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Need to register somewhere? Pay tax?

(40 Posts)
Morloth Fri 25-Jul-08 13:39:12

From January I will be collecting the daughter of a friend from school when I pick my son up. They are both 4 years old.

My friend works full time, so the little girl will be with me from school pick up until around 6:30pm.

I am quite happy to do this for free (the kids play really well together and if anything it is easier for me to have her around than not!). However my friend is uncomfortable with this and wants to pay me.

As it is just a friendly arrangement and the payment will certainly be less than £100 a week do I need to register as a CM or pay tax on it?

littlestarschildminding Fri 25-Jul-08 14:14:31

If you have the child for more than 2 hours a day you will need to register as a cm.

As long as you earn under the tax threashold you shouldn't need to pay tax and NI.


imananny Fri 25-Jul-08 14:19:12

if you looked after the children at her house then think it would work,as you would be classed as a nanny

is that right?

though doubt if anyone would know that you were doing this, if you did do it from your own home, though tech it is illegal

Morloth Fri 25-Jul-08 14:19:35

Thanks LS, I assume this only applies if you are being paid? I know I sound like I am being nice, but we really DON'T need the money and they kind of do - so I don't want to take it if I can figure out a way not to so that she doesn't get upset.

Morloth Fri 25-Jul-08 14:20:59

So by saying that I would have to register as a child minder and that is just too much hassle, she may be convinced not to, since her daughter will be having tea at our place I suppose I could accept some cash for expenses.

squirrel42 Fri 25-Jul-08 17:40:07

Registering as a childminder would certainly be a lot of hassle as you say - you'd have to have Ofsted out checking your house then inspecting once every couple of years, make sure you had things like a first aid certificate and child protection policies in place, record the hours your friend's child was with you, get written permission for emergency medical treatment/transporting in a car/this that and the other. Plus you'd be paying an annual fee! And from September EYFS comes into force and you'd need to start doing things like written observations for learning and development goals.

Tell her all this and I'm sure she'll change her mind on making you accept money! grin

nannynick Fri 25-Jul-08 18:30:38

To avoid registration, there can't be any form of reward (so no boxes of chocolates, instead of cash).

Your main issue I feel is that other parents will see you collecting the child from school every day. That could trigger some of them to query if you are a registered childminder. The two hour rule then applies, and you may find it hard if ever challenged to prove that there is no form of reward occurring.

There is no great work-around... though if you took the children to an activity instead of your home each day, then I don't think the amount of time taken up by that activity counts towards the 2-hours.

What will happen on school inset days? Ad-hoc school closures (boiler breakdown for example)? School holidays? Will you friend be covering those occasions herself, or will they expect you to help out?

HarrietTheSpy Fri 25-Jul-08 22:03:05

My feeling is that it is unlikely anyone is going to be asking loads of questions. I'd wager a guess that most people aren't aware of that two hour rule anyway. I suppose if you started looking after LOTS of different children it's possible you'd generate interest.

However I agree with Nannynick re what about days where it's not just after school...what are her expectations then? This I would make clear from a friendship point of view, if you don't really want to get stuck committing to that, it's probably best to tell her now. ALSO, does she have the sort of job where she could be late home and what do you do if this is regular. Is she a mick taker.

Diane73 Fri 25-Jul-08 22:09:55

I have just done the childminding courses and even if you were to accept money for food you still need to be registered.
If the child is over 8 u do not need to register if not then by law you must register it really is to protect you and your family as well as the child you'll be looking after.

nannynick Sat 26-Jul-08 11:50:38

If you were not collecting the child from school, it would not be such an issue, as Harriet says about how someone would find out you are providing the childcare.

At schools, there can be many people who do know about the 2-hour rule. Childminders in your area will collect from the school, see you often with a child who isn't your own.
For the last few years I have been collecting children from school and it is quite clear to me when a child is being picked up by a parent, or when it is a grandparent or some kind of carer (Au-Pair, Nanny, Childminder). You start to notice this kind of thing, and some people may ask you about it.

Teaching staff, school sec, etc will also know about it - as you will require parental permission to collect the child from school. School therefore need to informed as to who you are, so that they can release the child into your care. While the school may not deliberately tell other parents about you collecting the child - if a school sec was asked by a childminder if you were a childminder... what would the school sec answer?

HarrietTheSpy Sat 26-Jul-08 13:01:39

Fair enough.

