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Please come and tell me about becoming a childminder

(9 Posts)
MrsDaisyFlower Tue 08-Jul-08 13:32:00

I am looking into becoming a childminder. Could you please tell me how I might go about doing so, how well it pays, what difficulties I might face and anything else you think I might need to consider.

Thanks in advance!

littlestarschildminding Tue 08-Jul-08 17:37:26

Welcome to the forum.

Im afraid I don't have much time at the moment to go into depth..but will answer briefly for you and hopefully everyone else will elaborate!

To register, you need to contact your local childrens information service (or equivalent if not in England). They will invite you to a briefing where they will take you through the registration process in detail. Its a fairly complex process and takes a few months.

Wages, depending on where you are you will get between £2.50 and £6 per hour per child. Im in London so charge £6 but I know its a lot lower elsewhere.

You need firstly to do some market research into the local demand for childminders. Some areas are deperate for more and in some areas you can't fill your spaces. If you ask the council for a list of local minders (pretend you are a potential parent) then call a few and ask if they have vacancies and how much they charge so you can get a better idea.

As long as your house is suitable and clean, you (or hubby) don't have any horrendous past convictions, You aren't ill and you don't have huge growling dogs or a river in your garden you shouldn't come across any problems regsitering.

Childminding is the best job in the world grin its days and days of fun, you gain a huge family, take an active part in the local community and make loads of new friends. Don't get me wrong it is VERY hard work and Ofsted do all they can to drive you to distraction but its all worth it.

Good luck with the registration. Hope you keep on here as its a great forum for support smile

LS

MrsDaisyFlower Tue 08-Jul-08 21:23:36

Thank you LS!
I have two DDs in primary school, will this have any impact upon being able to register? I would be interested to know how others have found childminding, with children of their own?

nannynick Tue 08-Jul-08 23:04:34

Having children of your own under the age of 8, will affect how many children you can care for. If you get max allocation of under 8's, which is 6... then if both your own children are under 8, they come off that number, leaving you with 4 childcare places. You could also take children aged 8+, who aren't part of your under 8's numbers - those children would typically be for a few hours after school.

There is a mammoth amount of information on this forum. Read, read and keep reading the various mumsnet threads on this forum. At some point we started tagging CM specific threads with with pre-fix CM CLUB. Not sure for how long we have been doing that, but certainly it's worth reading all message threads starting CM CLUB.

The Mumsnet Search facility can be used to find messages about a specific topic. For example to find messages about fees, use Search For Messages, enter the keyword: fees
and click the option for Choose Topics. Select only "Childminders, Nannies, Au Pairs Etc" topic. Search will give you 500 max results, so if you search on a keyword that has lots of results, like fees... use the date range to limit results to say the last year.

Are you willing to tell us your location? This can help us point you in the right direction and also to appropriate legislation (as laws are different dependent on country).

SadPat Sat 19-Jul-08 00:46:33

Hello everyone, this is my first time on here.

I have been a registered childminder for 21 years, and would recommend it as a very rewardng job, but in the present climate with EYFS looming over our heads I would STRONGLY advise anyone who wishes to care and nurture children DO NOT be a childminder. But for those who like to do a lot of paperwork and be dictated to by Ofsted GO AHEAD.

We (that is myself and my parents) have written to Mr Balls for exemptions and are currently awaiting the details of the regulations to be created so that I can carry on minding.

I, my parents, grown-up children I have minded, parents I have minded for plus almost 100 of our friends and family have all signed the Openeye Petition which is asking for EYFS to be downgraded from statutory to guidelines. If anyone else would like to sign it please feel free to do so.

Best wishes to you, MrsDF, and whatever you choose to do about minding.

littlestarschildminding Sat 19-Jul-08 12:29:48

sadpat,

welcome to the forum. Just to add my two pence worth I think in most instances eyfs isn't a problem for childminders...I have put it all in place already and really its not that bad..yes I have to make sure I record and present the activities we are doing and match it to the 4 areas of learning. In reality we were doing it all already....its just proving it. For 6 children it probably adds say 1/2 hour to my working week and actually I find it fine. It means I structure activities a little more carefully and I think more about how to progress activities for each child and how it will benefit children in my care,I also keep a camera and post it notes handy but they are all positive things surely.

I do agree it would be better as guidelines rather than mandatory....and Im sure there are going to be some inconsistencies when it comes to ofsted inspections in the near future...but its workable and not as dire as some seem to think

LS

SadPat Sat 19-Jul-08 15:29:55

Thank you littlestarschildminding for the reply, but what everyone seems to forget is that just as children are all different then so are childminders. I have never worked in a structured way with the children I care for and that is why parents choose me over someone else who does. I have never had to advertise because as people get to know me they talk to their friends and family about how I am with the children and there has been times when I have had to turn people away because I am fully booked. My parents have told me that they would rather leave their children with someone with lots of experience rather than someone with lots of qualifications.

I have just come home from shopping and while out met the lady who ran the playgroup that my daughter went to 20 years ago, she now works in a nursery and we discussed the EYFS situation. She became quite agitated and pointed out that herself and all her work colleagues are all against EYFS in its present form, and they find they are now not actually spending time with the children, just monitoring them! So my argument here is if a nursery with lots more staff are finding it unweildy then how are CMs expected to cope, especially the ones like me who don't already write things down about the children, but still keep the parents fully informed verbally.

So it should be a freedom of choice for the parents where and how their children are cared for and with EYFS this is taken away from them. I then can't offer them a choice so will sadly give up if our exemptions are not granted.

littlestarschildminding Sat 19-Jul-08 19:34:21

I can see what you are saying..really and I do agree it should be freedom of choice for parents but like many things in life its never as simple as that and its a shame that there are great childminders giving up over something that for childminders is relatively simple (yes for nurseries its more of a headache)

And I can see why you think it is going to be hard but please don't give up because of it. I don't spend any less time caring for my children because of it..100% honestly. I take a camera about with me and occassionally jot things on a sticky note and pop in my diary, then at the end of the week I complete an observation sheet. It REALLY takes about half an hour a week
.
You can be as good a chidminder with eyfs without you just have to find a workable solution for your practice.

I hope you find a solution anyway, goodluck.

LS

SadPat Sat 19-Jul-08 23:45:07

The lady I was speaking to was saying that they were finding it difficult so somebody working on their own like myself would find it even harder.

I am already working a 50+ hour week and then there is the time spent clearing and cleaning up, doing my accounts etc etc. Any time after that is my time, not writing up diaries or doing courses and so on. All of my parents don't want a weekly diary. They have told me they are more than happy with me telling them at the end of the day what has happened over the day and how their child has been. So why should I be doing something when my parents (who pay my wages) don't want it? Parents should be allowed to pick the childcare they want as long as it meets minimum requirements.

It is not just a shame that good childminders are leaving, it is an absolute scandal and Ofsted and the DCSF can't see that instead of making things better they are forcing parents into the hands of nurseries or is that what EYFS is really about?

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