it gets me down sometimes ... paperwork, paperwork, oh ... and paperwork. (You can tell that I'm having a bad day, I didn't put a smiley face next to the paperwork comment!)

alibubbles Wed 11-Oct-06 20:22:22

Hollylou, I have earned enough over the past 20 years to privately educate two children from 3 -18 years old.

I am lucky enough to live in an affluent area and have always been full.

I turned down a job at £35K four years ago - customer services Manager for Abbey. I couldn't cope with the thought of someone telling me when I could have my lunch, take my holldays and go for a wee!

Whilst my net profit is less than that, my gross is the same, but i choose when I go on holiday - ski twice a year and have just booked to go to the Maldives. I also change my car every three years, there are lots of upsides

I am not unusual where I live, but it does take time to build up a good business and keep the revenue stream going. Having said that, I mentor new childminders who are earning £500-£600 a week, - 3 full time children.

makemineadouble Wed 11-Oct-06 22:42:50

Ali thats brill I love to hear about cm's doing well

cat64 Wed 11-Oct-06 22:59:28

Message withdrawn

franyfroo Thu 12-Oct-06 09:53:41

i could never earn the money i earn now. i was in local government before! i am registered for 3 under 5 and 3 over (6 under 5 with assistant) i charge £4.00 per hour. YOU MUST take into account though, the pressure, the paper work, the paper work, the paper work, the effect on your own children, i work 7 till 6.30 most nights! and the fact that you will be exhausted most of the time. i have a cleaner whome i could not live without and have just employed someone to do a couple of hours ironing per week. if i did not my weekend would be spend doing them. my children come first always and it means i get the whole weekend with family. thats not to say i dont enjoy it..........i do. otherwise i wouldnt do it, no matter how brill the money.

amphion Thu 12-Oct-06 09:54:02

On the internet list of childminders in my area, if you ask to change your details slightly on it, you seem get put to the top of the list so perhaps there's more chance of parents contacting you first - at least until the other childminders change theirs too (we're all getting wise to it!).

makemineadouble Thu 12-Oct-06 18:07:47

Cat64 Absolutely ! in total agreement the time I'v spent watching my own children grow has been priceless and dont you find you do more things with them once your minding and there are a few kids to entertain? (bit of guilt for not seeing this with older 2)

FF I have extra help (bit of cleaning and some ironing could'nt do without it) and I am exhausted most of time! but it's a good feeling when you think you'v achieved? money every month makes me feel more lively tho

Amphion Im going to be very nosey and ask you to expand (purely for research reasons dontchaknow

amphion Thu 12-Oct-06 19:20:56

makemineadouble - what I mean is, our local childcare information services keep a list of childcare providers on the web, I don't know if they have this sort of thing in all areas. You can put info. on it like your name, tel. no., e-mail, what facilities you have, what schools you serve, fees, and opening times. I have noticed that if you change any of your details slightly (you have to phone in or e-mail them) you get bumped to the top of the list for a while (at least until the next person changes their details!), which helps if parents are searching it downwards.

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