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Im interested in becoming a childminder...but would it be worth it?

(6 Posts)
spendalittlelivealot Mon 15-Sep-08 13:46:29

Im currently on maternity leave from 16.5 hrs as an emergency call handler for national grid. I work nights from 7pm until the early hours of the morning.
It was a struggle before, but now I have 3 children it is going to be even harder. I worked fri, sat and sun so didnt really have a weekend either as it was spent in bed lol.

Anyway Im thinking of becoming a childmnder, but wondering if it will be worth my while. My children are 3, 2 in nov and 7 weeks. I earn nearlt £10 an hr atm but only work 16.5 hrs.
any advice please x

southernbelle77 Mon 15-Sep-08 13:51:46

Well at the moment you would only be allowed to look after over 5's (so before and after school) as your children would take up your 3 under 5 spaces. But if that suits you then you could go ahead with that until your children become older.

wheresthesun Mon 15-Sep-08 13:55:59

I wouldn't recommend it if you rely on having an income as childminding is very unreliable as a source of steady income unless you are really lucky.

Scarfmaker Mon 15-Sep-08 13:58:15

Hi - it depends really on where you live - I'm a childminder in London and earn a very good wage. I look after one 22month old for four days 8-6, one 18month old for three days 9-5.30 and one 12 months old for one day and am always having to turn work away. Two per day is my limit as logistically getting out and about can become a problem. They are both asleep now after visiting our toddler group and lunch.

My own kids are 9, 12 and 15 so they are older but it is hard work in the school holidays as mine don't really get a look in only at weekends but I think they understand it's my job and I'm always there for them.

You would probably be able to have just one child to look after as your children are still very young. You could probably have some after school ones too.

I would find out what the going rate is for a childminder in your area and see if it sounds good for you.

maggi Thu 18-Sep-08 01:04:49

you are allowed 6 children in total including your own, but only 3 of which can be 0-5 years old. This leaves 3 spaces for 5(if at school)-8year olds. These older ones will obviously be at school during the day so assuming 1 hour before school (you'll have to drop them off with your own children in tow) and 2 hours after school (you'll have to collect them). Then if you are always completely full (which is hardly likely to happen) then you'll take in about 45.00 per week. From that 45.00 you have to pay for initial training, ongoing training, membership of organisations (optional), insurances, registration fees, NI contributions, stationery, snacks, extra loo rolls etc and your house will be worn out by the extra bodies occupying it. There is paperwork, taxes, and loads of prepartion work to do each day as your job is not only to keep the children alive but to contribute to their development by offering activities and homework help and excersize outdoors everyday. You need to keep scrapbooks and records and on a bad day you'll be trying to catch up with these at midnight.
There will be school holidays when you can possibly have the school children for 5 days a week for 13 weeks of the year but parents try to take off these dates to save on costs so there is no guarentee of a boost to income here.
it takes at least 6 months to register.
There is the option of looking after the over 8's. This age group are rarer to find as they begin to think of childminders as something rather babyish and by 12 are refusing to come.

Now after all that doom and gloom. Have you got space to do overnight care. Would you consider weekends. These are niche areas which you may be able to break into.

If you are of the right temprement and dont mind doing this for extra cash when its available it can be enjoyable It could blossom into more of a paying career once yours are at school.

In my own situation, I now have my own 2 children at school and despite having some daytime spaces for the little ones, because I do overnights I am currently looking at 26,000 per annum turnover (so about 18,000 profit).

maggi Thu 18-Sep-08 01:21:03

sorry it should have been 45.00 per child so could be 135.00 per week. So maybe 80.00 profit per week? at full capacity.

I charge 45.00 per child per night which if you have space for 3 children to sleep would equal a whole lot more. After 2 years of advertising I still only have the equivalent of 1 child per night.

Another way to go is community childminding in which social services use childminders for emergencies eg a parent is ill or for education eg a parent has no parenting skills or for respite eg a child with adhd is wearing his parents out. These fill the odd space but my friend managed to have 2 boys placed with her and then their new baby and does most of her business from this family (or rather social services)

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