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Thinking of becoming a childminder, is it worth it?

(28 Posts)
Nicadooby Tue 04-Aug-09 20:39:17

Hi there,

I'm seriously thinking of becoming a childminder, at the moment i am taking my DS who is 14 months old to work with me as a nanny (which i have been doing for 14 years) but i am hoping to have another child in the future.

I really don't think i will be able to take two children to work nannying which is why i am looking into childminding, but i am really conserned about the amount of paper work it envoles?

From looking at ratio's it also looks like i will only be able to care for one other child under 5 is that right? I only live in a two bedroomed house although we have a conserverty but no playroom will that make a difference?

I guess i'm just a bit worried that ofsted will think it isn't very big, we also have a dog do you think that would also be an issue?

Thanks in addvance Nic x

HSMM Tue 04-Aug-09 20:47:41

Ofsted will tell you if you have enough space for 1 more under 5. You may put some parents off by having a dog. You will not be able to leave the dog alone with the mindee. You will have to keep records of the child you mind and contracts, register, accounts, etc. Can the conservatory be a play room?

iMumruly Tue 04-Aug-09 20:49:37

not in my experience no. but then ive got 3 kids of my own that take up "spaces" so the earning potential is cut down straight away. and also only in my experience cant comment for others but the parents walk all over you, forget that this is your lively hood and view it as a little hobby for you.

iMumruly Tue 04-Aug-09 20:50:58

however I have a dog cat rabit and 2 chickens-ofsted didnt bat an eyelid-the paperwork is ridiculous annoying and time consuming, our house isnt huge but again it didnt seem to bother ofsted.

Nicadooby Tue 04-Aug-09 20:55:21

Thanks for the quick reponse,

I don't leave the dog with my DS at the moment so that won't be a problem, altough he is very good you can never trust them 100%.

Yes we can use the conservatory as a playroom but there is no heating in there and it gets cold in the winter but i'm sure we could get a heater in there but i'm guessing that i will need raditor covers for ofsted anyway?

Do you think there is a possiblity that i won't be able to mind any children if i already have two of my own?

glucose Tue 04-Aug-09 21:13:32

My CM career was short, I needed to get out and go to work! Ofsted had no problem with our dog, and neither did any parents. Unless you happen to live somewhere where there is a glut of CM (unlikely) the parents need you and you hold the cards. Did not need radiator covers, just a fire guard for bar fire. You only need to register the rooms that you will use for childminding. My dd was 6 mths when I registered, I was allowed 4 children I think, but I took just two children part time, so I could spend time with dd, and always had a space for people who needed short term help.

chamaeleon Tue 04-Aug-09 22:10:48

The max you can have (unless you get a variation) is 6 under 8s of which 3 may be under 5 (if a 4yo is in school full time they count as an over 5) and of those 3 one can be under 1. Over 8s you need to check with planning how many kids you can have at once and as long as they dont affect the care you give the little ones you can have as many as you like.

You dont have to do anything to your house, you just have to say how you will minimise the risk so eg

radiator - hot - put on cover, do not use or keep temp at a safe level.

Bedrooms dont matter it is play space they look at.

There is much paperwork but lots of courses and support to help you figure it out. I have just been on one which suggested doing learning journeys with the child which is brill - dont know why i didnt think of it before (duh). So that is time saved.

In our county you have to go to a pre reg briefing before you can register and they will answer most questions so if its not for you you have lost an hour, its worth asking when the next is as they can get booked up. Try calling sure start in your area

chamaeleon Tue 04-Aug-09 22:11:44

Your kids are included in those numbers btw.

Ripeberry Tue 04-Aug-09 22:27:41

I've got a conservatory and we have fitted a hot air blower on the wall (adult head height) and it warms up the space quite well.
Last winter it was -5c outside and it got up to 16c after a couple of hours inside (single glazed).
I waited until my own DDs were in school before being a CM as then i would be able to look after mindees without feeling that my own were not getting my full attention.
Now i can give 100% to the mindees smile

thebody Tue 04-Aug-09 22:56:36

Start up costs are heavy and the paperwork is a PAIN.It depends on your financial commitments, one mindee isnt going to pay your mortgage but might pay your groceries..

