View Full Version : New to child minding

17-04-2013, 09:17 AM
Hi my name is Lisa, I currently setting up as a child minder and tomorrow start my 5 week course at my local children's center. I just wanted to ask advice on if there's anything I could be doing in the mean time to get myself organised? Also can anyone tell me the ratios as I've already people interested and wanted to start making notes on days people want ect but don't want to over book myself and let people down! I'd appreciate and advice thank you x

17-04-2013, 11:04 AM
Hi and welcome

I don't want to put a damper on your enthusiasm but it can take anything from 3-12 months to actually become registered after you have completed the childminding course and received your certificate. The course will explain what you need to do for registration in your area

depending on where you are in the UK will mean different ratios.

England:- 6 children under 8 years of which no more than 3 of those in EYFS and no more than 1 of those 3 under 12 months (possibly subject to change under MGC)

Wales:- 6 children under 8 years of which no more than 3 under 5 and of those 3 no more than 2 under 18 months.

Not sure about Scotland and N Ireland but they have their own ratios.

These ratios will reduce if you have your own children under 8 years as they include all children in your care. They may also be reduced due to the size of you premises or for other reasons that the inspector may decide.

It may be best to wait until you know what the timescales for your area are so both you and families do not get disappointed.

good luck and enjoy the course

17-04-2013, 11:14 AM
Welcome! Great news you have interest already sure it won't be long Til you get mindees! Feel free to come in and ask any questions and we will help as best we can!

17-04-2013, 11:19 AM
Hi , I hope you enjoy your course, and get up and running soon.


17-04-2013, 11:54 AM
Thank you all so much.

I currently work in a day nursery, and have several years experience but child minding it totally new to me. Would anyone be willing to give me tips on day to day running of what you do, meals ect?

17-04-2013, 01:41 PM
Some childminders provide food within their fees, others charge extra, some ask parents to provide food. I used to provide food within my fees but I ended up with parents that sent packed lunches even though it was free! At the moment I encourage packed lunches as I am working toooooo much (7 days a week) so anything to make it a bit easier for me. I charge £1.75 for a cooked lunch or dinner. I provide breakfast and snacks if children are here at that time within my fees. I have set meal times - breakfast before 8, snack 10, lunch 12, snack 3, dinner 5.30. By having set times I don't have parents picking a child up at 4 expecting them to have had a cooked dinner.

I provide a menu in advance taking into account food requirements. I have a vegetarian and will ensure if the meal is not vegetarian then her meal is as close to the others as possible.

I have signed up to nursery milk to provide free milk to under 5s so they get that at snack too.

Day to day depends on the children that I have and the times that they arrive. unfortunately Friday morning I have arrivals at 8, 10 and 1130 so I can't go out then. Other days I go out to groups, parks or libraries etc. Sometimes we picnic in nice weather other times we come home. We do a variety of activities, messy play etc as well as playing with toys at home. We try to go outside whatever the weather. In between I may have a child that needs to nap! I try to keep on top of paperwork by completing what I can immediately at the end of the day.

I love childminding and cant see myself doing anything else ever:). I hope that you find it as enjoyable too. (today I have a poorly DD2 sitting beside me so no mindees:(

17-04-2013, 02:25 PM
Don't forget if you are providing food you will need to register with Environmental Health (and there is a requirement to keep records) have a read here:

Food Standards Agency - Safer food, better business for childminders (http://food.gov.uk/business-industry/caterers/sfbb/sfbbchildminders/#.UW6sOnBD30c)

Phone 0845 606 0667 and ask for the free 'Safer food, better business' (SFBB) pack for childminders.

You will also need to register yourself under the Data Protection Act with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) ~ correctly safeguarding records is a major consideration.

Link: FAQs - Registration under the Data Protection Act - ICO (http://www.ico.org.uk/for_organisations/data_protection/notification/faqs)

17-04-2013, 02:31 PM
Hope she's feeling better very soon.

I'm looking at including meals in my fees and having a hot meal at lunch and then a light snack at tea time, a daily example for I was thinking

Breakfast 7.30-8.30
Toast or cereal fresh juice or milk.

Snack 10.00
Selection if fruit and cup if milk

Lunch 12.00
Spaghetti bolognese / quorn bolognese

Snack 2.30
Breadsticks with cream cheese

Light tea 4.30
Homemade veg soup with fresh bread made by the children that day
Bananas and custard

Would you think this is a good daily example or to much to little or not good enough? I'm looking at meals I can prep the evening before to save time and also meals the children can help make especially at tea time.

Olivia's mum
17-04-2013, 04:28 PM

I had my pre-registration yesterday and it wasn't as bad as I was expecting it to be.
I was the first in my area (Poole) to have gone through the whole process independently. I did an on-line course with PACEY (NCMA) which I completed within the 3 months (but if it wasn't for xmas and sickness it would have been sooner) I put in for registration mid Feb and as I said had my visit yesterday so as long as you have not got any health issues or history etc that might need further investigating by Ofsted (they are very thorough) then you should get through it relatively quickly.
I would say do as much research on other minders in your area, everywhere is different. So find out what people do and don't charge for, hours they offer and take that into account when your deciding your fees etc.
Ratio has changed since the new EYFS came in, my inspector said that your certificate no longer states how many children you are limited to in the sense of your space. You are expected to evidence at your inspections that you are accommodating the children you care for and that they have adequate space to play. I measured up my house to the ratios in the EYFS and she said that it's simple to just measure the space, but when we looked at the main area they will be playing it was a lot less than what I had on paper. So you just have to show that your thinking about it when you are taking on children, as long as their learning and development is not being adversely affected by the number of children you have, and you can evidence this to your inspectors satisfaction then you will be fine. So short version you can have as many as you want within the EYFS limits (6 under 8, 3 under five of those 1 under 1)
Really get to know the new Development Matters, safeguarding etc, if you have worked in childcare it will come easily to you. It's all new to me, so I am getting some coaching from a local outstanding minder. That is the other thing tap into the local networks, childminder groups, LA support etc. If your doing your training with the LA I am sure you'll soon buddy up :)

In prep for your visit have a look at Ofsted web site there is a preparing for registration booklet with questions that your Ofsted inspector will be asking (plus more so think bigger than just the Qs) I went into a lot of detail, linked to the EYFS and I would suggest with Q1 to link to the relevant sections of development matters. It will take off the pressure during the inspection, depending on who you have if they ask you to send it before have by e-mail it will tick a lot of boxes the more detailed you are.

Good luck with it, feel free to PM me if you want to find out more - there is a group of us that have supported each other so you can join us if you like let me know. :)


18-04-2013, 10:39 PM
Hi Kim I'd love to join your group please x