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Good and bad pints of becoming a childminder

(15 Posts)
massagegirl Sat 18-Jul-15 22:45:23

I'm seriously thinking about becoming a childminder. I am a primary teacher and feel I want a change. Once we have found hex work on our house I think it would be a practical space. I have my own two year old. What are your experiences of being a childminder?

massagegirl Sat 18-Jul-15 22:46:31

Points not pints in title! Obviously pints and childminding don't go well together!

mrsnewfie Sun 19-Jul-15 14:00:41

I am a childminder at the moment but returning to teaching in September.

The main good points are much less workload (in the evenings) and freedom to come and go as you please.

However, i have found the following negatives:
- unless you have a dedicated playroom, all the toys and crap take over your house
- parents can be a bloody nightmare (but equally lovely)
- sick children spreading disease to the whole house and then you lose money
- no holiday pay/time with your own children.
- not the best job security as people move away, etc
- prepare yourself for not being able to make a bond with every child you care for and having them with you potentially five long days a week. This has been the biggest challenge for me!
- long hours
- lower pay with no benefits (pension)
- not being able to take your own children to clubs, thing they might like to do
- the list goes on!

I don't want to totally put you off. As you can see, I'm not totally enamoured with the job! I tried it twice and I'm definitely sticking with teaching this time. Maybe you could try another school before you make the move to childminding?

hooker29 Sun 19-Jul-15 16:27:57

I've been minding for 16 years. There are pro's and cons, as with every job. I love it and can't imagine doing anything else (unless I win the lottery!).
Positives are:
-always being at home for my own children.They are now 12 and 17 and have grown up with me minding.They've always had other kids to play with and have made many great friendships along the way. They've never shown any kind of resentment to the other children that I care for, and know that this is Mummy's job and it pays the bills!! Only last year, my son (17) came home from school, hugged me and said " I still like you being at home when I come in from school". Yes, the mindees take a lot of my attention, but my own kids would much rather me be at home than in an office so they have to come home to an empty house. I haven't had to pay for childcare either!
- being my own boss! I choose what I want to do, when I want to do it! If I want to spend all day at the park, then I can!! I don't have to answer to anyone!
-yes it can take over your home, but so do other home based businesses. I'm lucky that I have a conservatory that I use for minding, but I do have a minder friend who packs everything away at the end of the day-you wouldn't even know she was a childminder if you walked into her house after 6.00pm!
-you can charge holiday pay.YOU are the boss so you decide what to charge and when!
-again, with any self employment, job security is a bit wobbly.I think you need to find out somehow if there is much demand for another Childminder in your area;can you speak to any others and find out how many inquiries they get?
-parents can be a pain,but all businesses have awkward customers and if you start with them as you mean to go on, they soon realise who calls the shots!
-my children never missed out on after school clubs;I took the mindees with me if I had to.This is something you would need to speak to parents about if necessary
Negatives;
-can take up to 12 months to get registered
-paperwork! I do the bare minimum now-had an inspection last July and got a great report with a 'good' grading. I figure that they're not going to shut me down, the families who are with me are happy and that's all that matters!
-it can be quite an isolating job so look for toddler groups etc, or make friends with other 'minders so you don't get lonely! I have some great minder mates,who are also my emergency minders, and do holiday cover for me (and I cover for them), and I'd be lost without them!
Hope this helps!
Oh, and pints and Childminding do mix -once the kids have gone home, of course!

massagegirl Sun 19-Jul-15 19:30:20

Thank you for your comments. There is definately a need for childminders in out area I found it really hard to find one. We have a seperate room to living room that could be the focus of children. I'm just forward thinking if we have another baby it's not really worth my while going back after I pay for childcare so that's what's led me it think about this. I have paed first aid qualification. Also the area im in minders charge £7-£7.50 per hour so is viable financially. I love early years and we have lots of good playgroups locally. Feels like a big decision!

hooker29 Sun 19-Jul-15 20:52:54

Sounds like you've almost talked yourself into it lol!
Good luck-hope it all works out xx

ButtonMoon88 Sun 19-Jul-15 22:37:51

The biggest negative for me is parents not really understanding my role, talking to me as if I am their paid help, like they are doing me a favour by using me. You have to be very thick skinned and strong in this job, in a way I haven't had to be before because I was always protected by headteacher or manager

targaryen Mon 27-Jul-15 20:45:48

Interesting points. Really like hooker29's as sounds very honest and positive.
I've given up a career in nursing and currently going through the registration process into childminding.
On the one hand I feel really positive and then have big doubts similar to first posters experience.
I'm thinking I just need to try and if it doesn't work out then at least I tried.
Good luck with your decision.

LoisEinhorn Sat 01-Aug-15 14:29:33

I'm just about to stop. I need to spend more time with my daughter and I can't do that with mindees around.
it's taken over my house and I can't get away from it.
And paperwork sucks!

massagegirl Wed 05-Aug-15 17:51:19

I guess it's like everything I eint really know until I give it a go. I would do part time to enable me to still have 1:1 with my child so hopefully a good balance.

HSMMaCM Wed 05-Aug-15 18:18:03

Part time is a good idea to start. I intended to work full time, but a family approached me for 3 long days 7-7 and that worked well for me at the time.

chrome100 Mon 10-Aug-15 16:00:03

I don't understand how you can charge holiday pay? Aren't you self-employed?

fabuLou Mon 10-Aug-15 16:09:50

I did it for a few years and gave up due to ill health, I might have solderied on if it hadn't coincided with dh getting a payrise. It was the best descion in retrospect.

Plus points
You are your own boss and have flexibility to a certain extent
You have no colleagues (no gossip, bitching etc)
The moneycanbe good and offset tax wise
Its lovely seeing charges grow
You can be around for your own dcs

Negatives
Some of the parents can be awful, most ate great!
You can't focus on your own d s
Taking dcs to clubs can be tricky
I felt totally drained by the time the mindees went
Dd1 then 5 hated it

Btw I think part time is better

HSMMaCM Mon 10-Aug-15 18:07:53

Chrome, I don't charge holiday, but some do. Parents agree it when they sign contracts. It's slightly different to other self employed people, as we can be caring for these children for 50 hours a week for at least 5 years. Not many cleaners, accountants, decorators, or whatever have that sort of relationship with their clients.

People who charge holidays often charge less than people who don't. The parents pay the same and the CM doesn't take a big hit when they don't work.

PhoebeMcPeePee Mon 10-Aug-15 18:49:06

I love it now I only work 3 days a week but found it encroached on family life far too much FT. I've been very lucky & have lovely parents / mindees and no major issues but have been very careful to have watertight contracts & made my T&Cs very clear upfront eg holiday pay for year round children, payment in advance, charges for late collection etc.

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