However it means that you are home for your own children and thats the big bonus to being a cm.

danthe4th Tue 04-Aug-09 23:46:37

Don't forget you will be self employed and the tax consessions are not bad, 10% wear and tear,% of heating,etc. its all listed on the hmrc website. You can also claim tax credits to up your income but the pay is not like a nannys.But you are home with your own children but you do have to deliver the eyfs.
The paperwork is a pain,lots of it and it takes ages to get sorted. Depending on where you live you may be able to access funding.
The size of your house is not usually an issue to ofsted but my house is small and I needed a huge shed to store everything.

atworknotworking Wed 05-Aug-09 08:04:46

You will be able to take older mindees, as well as the 1 younger. I find older ones are quite hard to come by though as they have probably already got a cm before they started school, but if you had a couple of after schoolies a week it would suppliment your income, I doubt as it stands you will be able to make a fourtune because of space / limited numbers, but it depends on your circumstances.

Loads of paperwork, endless courses qite often evenings / weekends so finding childcare for your own little ones may be a problem for you, and set up costs, extra house car public liability ins soon mount up, do lots of research try to offer something that others in your area don't like overnight or weekend care.

It has its ups and downs, can be very rewarding and can at times sadly be heartbreaking.

BrieVanDerKamp Wed 05-Aug-09 09:03:24

I would not do it if I were you. You could only take one lo on if you had 2 kids of your own.

The only cm's that make anything from it are the one's that practically dedicate their lives to it......always on courses, doing paperwork, home looks like nursery, meetings with other cm's.

There are a lot of cm's in my area so work is difficult enough to come by as it is and as much as I appreciate that I'm dealing with children, I don't want to commit every waking second to it, nor do I want my home to look like a nursery.

I have given notice to all mindee's and will no longer be minding in 2 weeks time.

If your kids get on with the mindee's then great but if not, then that becomes a huge problem.

I have managed to get myself a part time job that I absolutely love, that I get respect in, that I only work at whilst my kids are school, so I get to take them and collect them.

I will be working 20 hours a week, around my kids and get paid MORE than 5 VERY long days cm'ing.

You decide!!

iMumruly Wed 05-Aug-09 09:40:43

right on the button Brie-minding made me so stressed and unhappy-I gave notice at Easter as I just didnt feel able to meet my own expectations as a mother and a minder
You really do have to dedicate your life to it and with 3 kids and a husband I couldnt do it all.

BrieVanDerKamp Wed 05-Aug-09 09:47:35

Yes imum, sometimes working with children obviously has it's rewards....you're working with kids and that can be great, but it's very time consuming and sometimes your own kids can resent them coming everyday, I think a lot of mums go into thinking it's the best way to be around your own kids and make money.

But it's not much money, unless like I said you dedicate your life to it, and bare in mind that even if your kids are at home with you, you won't neccesarily be doing exactly what you want with them, you'll have to meet the standards of education and activties that Ofsted require, and of course your time is split between all the kids not just your own children.

chamaeleon Wed 05-Aug-09 13:39:19

Its really sad so many people have had bad experiences. I have only just registered and have one mindee. I am lucky that its not our main income, dh pays the bills so it isnt too important to make a lot of money but I really enjoy it. My mindee is the same age as my lo and they get on great, I got a grant to help with start up costs (ask your local council), I have been to a few courses but havent found paperwork ovrwhelming (that may tell when I get inspected I guess but I am sure I will pass).

You have to balance your income as a childminder with what you could earn out of the home after childcare. I have 4 kids and would neeed to earn £1200 a month to break even if I worked full time, at least £600 a month part time if I could find a school time only job. And then what about hols / sick days / teacher days etc? The money I earn pretty much pays for groceries as thebody said but its more than I would manage in another job and I am having fun. I am keeping fingers crossed that continues after reading this thread!

BrieVanDerKamp Wed 05-Aug-09 13:50:43

You say you're fairly new to and been on courses, what paperwork do you mean doesn't seem to bad, on courses?

It's all the daily diaries, attendance reg, accounts, policy after policy, and re writting policies, learning journeys, SEF, planning, EYFS, risk assessments etc etc

It is a lot to do, and then the fact that it takes over your whole house, I am extreamly organised but I can't hide it all away, the place is not my own anymore.

Just feel I needed to point out the cons as well as the pro's.

Everyone knows the pro's, you're working with kids and that can be great, but for nicadooby to make an informed choice she needs to know the bad too.

As I understand it's not like being a nanny, very little paperwork etc I believe. So it would be very different for her

Brie - I could have written that myself grin. Have done it for 4yrs but it has taken over my life, my home and my relationship with dp and kids started to suffer because I lived, breathed and slept cm'ing sad. The training etc took over evenings and weekends and I had no 'me' time at all.

