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Discussion in 'Personal' started by thelovelyliz, Mar 2, 2011.
Has anybody on here ever trained as a childminder? It's something I'm considering.
I'm very good friends with my old childminder (shes like my second mum), shes recently given it up to foster though as childminders still have to have Ofsted visits etc and fostering is less jumping through hoops it seems. I can ask her some questions if you let me know what you're main questions/worries are? x
I'm a childminder. What do you want to know?
My s-i-l has just qualified as one. Given that the stepchildren and everyone else who uses their house on a regular basis had to have a (paid-for-by-them) CRB, plus all the modifications to the house and the insurance, plus the (very limited) advertising, think how much business you will be able to do in your area amongst parents who have children at different schools/nurseries, especially if you have to be able to pick up your own children from school at the same time.
Thank you. I'm interested in qualifying and wonder how I might go about this. I am not currently working and am not having any luck getting a teaching job and I'd rather be at home anyway but this is putting huge amounts of pressure on our finances so I have been exploring other options. I'm mainly wondering how much money you make from it and whether the training is difficult or expensive?
I'd speak to your local Family Information Service or NCMA (National Childminding Association) for more details on training, pay and registration.
From what I know of childminding, you can charge higher rates if you live in a "wealthier" area - you also need to factor in holidays and illness when setting your charges - as you will be self-employed.
I would also check out the competition in your area by having a look at the direct gov website childcare search. It will give you an idea how many other childminders are in your area, and may include prices and opening hours.
In my experience childminders who are flexible on hours (maybe offering early morning care or evening care for shift working parents) tend to get more work, but you have to balance that with your own life and family.
Are you "preferring to be at home" because you have children of your own?
Then think about the impact having the legal and moral responsibility of someone else's kids has on yours. Not suggesting you haven't, just that you don't know what you will get.
I offer the trivial example of what having a vegan trendeeeee family's child had on mine. I had her from age 3 to 10: I had no problem with providing a vegan menu even though my own kids were protein addicts. She: if you eat that burger/chop/salmon steak you are promoting violence to animals. Mine: shucks.
I didn't want my kids to disrespect her family's opinions. I suggested to her that although her opinions were of merit, mine were going to disregard them on the basis of nutritional convenience and flavour because I'd already been there, so she might wish to reserve them for a more more receptive audience. Nah. Her parents had her primed for proselytising, but not in how to deal with the howling ridicule I then had to discipline my kids for.
All the kids in the street were boys. Except for the Exclusive Brethren (hey! I was allowed to take them to school because I was an atheist!) and the nice girls who weren't allowed to play out because they had heard The Boys swearing. So when my boys were out playing football and Daughter wasn't here (inconvenient or what) I had to entertain her in a way that was not only pleasing to her but her parents. What she wanted to do was dress up in my wedding dress and paint me with make-up (yippeeeee!) but really her parents ("Oh sorry we're in the pub - can you hang on to her till 7.30?") wanted was some f*cking native American dance experience.
My kids laugh about it now and I do truly feel it was valuable in teaching them how to get along with people who don't have the same values and beliefs as they are used to, especially as it wasn't for money - the deal was that she took my lot for breakfast and to school at no notice if I got supply and then I brought their daughter home for however long after school - but it all seemed like a bigger deal at the time than it does in hindsight.
I began the process of training as a childminder when I had my second child before deciding to do supply instead. I found all the info on my local childrens information service page. I presume you could just google this for your area. In my area it was free to train and all the training involved was a course of evening classes followed by a multiple choice test. This was pretty much common sense stuff and I think everyone involved passed.
Obviously you then have to go on to jump through all the hoops Ofsted expect before you can be registered but this is all explained to you on your training course.
Hope this helps
There's very little training involved. You have to do a two day paediatric first aid course every three years.There is also one module of a level three childminding course. It took about ten minutes to do the assessments and my fifteen year old son could answer all the questions on the practice test without having even read the book (except for the one question for which none of the given answers were correct...). It is not what you would call demanding.
You can choose which children to have. If the family seems odd you can say no. I've never advertised. All my clients have come through word of mouth. It does fit in very well with having other children, although the childminders I've seen taking home armfuls of children after school must be making life hard for their own children.
Ofsted like you to do all kinds of silly things but none of them are difficult, just irritating. You only have to do those things once every three years, when you're inspected. And keep some sort of record that suggests you do them the rest of the time. I'm not advocating bad childminding here. I am a fabulous and lovely childminder. If I did all the stupid stuff Ofsted like I would merely be a childminder who writes down a lot of things.
You now have to register as food businessif you give the children food. There's an inspection for that too. The inspector nearly fainted when I mentioned the hens but seemed reassured when I said that they live outside. I'm not sure where they find these people.
Your local children's information service or local authority will tell you everything you need to know. Bear in mind that when Ofsted say that registration will take 'up to' twelve weeks that that actually means that they will complete your registration twelve weeks to the day after you applied.
Morton Michel is much cheaper than NCMA for documents and insurance.