RachieB Sat 26-Jul-08 16:43:10

just look after the girl in her own home instead

imananny Sat 26-Jul-08 18:01:54

thats what I said rachieb smile

Morloth Sat 26-Jul-08 18:20:54

Thanks guys, looking after her in her home isn't really something that I am up for TBH. To disruptive for my own family, I like to collect the boy then either go out coffee with friends, to the park or come home and cook dinner etc. This is just a favour for a friend. Our kids will be in the same class, so when I pick DS up I would also collect little girl.

She does have a nanny who collects her baby son from nursery and then dashes from that nursery to the current one.

I think the plan is to have nanny continuing to collect baby boy, then swing by my house and collect little girl - takes pressure off nanny somewhat - i.e. no need to mad dash every day cause I don't close. Between nannies/nursery and private school fees their childcare costs are high enough!

Will see how it pans out, I won't be volunteering to cover for sick kid or for non-school days of any sort (with the possible exception of a playdate or something).

busymum1 Sat 26-Jul-08 18:27:13

if you look on ofsted website you can go on voluntary register therefore being compliant with law without becoming a childminder click on the link at bottom of page for voluntary register to find out all details

nannynick Sun 27-Jul-08 09:34:34

busymum - that won't work alas, as the issue is the amount of time involved and the location at which the care is provided.

As we now have more details, easiest thing would be for the nanny to pick up the child at say 5pm. Then the number of hours involved will be under 2 hours.
The other option is not to go take the child to the house - instead go to the park, library etc. Easier during summer - not so good in winter.

HarrietTheSpy Sun 27-Jul-08 18:11:17

But 5 pm wouldn't work for a school pick up would it?

I honestly cannot believe there would be a busy body determined enough to check up on whether this woman is working from her house or the parents'. It would, I suppose, require someone to follow her out of the school gates a few times and see what is what.

I am really coming to think, reading some of the threads on here, that things are being unneccesarily complicated for parents indeed.

nannynick Sun 27-Jul-08 18:20:39

Agree that it makes things complicated. Possibly would be better if Government decided to change how they defined childminding. But for now, we are stuck with the 2 hour rule.

The regulator does not see this as being "just a favour for a friend" as the OP phased it. A favour for a friend the regulator feels does not occur on a frequent basis... collecting a child from school every school day is different to collecting a child from school for a playdate. A line has to be drawn somewhere, and Government has decided that it is at day 6 that they draw the line.

There are several ways around it which have been mentioned on this thread.

HarrietTheSpy Sun 27-Jul-08 18:25:06

So is it actually an offense for which you could be fined/arrested/whatever to ignore this two hour rule - I am not trying to be controversial, I'm trying to understand what would actually happen in this case. They would have a lot of people to prosecute, in my view.

HarrietTheSpy Sun 27-Jul-08 18:30:55

sorry Nick I'm in a semi grumpy mood today. i am actually curious though.

nannynick Sun 27-Jul-08 18:48:02

Yes, probably the best legislation to read is Care Standards Act 2000 where under 79A(7) you will find the 2 hour rule. 79C(7)b defines the fine level - Level 5. Level 5 = £5000

The number of prosecutions I expect is quite low. Ofsted will tend to take a soft approach at first, requiring the person to either cease what they are doing, or registering as a childminder.

The Care Standards Tribunal does publish some Decisions (database offline today) - but they tend to be cases where Ofsted have registered someone and subsequently have found them to be unsuitable. I do not know if there is anywhere where figures or case details can be found for how many unregistered childminders Ofsted have successfully taken to tribunal or a court.

nannynick Sun 27-Jul-08 18:50:26

Oh I don't mind Harriet smile
I also do wonder how often this sort of thing would get to a prosecution level.

KatyMac Sun 27-Jul-08 18:55:46

Technically (however unlikely) social services could prosecute for neglect if a parent knowingly left their child in unregistered care.

nannynick Sun 27-Jul-08 18:57:02

In Scotland rules are a bit different, but they do have an unregistered childminder who has been fined - 29-June-08 Scottish Childminder Still Looking After Kids Despite Fine - She was fined £400, but this newpaper reveals that she is still childminding without being registered.

So clearly a fine of £400 isn't much of a deterrent.

nannynick Sun 27-Jul-08 19:14:41

In 2002, a woman from West Kensington was convicted of unregistered childminding. She was fined £1500 plus ordered to pay court costs. See this Guardian article

In 2003, The Telegraph reported that "Ofsted had taken 345 enforcement actions to insist on urgent reforms, a third against unregistered childminders. It had also stopped 175 nurseries and childminders from operating and issued 27 court orders." ( Source:]]

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