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newbie CM - needing advice please

15 replies

soak · 26/03/2007 14:32

I am thinking of becoming a childminder and I have had a look on the different websites etc but was hoping you lovely peeps can offer some advice/answer some questions??

What do you do about your own holidays?
Do you have to drive?
What are the average hours you have the children?
How long did it take to become a childminder?
Was it easy to get clients?
How do you work out the tax and NI?

Another thing I wanted to find out about was the CRB check on my partner - about 7 years ago he got a caution form the police for drugs. He has stayed out of trouble since but will this affect me becoming a childminder?

Many thanks!

OP posts:

ayla99 · 26/03/2007 14:54

Holidays, I charge half fees for xmas eve to new years day, good friday/easter monday+ 4 days and £no fees for any other holiday. But I haven't been taking any so thinking of having 2 weeks off every summer in future.
I managed 3 years of childminding before I learnt to drive. Some parents prefer this, they know you're not going to take their child for the weekly shop etc.
Hours vary wildly - termtime I'm doing 50+ hours, in the past I've had weeks where I've done less than 10 hours.
I registered 5 years ago & it took 5 months. i'm told its much quicker now!
I was lucky - I had client lined up waiting for me to register as she heard I was registering (known in village cos I've been on every committee going).
TAX/NI - recommend joining NCMA if only for your first year - they do info booklets that detail everything you need.

Don't know about the CRB. hopefully someone else will advise on that. Actually by the time I finish this post they probably already have


mumlove · 26/03/2007 16:55

Holidays - I charge the parents for their time off, and NO fee for my holidays 4 weeks.
I have aways been driving but know of some CM's that don't, so they either walk or use buses.
Hours can vary, really depends on what hours the parents need care for, but my normal working days is 8am - 5.15pm but will be flexible.
I registered 13 yrs ago and it was alot different then.
Clients - advertise, word of mouth.
Tax and NI - I pay self employed stamp at about £2.15 per week. Tax sometimes you can not pay any or very little once expenses are taken off. The ncma cash book is a very good way of recording all your earnings.
CRB - no idea.


madge7 · 26/03/2007 17:08


I registered last year, from starting the welcome course to the six week ICP to registration took about 7 months. Certainly recommend joining NCMA all the gumpf you get from them are a complete godsend, there are forms for everything and strongly recommend using thier contract too!

I dont charge for my holiday time but charge half hourly rate for their 4 weeks per year (retainer fee). Full fee for sickness etc, Shosha sent me some fab stuff which was fabulous.

Good Luck, and you found this place at a great time, I only wish I had found it sooner into my lil old CM career too!!



dmo · 26/03/2007 17:12

  1. i take 23 days off per year in blocks of weeks not days. i charge half fees when i am on hols and full fees when children are off due to sickness/holidays
    i charge no fees if i am sick
  2. i do drive but find it easier to walk everywhere, if you do drive just ask insurance to add business use onto your insurance normally it doesnt cost any extra
  3. i work 55 hrs per week but as this is your own business you can choose your hours for example i dont work monday mornings
  4. it took me 7 mths but i hear it is now done much quicker about 5 mths
  5. i found before and after school children easy to find but it took 3 mths to get the younger ones
    now i have been doing it for 5 yrs i have phone calls all the time word of mouth is great get yourself to toddler groups
  6. i phoned inland rev and they came to help me fill out the forms for 3 yrs running they are so helpful
  7. not sure about CRB but shouldnt be a problem but they do take their time in arriving at the best of times

soak · 26/03/2007 17:24

thanks ever so much guys - it has really helped! I always thought that childminders get paid poorly but I have been doing my sums (and if I was really luck!)if I had 3 full time and 3 part time 5 days per week I could earn around £500 - is that right or am I being a little bit thick/over optimistic?!?!

OP posts:

madge7 · 26/03/2007 17:28

Maybe - how many children of your own do you have? and what ages are they?

and what is the average per hour wage in your area? where are you?



PinkChick · 26/03/2007 18:18

3 under 5's at £3 per hour full time(40 hours..hard work!!!) +£360, then whatever you charge for after schoolys say, £3.50 per hour for 2 hours x 3 children = £105...£465, depends on what you cahrge, i charge £4 part time, £3 full time and £6 can work out well but stressful with that many if your just starting out!


nannynick · 26/03/2007 20:19

With regard to the CRB check on your partner

Police Cautions

It will be disclosed on an Enhanced Disclosure. Therefore it is vital that when completing paperwork that your partner declares this police caution, so that it does not appear as though it is being hidden. Given that it is now 7 years old, while it will be taken into consideration it may not affect your registration. Ofsted however are a mind to their own, so you never know, though if are refused purely for this reason, then you could appeal at tribunal.


soak · 27/03/2007 09:04

Morning all!

Thanks again for your replies - its great to get some first hand advice.

I dont have any children of my own but have a 5 year old stepson (nearly) who stays at weekends.
I have also looked after my brothers kids a few times aswell - he has 6 ranging from 2 to 15!!!!

The usual rate in my area is between £2.90 and £4.50 but i think I will charge between £2.80 and £3.00.

I was thinking of 2 or 3 full timers from 8-6 and maybe (if I am brave) having 2 or 3 when school closes - the school is about 10 meters from my front door!

OP posts:

soak · 27/03/2007 09:07

thanks Nannynick - thats good to know with the caution. I was worried that I wouldn't be accepted because of it so will keep my fingers crossed I dont have some grumpy old man from ofsted making the decision!

OP posts:

madge7 · 27/03/2007 09:25

Well your the same as me, I dont have any kids either, so OFSTED allows me to have 3 children under 5 (only one under 1yr) and three over that bracket. I have to say though, I did have three under fives recently for a period of time, although they were all only together 3 days a week and it was EXHAUSTING!! I find having two more enjoyable although obviously not financially better off I enjoy two more as we get to all the normal mumsy/eating/feeding stuff but have fun too doing loads of stuff, getting out and about much easier than we did when there were 3 of them, three was a bit of a headache getting out and about, but hey its whatever suits you at the end of the day. It all depends on thier ages too, I had a baby of 6 months, a one year old (not walking) and a 2 and a half year old and not even an any after schoolys - what a wimp I am eh?!?


PinkChick · 27/03/2007 09:35

i have my own dd almost 4, mindee 1 is 3 1/2 and two other mindees one is 15 months one is 1yr..for three days i have two for two days i have three!..i am shatterd on those two days!, but it is fun


ShoshableEggEater · 27/03/2007 09:42

Hi soak, I have 3 full time mindee aged under 5, will have nextmonth 3 schoolies under 8 (at the mo 3 over 8) and 1 over 8. I have no children at home , mine is 28 and my over 8 is my granddaughter!

yep it is tiring but have been doing this 26 years so, once you get into it it is fine, but definitely recommend you take it slowly to start with, remember you will have no real time off if you have DSS at weekends to.

Have loads of stuff I can email to you if you like when you start up. [email protected]


soak · 27/03/2007 09:58

thanks ShoshableEggEater (bit of a mouthful of a name!!!!) I am hoping to be up and running by the 6 week holidays so I had better get a move on!

OP posts:

ShoshableEggEater · 27/03/2007 10:00

just call ne Shosh, most do (or something ruder at times)

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