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Is being a childminder profitable?

(62 Posts)
Yorkymidge Sun 10-May-20 18:36:30


I have two children aged 2 and a 3 month old baby. Lockdown (amongst other factors) has made me realise that i don’t want to go back to working in a nursery. I know two childminders, one claims to earn £40k per year, before deductions, the other is always on holiday and seems to have a comfortable life, she says she claims a lot of bills eg heating/water. She only has one child during the day, then before/after school children. But from what i’ve heard from forums, childminders don’t seem to earn much. So, what i’m asking is, is it all that it seems from the people i know? Is it profitable? I have an attached converted garage so could keep the business separate from my home as such and i hold a foundation degree in early years.


OP’s posts: |
Susanna85 Sun 10-May-20 18:41:33

Can't see how it can be that profitable. We paid our DD's childminder £6.50 per hour at Childminder's home, breakfast & lunch included.

NuffSaidSam Sun 10-May-20 18:43:22

It can be if you are in an area where you can charge highly and are constantly working to capacity.

I don't think it would be for you because with three small children of your own you wouldn't be able to take many full-day children.

imperialqueen Sun 10-May-20 20:55:50

You would only be able to take on one under school age child as you have two under school age children yourself. (Ths is the ratio in Scotland, think it's the same in England).

Though you will save on childcare costs. So you'd need to work out what you'd get for one pre schooler 5 days a week and then however many school age children you would like. You would also need to look into the demand for childminders in your area to know if it would be profitable in your area. It can be tricky to fill all your spaces everyday of the week.

Yorkymidge Sun 10-May-20 22:35:32

@Susanna85 that’s what i was thinking too, my friends do seem to have comfortable lives but others say otherwise.

@NuffSaidSam thank you 😊

@imperialqueen thank you so much

OP’s posts: |
Apple40 Sun 10-May-20 22:37:23

It depends if you want to work 5 days a week, 7-7 and max out on numbers of kids allowed in, Employee and assistant etc then people can earn a decent wage. But mostly childminders do not earn loads.

phoebemcpeepee Sun 10-May-20 22:42:32

I'm a childminder in an affluent area with quite a high hourly rate (£6-6.50ph). I work 4 days a week at nearly full capacity 7:30-6pm and my take home pay after expenses is roughly £2,500. It is a long day, totally dominates your home life and can be very lonely but I can't earn that sort of money (taking into account travel and childcare costs) doing anything else and I am at least my own boss so I guess from that POV it is a good living.

SMaCM Mon 11-May-20 00:47:55

I work 50 hours a week and don't have any small children of my own. About 1/3 of my income goes in expenses. I am happy with my income. I earn slightly over minimum wage.

You would only have one other child under 5. Find out what rates are in your area and if there is a demand for childcare. Remember the income isn't guaranteed.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 11-May-20 14:45:13

As others have said you can only have one under 5

But could have 3 over 5 and do after school And breakfast

Depends what cm are in the area and do schools offer before /after school cafe

But you would be at home. With your children and no childcare to pay for

muddledmidget Mon 11-May-20 14:48:49

I don't know if childminders can only work Mon-Fri, a lot of my friends struggle to find childcare for working weekends and most new jobs seem to require at least one weekend shift at the moment

mummabearfourbabybears Mon 11-May-20 14:57:25

I childmind and have a deal with the council. The little boy I have is in care after losing his mum (dad unknown) and his carer (fortunately his maternal grandmother) is his carer but she works in a care home 12 hour shifts three days a week. Therefore the council pay me a one to one rate of £14:50 per hour. I'm not allowed any other mindees while I have him but three days a week at 13 hours a day especially during this lockdown and no school has seen me being paid approximately £2400 a month. Many councils do this so it's worth looking into.

Maryann1975 Mon 11-May-20 15:14:33

I’m a childminder and after expenses earn about minimum wage. I work 4 days a week, 8-5, with 2 or 3 little ones and a couple of a before and after school children each day. I could have more before and after school children and take in more school holiday work, but I’m happy with my income as it is. I’m always really surprised when I hear of childminders making much less than minimum wage, when they are full. I suspect they need to look at their outgoings and reign them in a bit. I’m running a business and won’t work for nothing!

YourHandInMyHand Mon 11-May-20 22:06:41

It depends also on locality. In my area the hourly rate for childcare is very low. Which is nice for parents, not so great to try and earn a living on. I don't even make minimum wage, or earn enough to pay tax.

With 2 under 5s of your own your earning potential is limited as 2 or your 3 under 5 spaces are already taken.

Kleeo Mon 11-May-20 22:09:51

I have my own under 5. I have a turnover of about £30k and profit of about £22k.

Goggle1968 Tue 12-May-20 16:28:23

I do well from childminding and work 4 days a week. It helps that I don’t have to pay childcare for my 2 kids. My business was doing really well and I was getting quite established (3 years in) but the lockdown and how to come out of it safely is making me very nervous. I’m going to have to significantly reduce numbers which is fine but I’m still taking people into my house. It’s definitely a great job choice but it’s just very strange times!

jannier Fri 15-May-20 23:13:05

Look at local rates and demand. If there are lots of afterschool and holiday clubs there is unlikely to be much of a demand or rates will be low. It also takes time to get work and initial set up can be high. Most childminders with 2 young children barely earn minimum wage.

destinasia Wed 20-May-20 08:31:29

I used to be a nurse, working unsociable hours, contracted for 30hrs a week but doing much more. I'm now a childminder, working 45 hours a week. I bring home much more, I don't have a commute, I don't buy lunches at work, i don't have to buy office clothes, I don't work in an evening, I'm here when my children come home from school, I spend my days outdoors having fun...

