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Childminder assistants and numbers?

(25 Posts)
Enthusia Tue 20-Jan-09 20:15:50

Hi, I am a newly registered childminder so new to all this!

I have two children of my own under 4 and have just had two enquiries from parents of children under 4 for part time spaces. I have been thinking about hiring my mum as an assistant to help and need to know if having an assistant boosts the numbers of children you are allowed.

In actual terms I would only have all 4 under 4’s for a maximum of 3 hours a week, but I am obviously only registered for an extra 1 under 4 at the mo!

Also if assistants do boost numbers how you employ one through Ofsted, what would I need to do?

All you experienced childminders out there please help!!!!!!!!

Thank you

KatyMac Tue 20-Jan-09 20:20:19

Since EYFS all the rules have changed

I used to be able to leave children of any age with an assistant - now I can leave no children with an assistant even with the parent permission

I don't think previous experience can be referred to anymore....sorry

KatyMac Tue 20-Jan-09 20:20:47

What age are the children you might get a variation?

BONKERZ Tue 20-Jan-09 20:23:07

I think it goes on space in the home too but you could just try to apply for adjustment to your numbers but this is unlikely, i do know one childminder who got an adjustment because she has 4 under 4 but they are at play school etc.

Enthusia Tue 20-Jan-09 20:23:31

My own are 2 and 3 years, the mindees would be 2.5 and 8 months.

I don't know if it matters but I don't want to leave any of them alone with my assistant, just have assistance, esp if it aids my numbers.

KatyMac Tue 20-Jan-09 20:28:08

Well I have 3 assistants I can't use - so be careful what you ask for

littlestarschildminding Wed 21-Jan-09 07:24:03

You should be able to double your under 4 quota with an assistant if you have a big enough house.

BUT if you are only going to be over your ratio for 3 hours a week you should be able to get a variation for this. Just write a letter to ofsted explaining why you need it, what hours, the ages of the children you will be minding and how you will keep all of these children safe while they are in your care. Its a myth that new childminders wont get a variation...I got one 2 weeks after I started for a 6 week old baby 3 days a week. I had a visit from an ofsted inspector (not like an inspection) to check I had somewhere for them to sleep, adequate car seats etc). It wasn't exisiting business but was important to my business...its like anything you have to argue your case.

If you didn't get the variation and needed to register your mum you need to download a form from the ofsted website, get your mum to fill it in and send it back. If she doesn't have a crb she will get one from ofsted. It takes a while so do it well in advance.

As Katy says you can't leave the assistant in sole charge but as long as that isn't an issue then it isn't a problem for you.

Hope that helps

BONKERZ Wed 21-Jan-09 08:21:27

you also have to think if you hire your mum and pay her you will need to sort out tax and NI or will she be self employed in which case she will need to sort her own tax and NI!!!!! Not sure how you would prove you dont pay her to the tax man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Enthusia Wed 21-Jan-09 08:44:27

Thank you so much for the info!!! Am going to phone Ofsted about it after the visits which are today and Saturday. Think I will get mum to fill the forms in now anyway as Littlestar, you say it may take a while.

As for tax etc, luckily my Dad was a financial advisor so have put him onto looking into this!Thanks for reminding me about that thou Bonkerz.

Illhavethisinsize12 Wed 21-Jan-09 10:23:23

where does it say cant leave with an assistant at any age ever!!!

KatyMac Wed 21-Jan-09 10:26:53

unless you have an actual statement on your certificate - check with the helpline - it has left me completely stuffed

Illhavethisinsize12 Wed 21-Jan-09 10:28:28

mine just says i can have extra mindees when working with an asst! i have written permission to leave them wehn i go out for up to 2 hours. network coordinator never said anything.

blody hell

Illhavethisinsize12 Wed 21-Jan-09 10:40:33

you can leave under 5s with the assistant.

Those working with children 0-5 are on the Early Years Register so it is ok.

KatyMac Wed 21-Jan-09 10:47:01

unless you have an actual statement on your certificate - check with the helpline - it has left me completely stuffed

Illhavethisinsize12 Wed 21-Jan-09 10:54:29

being thick i know but a statment saying i can leave the assistant with children??

just been looking but cant find this anywehre in writing

KatyMac Wed 21-Jan-09 11:21:18

You actually need a clause on your certificate which says the children can be left with an assistant

If you don't have this clause then, according to the helpline you cannot leave children with an assistant while you are away from the building

There is a facility that with this clause under 5's can be left with an assistant but no children aged between 5 & 17 can be left with an assistant ever

Enthusia Wed 21-Jan-09 14:17:47

Just had a thought, if I am hiring my mum I take it I can leave my own children with her anyway! (I know they are under 5, I am thinking ahead, maybe way too far ahead actualy!!!)

KatyMac Wed 21-Jan-09 14:20:41

Not necessarily - I will let you know when I sensible answer from OFSTED

eleanorsmum Wed 21-Jan-09 14:26:30

just a thought, rather than hiring your mum could she just look after one or boh of them for the three hours at her house? then you won't need either variation or assistant! you kids would get a regualr special time with granny. hth

Enthusia Wed 21-Jan-09 14:28:55

That was meant to say 'actually'.

Oh and do you pay minimum wage? I take it, it applies to assistants too?

Thanks KatyMac!!!!

Enthusia Wed 21-Jan-09 14:31:31

That is a good idea eleanorsmum, but my mum needs to earn some money as otherwise she would need to work and wouldn't be able to help. I suppose I could pay her to have them, would she then need to be a childminder though???!!! How complicated!!!!!! Will look nto that idea though Thank you.

BONKERZ Wed 21-Jan-09 14:40:53

she would not need to register as a minder BUT you would not be able to claim money to help with that cost from TC!

Enthusia Wed 21-Jan-09 14:49:18

No that would be fine! Good point though!

littlestarschildminding Wed 21-Jan-09 16:21:31

It wouldn't work just sending them to your mum. Your own children are not 'on' your certificate so don't count into your numbers. Ofsted deem them as a permanent responsibility so even if they are not with you, you cannot increase your numbers.

As long as you are paying under the tax limit and your mum isn't on benefits the money side of it shouldnt affect much.

thirtysoon Wed 21-Jan-09 23:48:35

New to this but might be able to help! I am a reg CM who co works with another Cm and has an assistant.

wording on my certificate is as follows: blah blah blah grin

"may at times agreed and confirmed in writing by parents, leave an assistant in sole charge of the children (Early years register) "

My certificate is dated 24/09/08 which is after EYFS kicked in.

In my personal experience, you just have to find examples of people who are doing it the way that you want to, and prove that Ofsted are being inconsistent. I have always had success with them them through thru being honest, asking someone to come round and see for themselves, and basicly showing that the quality of care provided is what they would expect. I am registered for 12 under 8's and there are 3 of us. Hope this helps, and that it's not to confusing!

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