If you are looking for a new job or want to increase your income, being a childminder could be perfect for you.
However, before taking the plunge and setting up as self-employed it is important to consider all of the pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision about whether this profession is right for you.
The average hourly wage for a childminder is somewhere between £6 and £8 an hour, meaning that the weekly earnings will be between £120 and £160 per week, but this varies hugely depending on how often you work each day/week.
What exactly does the role of being a childminder involve?
A childminder is usually a mother who has chosen to stay at home with their children. They look after other children in their own homes, either one-on-one or in groups of two to four. Childminders are self-employed and can earn anything from £0 – £1000 per week depending on where they live and
What is a childminder’s salary?
The pay range of a childminder can be quite large depending on a number of factors. The average hourly wage for a childminder is somewhere between £6 and £8 an hour, meaning that the weekly earnings will be between £225 to £300 per week, but this varies hugely depending on how often you work each day/week.
Some childminders only work a few hours each day or week, earning an average wage of around £120 to £160 per week.
A few childminders work much longer hours and earn more money while some choose not to take on any children or do very little paid work at all.
What is the difference between a nanny and a childminder?
There are significant differences between a nanny and a childminder. The role of the childminder is to look after children in their own homes, while that of a nanny is often live-in employment where they take care of the children full time at another residence away from their family home.
Childminders can become registered with Ofsted and with a local council if they want to make their services more widely known.
Nannies are generally registered with agencies rather than Ofsted or the local councils, although some may choose to register for additional protection.
Do I need to register as a childminder?
To work as a childminder, you don’t have to be registered with Ofsted or any other agency. However, if you want to make your services known to more parents and care for more children than the four that is allowed without registering, then it is a legal requirement to do so.
You can register with Ofsted or your local council.
Registrations are usually free to childminders, but you may have to pay a small fee if you want additional protection for yourself and the children in your care through being insured with an agency.
How to become a childminder?
To become a childminder, you will first need to make sure that you meet the requirements. You must be at least 18 years old and able to provide references from two people who can vouch for your good character and suitability as an employer of children
You will also have to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
Once you have met all the requirements, you will need to complete a training course which covers topics such as child development, first aid, safeguarding and nutrition. There are many different courses available throughout the country, so find one that is suitable for you.
You can then start advertising your services and begin looking after children.
What does a childminder do?
A childminder looks after children in their own home, either one-on-one or in groups. They usually have a set number of children they look after at any given time and may also care for the same child(ren) on different days so that parents can work a full week without having to take too much time off from work.
Some childminders also offer other services such as pick up and drop off from school, food preparation for the children and assistance with homework.
How many children can a childminder look after in the UK?
In the UK, a childminder can only look after four children under the age of eight at any one time.
There are some exceptions to this rule, for example, if they have been registered as an Ofsted-approved Childminding Agency or with another approved agency then they may care for more than four children at once.
The Good Parts of Being a Childminder
Childminders only work a few hours each day or week, earning an average wage of around £120 to £160 per week.
This is a much lower wage than those who work full-time, as the average hourly rate for a childminder working full-time is around ££ an hour.
So, while it is a flexible job that can fit around other commitments, you may not be able to earn as much money from looking after children compared to working in another profession.
##The Negative side of being a childminder
Unfortunately, there are a few negative aspects to being a childminder. One is that you may not always have work, as parents often only need childcare for short periods of time.
You also need to be able to deal with lots of different personalities and be prepared for some challenging behaviour from the children in your care.
Lastly, childminding can be quite a lot of work and it is important that you are able to organise your time well in order to meet the needs of all the children you are looking after.
So, these are some of the things you need to consider if you are thinking about becoming a childminder. It is a great profession if you are patient, organised and have a good sense of humour!
Things To Be Aware Of
Is Your Home Suitable for childminding?
Before you begin looking after children, it is important that your home is suitable. It should have enough rooms for all of the children who are likely to be there at any one time and also have plenty of storage space for their belongings.
You will need a garden or outdoor area where they can play safely so consider installing fences around balconies or garden areas if you don’t have one already.
It is also important to make sure that your home is safe for children, with no sharp edges or objects that could cause injury.
You can find more information about setting up a childminding business in the UK on the Childcare Choices website.
Inspections and Regulations
All childminders in the UK must be registered with Ofsted, who will regularly inspect your home to make sure you are meeting the required standards.
You will need to have a first aid certificate and food hygiene certificate, which you can find courses for online or through local colleges.
It is also important that you are familiar with the Safeguarding Children and Young People policy, which sets out the guidelines for keeping children safe while in your care.
Accounting and Tax
As a self-employed childminder, you will need to keep track of your income and expenses in order to file your tax return.
You may also be able to claim tax relief on some of your expenses, such as childcare costs and home office expenses. For more information, speak to an accountant or visit the HMRC website.
How much do childminders charge per hour?
The average wage for a childminder is around £6 – £8 per hour, although this can vary depending on your experience and qualifications.
You may be able to charge more if you have a degree in early years care or are registered with Ofsted.
Parents often prefer to pay by the hour rather than commit to a full day, so this is something you may want to consider when setting your rates.
Do childminders get paid holiday pay?
As a self-employed person, you are not entitled to paid holiday leave. However, you may be able to take unpaid leave if you need it for family reasons.
You should also account for public holidays when setting your rates, as parents will likely need care on these days too.
What are the benefits of being a registered childminder?
Being registered with Ofsted means that you are subject to regular inspections, which will help to ensure the safety of children in your care.
It also shows parents and childcare agencies that you have met high standards when it comes to child protection and health & safety. This can make them more likely to choose you as a childminder.
What do Ofsted and CIW need to know about childminders?
When inspecting a childminding business, Ofsted and CIW will be looking for evidence that you are meeting the following standards:
- The home is safe and clean
- All areas of the home are suitable for children to play in
- You have a good understanding of safeguarding children
- You have a first-aid certificate and food hygiene certificate
- Your home is registered with Ofsted
- You have any necessary insurance cover in place, such as public liability and employer’s liability.
If you are unsure about whether your childminding business meets these standards or if there are other areas that need more work, then speak to an advisor who can help provide guidance
Do you pay Class 2 NIC if you are self-employed as a childminder?
As a self-employed childminder, you are required to pay Class two National Insurance Contributions (NICs).
This is a contribution towards your state pension and other benefits. For more information on Class two NICs, visit the HMRC website.
You will also need to pay Class four NICs, which is a flat rate for self-employed people with profits of £8000 per year or less. For more information on this, visit the HMRC website.