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childminding questions for a possible newbie!

(3 Posts)
quarkandmarmite Fri 10-Jun-16 22:56:26

I have been teaching for 16 years and have two children aged 4 and 1. To cut a very long story short, there is the possibility that I may leave teaching altogether and childminding has appealed to me for a couple of years but obviously, still not 100% sure yet!

So I have some questions that I am hoping people could answer that would help me in my decision. I am very sorry if some of the questions are laughable and pretty obvious to some. I probably know the answer, but have some uncertainty!!!

1) How long did it take from beginning to end of the childminding courses with your LA?
2) I have a Paediatric First Aid Qualification with my LA (level 3) which was completed in october 2015. Do I need a new one despite 'this one' being valid until 2018?
3) At what point do my earnings make me pay tax? Do I have to pay NI or any other taxes? When do people submit their tax forms etc?
4) In fact, how much cost am I looking at when setting up the business (my LA charge £150 for the childminding course)
5) If I want to provide food, do I need any other certifications such as food hygiene, cookery courses etc?
6) How much do CM's charge (especially in Yorkshire!) My CM charges £35 a day per child and that gives my children all three meals, snacks, drinks, nappies, wipes ans even the odd day trip.
7) What are the ratios - different variations depending on the ages of the children and do my children count? Eldest will be 5 when I 'swap careers' and youngest probably 2.
8) What is meant by 'over-heads'? Are these taxes etc?
9) My CM has 'assistants' (legit!) - how do I go about hiring in order to look after more children and do I have to pay a pension and NI contributions for any assistants? My Cm has about 6 assistants on her book and at any one time 4 (including her) are working looking after a LOT of children.
10) What happens when you want to take a holiday - do you have to hire in a 'supply CM' or do parents have to 'lump it' so to speak? I don't intend on taking term time holiday.
11) Roughly what is your weekly/monthly salary when looking after the ratio that 'you' do?

Wow! Didn't think I had that many!

I need to ensure I have the time to do the courses without jeopardising my teaching at the moment and that the role of CM is worthwhile financially.

Reasons for doing it:
1) Time with my own family
2) Teaching is NOT what it used to be
3) Being my 'own boss' - setting an environment and aims and philosophies that I believe in and can work towards.
4) Hopefully it is financially better as I won't have my £600 a month childcare fees AND my £140 a month fuel bill!!

Any help much appreciated!

wineandsunshine Sat 11-Jun-16 20:35:49

I went from teaching into childminding 2.5 years ago too so here are my answers - hope they help!
1 - My LA course was condensed because of my qualification I only had a few sections to complete and I did it in 6 weeks. However waiting for other elements of my pre-reg held up my application such as the DBS backlog. In total I started 6 months after starting.
2 - No need to redo your first aid. Just need the certificate when they require a copy.
3 - You will have the normal tax allowance (is it (10600). I have yet to pay any tax, I do pay NI annually which for last year was around £145. They have info on the gov website regarding expenses you can claim, eg costs of lighting and wear & tear for childminders. It's very useful.
4 - My start up cost around £500 - including course cost, health declaration, DBS for myself and Hubbie. I did get a start up grant but I think funding has been withdrawn - worth checking?
5 - Yes to food hygiene, plus be aware of allergy regulations (this is quite new). If you contact your local council environmental health they will register you and can send info out. I had a great booklet with routine checklists sent.
6 - I charge £5 per hour (south). This includes all snacks and activities such as classes for musicbugs and toddler groups.
7 - ratios are available online - Google EYFS framework and they will show you. 1 under 1 year, 3 under 5 years, 6 under 8 years. Your children will impact your numbers so you need to allow for this when taking on work like I do!
8 - Overheads are costs included to do the job, again there is a list online by HMRC but also an accountant can help. I literally keep every receipt and shopping paperwork to account for items even toilet roll! Then I do a spreadsheet of all incoming/outgoing costs.
9 - Re the assistants - this is tricky. If you want my honest opinion, you should work on building your business up on your own first, getting to know the job, getting recommendations, knowing you want to do it before you even think about assistants. I am in the position now that I could use one but I choose not to. My Cm friend does and the assistant is self employed so does her own taxes etc.
10 - With holidays I give parents mine for the following year in December (I book the same as my Hubbie at roughly 6 weeks throughout the year) then they know in advance when I'm off and can either take it off too or sort alternative care. I don't charge for my holiday. I also require 4 weeks notice of parents holiday.
11 - I am earning the most I've ever made since starting and taking home around £900 per month. In September it will increase as my son starts school to around £1300.

Honestly it's lovely being able to look after my own children aswell as care for others in my home setting. There are negatives too but good luck smile

quarkandmarmite Sun 12-Jun-16 21:52:52

Wow! Thanks you for the that! I never expected such an in-depth response.

It sounds very daunting. A teacher I may be but setting up your own business requires skills and knowledge I am yet to possess, I think.

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