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How to become a childminder

(21 Posts)
thenewaveragebear1983 Thu 13-Apr-17 22:09:16

I am thinking of becoming a childminder. I am currently a sahm and have 3 dc, the youngest is 18 mo. I think when he is maybe another year older/ 18 mo older, I will be looking to return to work. I am a qualified teacher but I don't think I'll be returning to teaching, so I'm considering my options and childminding is one option. I cannot really see many other career paths for me that will enable me to cover my own children's holidays and be financially viable, and I don't see myself returning to teaching.

I have a large house with child friendly garden. We live 100 yards from a primary and a middle school, and I know there is demand for childminders as my friend has just really struggled to find someone local.

I just would like to know what, if any, courses I would need to do? How do I actually register to become a childminder? How far in advance should I start this training/registering process? What are the pro/cons of the job and do you have any tips?

knittedbynanas Thu 13-Apr-17 22:16:44

You don't actually need to do any courses - especially if you are already a teacher.

You need first aid & food hygiene
Your disclosure checks

Fill in all the forms (that takes a while!)

Write up all your policies and aims and objectives - you can get templates for most of it online

Fire safety check -fire service may come out or just send a certificate

The care commission will come and out do home checks and talk to you about how you intend to manage your service

Ratios are usually 1 under 1
No more than 3 under 5
And 4-6 in total depending on experience

Get things like plug covers, stair gates, fire extinguisher, fire blanket, disposable aprons and gloves, changing station or dedicated nappy change area.

You probably have most of this already having young dc

knittedbynanas Thu 13-Apr-17 22:19:06

Oh they will also want to see

Childminder insurance and public liability
Car insurance

Risk assessments for

And you need to put in place a development folder for each child.
Base it around the early years framework - age dependant

PM me if you want to ask anything specific

HSMMaCM Thu 13-Apr-17 23:05:22

Contact your local
Authority for more information about registering. Give yourself plenty of time to go through the process.

And you don't need plug covers. It's safer without.

thenewaveragebear1983 Fri 14-Apr-17 07:14:32

Thank you.

So presumably the courses (1st aid and food hygiene) - I need to find a provider and do those. I suppose I could do those any time and they remain valid for a certain number of years?

DBS- that's done online?

Then if I contact the local authority do they arrange the rest, eg the visits to check the home etc?

What about ofsted? Do they visit you?

How do the ratios work if I've got my own children there as well, in school holidays etc? Or if they bring friends home?

The paperwork and admin side doesn't really concern me as I'm so used to it anyway. I will contact my local authority and see if they provide any information for starting up

Thanks so much for your advice

NapQueen Fri 14-Apr-17 07:21:46

Your own dc count in the ratios. So 1 under one could be a fee paying child as you dont have an under 1yo.

You do have an 18mo, so add him to the under one, means you could have one more under 3.

Not sure on the rule aged 3-8 but its more relaxed.

And you can have as many 8+ as you can handle.

NapQueen Fri 14-Apr-17 07:23:06

You may also want to have a think about whether you offer the 15h funded care (poss going up to 30). Most private nurseries offer it, however its paid at a lower rate than is acceptable the usual hourly rates. My own CM doesnt offer the funded hours. She is still full though.

fruitpastille Fri 14-Apr-17 07:24:59

In my area there is an introduction to child minding course that is just half a day which is V helpful as it gives the basics and you can ask questions. May be worth seeing if you have something similar?

fruitpastille Fri 14-Apr-17 07:27:56

Also, if there is a childminder local to you it would be helpful to talk to them. I've used childminders for years and also considered leaving teaching to do it. In the end i didn't but talking to cm's i know was very useful.

ZoSanDesu Fri 14-Apr-17 07:51:43

I am just at the end of the registration process and should hopefully be working by May.

You DO need a childcare in the home course. I am level 5 montessori nursery teacher and still needed one. Even those with childcare degrees require one. The online application system won't allow your application to be submitted unless you can prove you've done one. Pacey have an online one that I whizzed through in three months that cost about £260.

Apply for your DBS (£51 each) early on in the course for yourself and other adults in your home. My husbands took three months! You then sign up for the yearly updates at £13 each.

