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CM CLUB: ASSISTANTS - tell me everything there is to know please........

15 replies

looneytune · 11/09/2007 13:40

Right, as some of you know, I'm trying for a baby. I know I don't need to think about what I'll do about maternity leave etc. til I'm at least pregnant as it may never happen anyway. BUT.........I'm one of these people who cannot settle whilst questions are in my head, don't ask me why, just the way I am!!

I will probably be able to afford to take a little maternity leave, maybe a couple of months HOWEVER I worry that if I help arrange cover or the parents choose someone else to help, they may not come back. I know they are all happy with things here but that doesn't guarantee that they would still come back. At the end of the day, I've been amazed with what some parents can be like and if they can save a little money elsewhere etc then, well, who knows!

So, I was thinking about getting an assistant instead??? That way the children stay at the same setting, have the same routine, just that I'll be more in the background for that time. What do you think?

I have some questions to help me think more about my options so if you know the answers, I'd be so grateful if you could help me out:

  1. Does an assistant need to become a fully registered childminder?

  2. If they don't need to be registered, what are the restrictions? I presume I have to be with the assistant at all times?

  3. Where is a good place to look for an assistant?

  4. What sort of wage should I expect to pay? (I know it's probably very different depending on where you live but maybe you could give a comparision to your area's hourly CM rate?

  5. Anything else I should think about?

    Basically, ANY information would be MUCH appreciated
OP posts:

Katymac · 11/09/2007 14:04

2) if registered assistant with CRB - then can have up to 2 hrs by themselves with parents permission
4)Min wage? (£3.30 phr)
5) public liability insurance(NCMA extra money), tax & NI, induction & appraisal, grievance procedure


looneytune · 11/09/2007 15:16

Thanks Katymac

What's a 'registered assistant'? Do I need a CM??? form or something? Or do Ofsted actually have to inspect the person?

OP posts:

Katymac · 11/09/2007 16:02

CM2 - no you inspect them & they get the CRB


dylansaunty · 11/09/2007 16:23

minimum wage from October will be £5.35/hour, for anyone over 22 years old. (£3.40 for a 16-18year old, and £4.60 for 18-21)


Katymac · 11/09/2007 16:25

Isn't it changing to £5.52 in October? - it is already £5.35 (at least I thought it was?)


dylansaunty · 11/09/2007 16:35

yeah, probably, i think i got it wrong. Point really was that unless you have lots of mindees, its more than you will be paid per hour.


Katymac · 11/09/2007 16:38

It's about half per hour - but it might be a short term alternative to losing children while on maternity leave?


looneytune · 11/09/2007 16:45

Just got back from the park and got dinner to sort so just a quicky....thanks for the info, min wage details very handy And yes, I know I won't be earning anywhere near what I am now but it's not about the money, it's about keeping the business (business is very good and i've booked spaces for Jan when ds starts and it would be a real shame to loose everything). Thinking about it, I'm on over £11 an hour from Jan anyway so I'll still be getting about half my income.

OP posts:

gooseegg · 11/09/2007 17:14

You will also need to provide a contract of employment and paid holidays - a minimum of 4 weeks per year pro rata.
Have a good recorded system for interviewing, gathering references, induction and training.
I have had three assistants and would say that it can be a false economy to try to go for a younger one to save on wages unless they have very good experience and are mature, confident and chatty.
If you do go for an assistant then don't jump to take on anyone unless you have a very, very good feeling about them. It can be tough sharing your home and work and having to supervise someone who niggles you.
It is ok for an assistant to start work while their CRB is being processed as long as they are under your direct supervision at all times.
A good place to look for a local assistant might be in your primary schools. Often schools send home regular newsletters and might include a person wanted ad from you for a small fee.


trunkybun · 11/09/2007 17:29

Don't want to hijack the thread, but can I just ask what is the procedure for making a partner or older children assistants. I have often thought about making my son (17 years) or my partner an assistant. Obviously they are already CRB checked, and much loved by the children. Sometimes it seems a shame to wake a child for the school run when one or both of these adults is available to watch them for half an hour (or do I have to be present?)
wages and holiday wouldn't be an issue, as they would be my slaves


gooseegg · 11/09/2007 17:42

You would have to write to Ofsted to tell them that you would like your son/partner to be your assistant. Ofsted will send you back an amended certificate which MAY say that they may, at times agreed and confirmed in writing by parents, be left in sole charge of the children.
If you would also like a variation to allow you to increase your numbers of minded children when working with an assistant then you would need to specifically ask for that in your letter to Ofsted.
The induction/training would still be necessary as you would still need to prove that your assistant was a suitable person to be working with the children and was aware of all your policies/routines etc.


looneytune · 11/09/2007 18:08

Just popping in to catch up but can't think properly right now. Quicky for later when I'm finished........if I only had an assistant for say 3 months, what sort of training do you THINK I'd be expected to provide? All I'm thinking is that if I'd have to do a lot of work after having a baby then it may not even be worth my while bothering (because the idea of having an assistant was more to make my life easier in the early days as I'm not sure what I'll be like after). do you pay them, do they need proper pay slips? What about tax and NI and contracts?

Thanks again for all the info and don't worry, I'm not wanting a young cheap person I did think about asking ata primary school but presumed they'd already be in work


OP posts:

lololola · 11/09/2007 18:35

hi loonytune, think katymac has pretty much answered all your questions. one thing i would say though, when you have an assistant you will still have to be up in the morning to organise things etc, will u be up to this after being up all night with baby? as u know i am a c/m too, and i couldnt imagine doing this job with a new born, even with help. i would go the few months off option ( even just 2 or 3) i do know what u mean though about parents saving even a few pounds a week, but really if they like u they will come back.
trunkybun; my daughter is my named assistant, shes 18. and she does stay with the children if they are asleep while im doing school run, it works!


looneytune · 11/09/2007 18:44

I know.....lots of thinking needed. I must admit I'd rather have time off as I know I'd need to be up etc but then again, I'll have to for ds anyway as he'd still need taking to school in the morning.

So difficult isn't it. Look, here's me thinking all of this and they could do what happened to the other CM and just give notice because I'm pregnant?!

Off to finish clearing up but all this has given me great food for thought, thanks

OP posts:

trunkybun · 24/09/2007 18:31

Just resurrecting this thread to see if anyone can advise me about the wording for a permission form for parents regarding leaving their children with my partner (who will be a named assistant- I have notified OFSTED) It will never be for more than 1 hour, and almost always when they are sleeping and I need to do school run etc. It will also be very infrequent as he only works from home occasionally................ everything I write either seems excessively formal or a bit wordy??!!
Sorry if this post doesn't make sense either, brain is mush today

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