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CHILDMINDER CLUB: Want to join with 4 others, any advice?

40 replies

bonkerz · 26/04/2006 20:43

Title says it all really. Was talking with 4 other childminders that i see every day and we have decided we would really like to join forces and become a cooperative group and maybe rent or purchase a building to childmind from as a group! We are all prepared to get buisness loans and 3 of us have Level 3 qualifications in childcare and also nurserie management experiance.
Im just after any advice or info that you lovely ladies might have to help us decide if this would be worth while or not. Also what would be better? Purchasing a bungalow and turning it into a workable property? Renting commercial building and adapting?
All advice would be gratefuly recieved. TIA

OP posts:
lunavix · 26/04/2006 20:44

How would this differ from being a nursery?

Katymac · 26/04/2006 20:58


First of all the new children act is preventing more than 3 minders from working together

Secondly a childminder would have to livein the house in order for it to be childminding

Thirdly there is a point at which you are not insured for more children (I think it's 16)

I have done extensive research into it (considering my current situation)

It would be Day Care and the reg are quite different (and much more onerous)

bonkerz · 26/04/2006 21:04

thanks Katymac! Thats what i was after! We were not certain if we could become a cooperative or if we would have to broaden our plans and become a nursery/creche!
Looks like this is more the path to take! TBH we have been looking at some large commercial buildings that could double as a nursery/creche and include a soft play area too. As i mentioned 3 of us have been nurserie managers and are aware of the set up requirements etc of a nursery.
We are also looking at buying a plot of land and erecting a purpose built nurserie/portakabin.

OP posts:
Katymac · 26/04/2006 21:07

The portacabin is the way I want to go (or maybe refurbishing an existing building)

But there is no funding for opening a nursery in my area (and therefore no support from the Early Years Team) so if I do it I must do it alone

Paring is the biggest issue here with outside space being a close second.

Good luck btw (i don't want to sound negative)

bonkerz · 26/04/2006 21:14

Its such a tough thing to decide on. Am really enthusiastic along with the others BUt to be honest im apprehensive as well. It will mean loans and possibly remortgagaing BUT its something ive always wanted to do and DH said he is 100% behind me! Just spoke to one of the minders who has said that we should look in our area for a possible plot of land or buildnig and if something comes up thats suitable i think we will just go for it! Are thinking that if we purchase a property that we can convert atleast if it goes belly up we have some way of clawing back the money with the property investment!

OP posts:
bonkerz · 26/04/2006 21:15

Katymac, do you know square footage per child off the top of your head?>

OP posts:
Katymac · 26/04/2006 21:24

under 2 3.5m
2 + 2.5m
3-7 2.3m

But it might be differnt for nurseries

Katymac · 26/04/2006 21:24

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Isyhan · 27/04/2006 13:21

Just dont do what somebody recently did near hear and buy an old pub, invested loads of money converting it to nursery, arranged for loads of kids to start then realised they needed planning pernission which is notoriously hard to get to open a nursery and had to close, never to reopen!! Your best trying to find an old school or church building which doesnt require a conversion of use. Dont ask me why I know this I just collect useless information!!

Isyhan · 27/04/2006 13:22

Katymac- if my hubby works as my assistant during school hols what is the maximum number of children we can take? OFSTED just didnt know the answer yesterday and confused me?

Isyhan · 27/04/2006 13:24

Katymac- if my hubby works as my assistant during school hols what is the maximum number of children we can take? OFSTED just didnt know the answer yesterday and confused me?

Katymac · 27/04/2006 14:07

max 16 whatever age

12 under 8
6 under 5

remember your own children cout (obv)

Isyhan · 27/04/2006 14:09

I heard something about the max being 10?

jellyjelly · 27/04/2006 14:11

Isnt that for normal insurance?

LoveMyGirls · 27/04/2006 14:16

bonkerz - u mean have a daycare/ creche combined with a soft play area (n somewhere for mums to watch, have a cuppa)?? if thats ur idea it sounds cool!!

looneytune · 27/04/2006 14:23

Isyhan - my dh is an assistant but we can't have any extra kids because the house isn't big enough. He's just there to assist if say I have an appointment I need to attend then he can cover for short time (obviously no more than 2 hours) and he's also helped out with school runs too when he's not been working.

I believe Ofsted would need to see the size of your house to decide the number of extra children you can have?

If he is just covering for you then you just need to write to Ofsted telling them this for their files and also get permission in writing from each parent.

HTH :)

Isyhan · 27/04/2006 14:33

Looneytune- the house is big enough to take 16 children as it states in standards but I didnt get a straight answer from her regarding numbers we could actually take if my hubby is on hols. Its just in case we get approached i want to know in advance really.

looneytune · 27/04/2006 14:37

Oh I see, not got the answer then, sorry.

ThePrisoner · 27/04/2006 18:18

If your dh is registered as your assistant, but not as a childminder in his own right, you can still only have maximum 6 children under the age of 8 years - but they can all be under the age of 5 years.

If he is registered as a childminder himself, you would both have your normal quota each.

Katymac - are you and your dh really allowed to have 12 children under the age of 8 years by yourselves??

Isyhan · 27/04/2006 19:20

Someone else has told me that I can have a max of 10?

ayla99 · 27/04/2006 19:34

Depends what your public liability insurance policy says. Mine (NCMA) says the maximum number of children covered is 10. If 2 Registered Childminders working together then 15 maximum.

Isyhan · 27/04/2006 19:40

Oh maybe thats where the 10 comes from then. How can anyone ever pay assistants if they cant take anymore children to ofset the salary?

Katymac · 27/04/2006 20:05



I don't know why not?

ThePrisoner · 27/04/2006 20:57

Katymac - had a quick look at your registration numbers! I am really surprised that you and another childminder or assistant together can have 12 children between you. If you work alone, you are registered to have the same number as the rest of us, so why are you allowed so many extra when with another adult (who doesn't even have to be a registered minder!!)

This, to me, demonstrates yet again the inconsistencies in Ofsted's registration process. I don't mind that you are allowed to do this, I am just a bit miffed that I can't!! (Not that I want to, it's just the principle).

Does your public liability take account of this, as most of us (I assume) have the usual limit of 10 children?

Katymac · 27/04/2006 21:03

Could it be that we started off as two minders together?

The assistant came later (to let DH do the shopping midweek actually)

So rather than an assistant to cover my absence - it's an assistant to cover onother minders absence...maybe?

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