View Full Version : Help and Advice

12-01-2011, 01:36 PM
Hi all,

I am trying to help my wife in her decison making and would like to seek advice from all of you with far more knowledge and experience than I.

My wife currently has an office job that she enjoys but has previously looked at childminding as an alternative that she feels she would also enjoy (and I think would be good at it).

Our current childminder is 'packing up' which leaves us in a bit of a pickle but this can be managed for a few months until a proper alternative is sorted.

She currently earns £9.50 p/h and works 25 hours BUT the job is 35 miles from home which takes an hour each way and due to only recieving minimum tax credits (we are just the wrong side of the line so to speak) her income has been virtually £300 per month after child care and travel.

Having doen the sums, we can see that childminding offers a reasonable income but she is scared at the thought of giving up a known job and income for a potentially variable income.

I feel that if you are good then your reputation would ensure you continuous work and that the non-cash benefits around far less travel, more time with own children (5 and 8), etc should count as reasons for changing.

Sorry to ramble but wanted to set the scene. As I want to support her as best I can, I would really appreciate any advice or thoughts on the continuity of income bit and how much she might regret missing out on a career that i think she would be great at just because of worries around money.

Thank you in anticipation

12-01-2011, 01:45 PM
It is possible to make a good living from minding - however, no matter how good your reputation - if the market is not there in the area then the work is not guaranteed or continuous.

Childminding is a very unstable job. Potentially you could look after children for years and years, but the reality is that not many people work full time anymore and juggle childcare and work using other options to cut costs where possible.

The biggest bit of advice - research your area. are there already lots of minders. speak toyour local FIS or EY team and ask them what the need is for if any, where are the gaps.

Its lovely that you are so supportive of your wife - if she proceeds she will need your continuing support.

In saying all that and i know it sounds like i have tried to put you off, childminding is brilliant.:D

12-01-2011, 01:51 PM
Hi there, welldone you for the super support :clapping:

I have recently became a registered childminder, I stay in a small rural village in SW Scotland and I now have 2 little girls on the books and had another enquiry for July so yes it can work...but as said before it all depends on your whereabouts and what parents are wanting, we had 2 big childcare/after schools close so there is a need for childcare here.

Money wise Im not sure at the moment as this is my 1st year so had alot of start up costs, I have not gave up my other job yet as I wanted to see how the childmindeing goes.....good luck for whatever the outcome. :thumbsup:

12-01-2011, 02:00 PM
Agree with advice from Pipsqueak - income is unpredictable. However when full can earn a reasonable income and enough to put by to cushion the times when not full.

On the other hand can be very easy to spend as much as earn (if not more ) in the early days of setting up.

It can also take quiet a long time to get up and running once have Ofsted certificate (and getting that can take a while)

However you are right and the non cash benefits are worth having.

You may also find you can still access Tax credits as a childminder.

My advice is based on - being a childminder for over 20 years - giving up and working as a childminding officer for 7 years and then returning to childminding.

Which job do I think is best - childminding without a doubt.

Penny :)

12-01-2011, 02:53 PM
I love it that she has your support :thumbsup:

Just need to ask though...is this her choice or yours? :o
Childminding is something she would have to WANT to do, otherwise she will resent it.
As far as a career is concerned, there is progression for those that want it, i.e. training, qualifications, early years professional status. It can be very challenging, with paperwork, accounts, planning, etc - it is never boring!

Do you know why your childminder is packing up? Was there enough work, or is it something totally unrelated (personal reasons)? It might be worth having a chat about her experiences. She may be able to pass work your way :)

Good luck, and let us know what happens :D