Starting part time job in September, termtime only, still working with kids - but getting paid a regular [good] wage, all paperwork done in paid time and I can take down all the bloody posters.........wink

When I started I loved it, loved the kids, but if I wanted to be a teacher I would have trained to be one and got paid a hell of a lot more than have been to do the same job.

OP, you have to do what is right for you - good luck smile

looneytune Wed 05-Aug-09 14:35:45

Not read whole thread but I'm same as underpaidoverworked. Done it 4 years too, loved it, stress was getting to me and now something has happened recently and now I just want to quit . Would love to hear what sort of money these part time jobs fetch

atworknotworking Wed 05-Aug-09 19:16:43

Niceadooby I get sooo tired, just with working 5 days start at 7 - 6pm but obviously have to get up earlier usually about 6ish, or if a lot of paperwork to do can be around 5, and after work I have the cleaning and getting ready for the next day, for a couple of weeks I had courses 4 nights a week until 9pm, and they were just the usual catch up ones like 1st aid, I hardly see my DD she calls me "dad I mean mam" sad as she knows I'm hardly around, well I am but I've always got my head stuck in some planning / EYFS file or other, so she always asks daddy if she needs anything. If my mindees are all gone by 6pm it's a minni miricle sometimes it's been after 8 (sometimes parents forget shock, if you want a job so that you can spend quality time with your own children I would reccommend a p/t somethng and find a lovely cm for your own wink, that way you will actually spend real quality time with them when you see them.

thebody Thu 06-Aug-09 19:02:58

Its been so interesting reading all the posts and agree with all.

The downside about cming is the sheer invasivness of the job.

I had to turn my dining room into a playroom so that I could at least contain most of the toys in one room but obviously that has impacted on our ability to invite friends to dinner e.t.c.( we have no table)

The paperwork is a complete pain and totally over the top imo for one person to have to tackle and makes the job stressful.

However it depends on personal circumstances, my youngest is 10 and she loves the littlies around in her holidays so thats great.

I hate handling the money side of things though, especially late or incomplete payers.. have one charming mum who is a habitual sinner. would always insist on direct debit payments going forward and be tough at the beginning, has been my own fault really.

Money wise its good for me cos I am full and have 3 a day and an afterschooler so I feel good about contributing, though hubbi obviously pays the mortgage. I am directly funding 2 kids through uni though so thats a good feeling.

Not suprised so many cms are giving up though.. I think the N.C.M.A should be a lot more strident in opposing all the ridiculous paperwork generated by Ofsted.

Lastly on my rant I hate the low status of the job, and HATE being referred to as'The childminder'..does anyone else?

atworknotworking Thu 06-Aug-09 20:31:31

thebody I hate that too the babysitter gets me more sad. I reckon when all said and done their arnt many proffessions that are so heavily regulated, with so much responsibilty and so much ongoing training.

thebody Thu 06-Aug-09 23:01:18

totally agree ATWORKNOTWORKING, it makes me feel like a servant, I know thats silly but it really really grates on me.

Today a strange woman talked to one of my littlies in the park, she knows the mum, and she said 'oh are you the childminder' I could have cheerfully hit her and through gritted teeth said 'yes and its Em actually' she must have thought I was a funny bugger but hey what the hell..

We do have so much responsibility for so little status.. annoying..

Mistiek Fri 07-Aug-09 08:10:51

I dont know all the ins and outs of what the childminder needs to do but I am currently looking at booking one and meetig her next week...

I am starting Uni next month and my Husband has just secured some work again so my kids will be with her full time...

Josh will bein school for some of that time (part time untill Jan) and it will cost me £300 a week for having them there......

Not a bad amount to make in a week for 2 kids...

I have had frineds who are childminders and the only thing they say they got fed up with was their house not feeling like there own anymore.... good luck if you go through with it!

Nicadooby Fri 07-Aug-09 19:15:07

Thankyou for all your replys,

Wow i thought there might me some negative responses but there are loads.

After being a nanny for 14 years i am often called the childminder/babysitter and yes it does get annoying. But as for being a servent i think that happens much more when you are working as a nanny because you always get asked to do things above and beyond the call of duty.

I know the hours will be long and tiring as with nannying, but i am used to doing it. And after looking after other peoples children for 14 years there is no way i am giving mine to someone eles to look after.

It's not like i need to earn a full time's nanny wages as i know i would earn alot less childminding, we just need enough to pay for the weekly shop and some bits for me and my children.

I guess i'm just concerned about the amount of paperwork there is and wether i will be able to cope with it all.

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