Only when you're nearing completion of your training will the Ofsted application be able to be submitted. This then takes 12 weeks (mines taken 20...) This is £35.

If you've worked abroad apply for your dbs from that country now! Mine delayed my application by 8 weeks.

Then you're looking at £35 for information commissioners office (use of photos/video), roughly £65 for public liability insurance depending where you are, and then I've chosen to use babysdays at £10+ vat a month for finances and learning journeys.

You also need to inform your mortgage provider/ landlord, check you don't need planning permission with your local council (usually only if you are going to have over six children for access to your property) change your car insurance to a business insurance.

Think that's all! Budget for delays: I thought with the expected timings that I would be working by January/February, so the last few months have been very tight! The childcare grant (£500) from the government is available if you offer the thirty hours free funding.

Good luck!

ZoSanDesu Fri 14-Apr-17 08:13:35

Your local authority will have information but that's about it. Contact your family information service. They can also direct you to how much other local childminders charge.

Being a childminder is like being a mini nursery. You will be visited for a pre registration assessment of whether you can provide the EYFS/check of your premises and risk assessment. Then you'll be inspected just like schools and nurseries.

You're allowed three under fives, one being a baby. Six under eights total. As PP said, your children count in your ratio so you will only have space for three more. If your own under five year old goes to nursery, you can't fill that space as if they don't go to nursery for whatever reason, that will affect your ratio. Obviously under fives is where you will bring in there majority of your money, though it is possible to earn enough as a school run only childminder.

Hope that answers the rest of your questions!

ZoSanDesu Fri 14-Apr-17 08:18:28

This is all assuming you're in England. No idea how it works elsewhere!

HSMMaCM Fri 14-Apr-17 09:41:05

If your children have friends over, they count in your numbers. I always kept a space free for friends.

superram Fri 14-Apr-17 09:55:00

Most la run compulsory courses (that include food hygiene, first aid and child protection). All in I think it costs about £300-400 to get everything in place. I am also a teacher and a qualified childminder. I returned to teaching as I couldn't hack childminding, it just wasn't for me. Good luck.

Maryann1975 Fri 14-Apr-17 09:56:34

You've been given some inaccurate advice upthread if you live in England. You will have to do extra childcare courses.
Ratios in England are 6 under 8 years old, of which three can be under 5 with only 1 under 1 year old. Your own dc are included in your ratios as are any other children you are supervising e.g. Friends round for tea etc. Over 8's are still generally included in your insurance so you can't have infinite numbers of them, I can have up to 12 children on my cm insurance, but my home insurance limits it also, I think to 6 non family children during working hours (which is fine as I don't want more than 6 extra - I have 3dc of my own).
The best place to start is to go to your local council as they will probably put on 'becoming a childminder' courses and be able to point you in the right direction on what you need to do. (Eg safeguarding in our county has to be done by certain providers as it is county specific and first aid courses need to cover certain aspects to be valid for Childminder's).
It can take a while so might be worth getting in contact now to find out how long it takes in your area (you might have to wait for courses to be run) and I think the whole process can be lengthy.

thenewaveragebear1983 Fri 14-Apr-17 11:36:15

Thank you so much everyone.
Lots of things I hadn't considered such as car insurance, public liability etc. Do you have to tell your mortgage provider that you're 'running a business' also?

I will contact the LA- I'm not thinking of starting yet, perhaps beginning of academic year September 2018 so that gives me time to see about these courses.

ZoSanDesu Fri 14-Apr-17 17:20:34

Found this as I was preparing for my Ofsted pre registration visit today, might help you with getting the process clear in your head. I started this at the end of August, so it took me eight months.!

thenewaveragebear1983 Sat 15-Apr-17 11:18:06

Thanks zo

Snap8TheCat Sat 15-Apr-17 22:25:37

Some of the advice provided above by people who aren't CMs (napqueen) is inaccurate so make sure you do your research.

knittedbynanas Sun 16-Apr-17 18:00:05

My apologies if you are in England.
In Scotland I didn't need any childcare courses!

ellanutella8 Thu 20-Apr-17 18:36:13

Sorry to hijack the thread. Do you mind if I ask why you didn't carry on with cm superram
I am also a teacher thinking of cm.

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