Yorkymidge Wed 20-May-20 08:56:36

Oh i didn’t realise i had all these responses, thank you so much everyone! It seems to be so area based which i didn’t realise. Upon doing research, my local childminders appear to be charging between £4-£5 per hour. Now to me that doesn’t seem very profitable.

@Apple40 i was thinking along the assistant route, as i’d hate to be lonely all day! Would i still earn a decent profit by having one, as i’d have to pay for wages/holiday pay etc. I know i’d be able to have extra children in the long run, but again i suppose it depends if i’m at full capacity or not.

@phoebemcpeepee oh wow, well done you for managing to make it work so well! I think i’m stuck at a cross roads as to what is beneficial to my family. Childcare is my biggest cost and like you said, i wouldn’t have to pay it for my own children but it would mean that i sacrifice two places of other children. Plus, i’ve always wanted to be my own boss as i’ve worked for some pretty awful ones in the childcare sector!

@SMaCM oh it’s such conflicting information 😔 some earn a decent wage, some just above minimum. I want to be comfortable, not giving up my job to worry if you know what i mean. May i ask what you charge per hour?

@Blondeshavemorefun the ratios are confusing me slightly. I have 2 under 3’s of my own children. Does that mean i could have one more under 5, 3 above 5 AND before/after school club children? If so, how many? Thank you so much. If i have an assistant, is that profitable and how many children can they have? Thanks 😊

OP’s posts: |
ivfgottostaypositive Wed 20-May-20 09:03:30

Now to me that doesn’t seem very profitable.

You don't really have many overheads as a childminder though? So the money is almost all "profit" You can't count the mortgage etc as everyone has that.

My childminder had a young child and then had mine and at least 2 others but mine was the only full time - full time fees were around £800-£900 a month plus she had older kids for school pick up/drop off so I'd speculate she was earning at least £2.5k a month minimum probably more

Yorkymidge Wed 20-May-20 09:07:02

@muddledmidget that’s a perspective that i’d never thought of, it wouldn’t suit me because my partner works away all week so i’d want to see him at weekends but i’m sure it’d help a childminder somewhere.

@mummabearfourbabybears aw wow, that sounds rewarding being able to help a family like that. You say that you’re not allowed any other children. If i was to do this, would it count my own children? Thank you

@Maryann1975 yes that sounds good to me. I’m not expecting to earn a lot, particularly since my area only charges £4-£5 per hour, but equally i don’t want to be on the breadline. Do you manage to claim back any money? For example heating, water etc.

@YourHandInMyHand my area seems to charge £4-5 per hour, which seems low to me. But i suppose i wouldn’t have to pay my own childcare costs.

@Kleeo that’s the amount i would ideally like to profit from. May i ask your hourly rate and how many children you look after for that? Thank you

@Goggle1968 i know, it’s very strange times isn’t it? In a way, i’m thankful that i don’t run my own business at this time and i’m sorry if you’re struggling. I guess none of us expected it, nor know what will come of it in the future!

@jannier thank you, hourly rate seems to charge £4-5 in my area. There doesn’t seem to be too many childminders and nursery rates seem quite high, so i’m hoping there’s a gap for me.

@destinasia so many positives, thank you so much! It’s nice to see positives that i hadn’t neccessarily thought of before. I really love working with kids, but a nursery setting working for someone else just isn’t for me anymore.

OP’s posts: |
Yorkymidge Wed 20-May-20 09:10:01

From anyone, can i ask:

- Do you love being a childminder?
- What are the set up fees that i might not of thought of?
- My area charges around £4-£5 per hour, is this profitable?
- Is it worth taking on an assistant?
- Do you manage to claim anything back eg heating, water?
- I’m confused about the numbers, at full capacity, including before/after school, how many children can i have when i have 2 of my own under 3yo?

Thank you so much for all your helpful replies, i really appreciate it 😊

OP’s posts: |
Yorkymidge Wed 20-May-20 09:13:32

@ivfgottostaypositive i understand where you’re coming from. I was more meaning profit as in having to buy supplies, day trips, food etc. And yes, maybe profit was the wrong word since it’s not included in a general salary but i was also thinking about the higher household bills such as heating and water since we’d be in the majority of the day. May i ask what your hourly rate was? And you said full time, was this 7-7 5 days a week? Thank you

OP’s posts: |
Mixingitall Wed 20-May-20 09:25:31

I use a childminder, so clearly offering opinion based on perspective rather than fact.

The overheads look high, 7 seaters car or van for school pick up unless you are near a primary school.

Food, ours eat soo well with the childminder, home cooking daily and they get pudding. If they’re there all day they snack on fruit, carrots and popcorn.

Toys and equipment for children of varying ages.

A quiet space for older children who may wish to read, play games console etc.

Ongoing wear and tear to the house, therefore maintenance. Our CM closes for 1 week a year to paint and repair.

I am assuming it’s a rewarding but expenses heavy business.

malovitt Wed 20-May-20 09:45:39

Childminders' allowable expenses accepted by HMRC shown here

malovitt Wed 20-May-20 09:49:37

You can take 10% off your income for west and tear on your house, then take off the appropriate percentage of your heating/lighting/water rates/council tax/rent according to how many hours you work.
Then all your expenses, cleaning materials, food, toys/books, outings, food, nappies/wipes if you provide them etc.
Childminders expenses are usually about a third of their income although obviously more when you start up.

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