Need honest and blunt answers please
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  1. #1
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    Default Need honest and blunt answers please

    Hi, I currently have a foundation in early years and worked with children for 4 years, I now have a child of my own and do not want to leave her while I work so I am seriously thinking of childminding however the numbers will have to add up.
    I am fine with lots of paperwork (husband is a teacher so used to his marking and Ofsted etc) our house is quite large with a big garden and we have a playroom already so I am confident that I will be ok setting up but can I earn the money???
    I have spoken to two child minders today (at play groups) the first one said that she is giving up childminding after the summer as she is sick of the paperwork and very low pay/wages . The other lady I spoke to loves it and earns quite a lot, she doesn't have any children of her own so is able to have the maximum amount of children (I have a baby so will be limited).
    Does being a child minder pay good money ? I love children and have a choice if working in a school but leaving my baby or setting up on my own and caring for my own child at the same time but I do need to earn quite a substantial amount. Also I am worried about setting up as a childminder but not getting any children!!! Is it hard to get started and get children in place?? I know that depends on area but would like your honest opinions please
    Thank you

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    It sounds as if you've got the perfect set up and great experience so would probably find setting up and the job itself easy to settle into. The money side could vary greatly so check out the demand in your area and what others are charging. Work out the minimum you need to earn and how feasible that will be. If you could manage if you only had a couple of children it may be worth taking the plunge but if you need to be at maximum numbers it could be a risky move. There are lots of other things to consider too, chiefly the impact the job has on your family life (especially with your own child) and the impact on your home. I've only been minding a year and I have found its had a huge impact on my home life. It can also be quite a lonely job, especially if you are used to colleagues to bounce ideas off. I love the job btw, but you definitely need to look carefully into all of the pros and cons. Good luck and keep us informed if you decide to go for it :-)

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    Bluntly speaking, no, being a childminder does not pay good money, not for me anyway. It's the same as the rest of the sector - very poorly paid, for long hours and a lot of paperwork.

    Don't get me wrong, I love doing it, I love the kids, I love watching them learn and grow and I actually enjoy working by myself so that's not a problem at all, but it's definitely a time limited career for me. I have no children, so I can have the maximum number, but I have that for two days a week, and no one at all on another two days. And even less again in school holidays . Currently I am barely making enough to keep me afloat, let alone a family or running a house. If it wasn't for the fact that I live with my mother (I'm 32, by the way!) I wouldn't even have been able to start. If you need a substantial amount on a regular basis then I really don't advise going into childminding. I don't know any other minder in my area who is full either, and most of us have had spaces for ages unfortunately.

    I didn't find it hard to get a couple of mindees, but not enough to fill all my spaces. And since none of them are full time, only part timers, that means I need even more, and they just don't seem to be out there in my area.

    I am also looking at giving up in the not too distant future. It makes me very sad to think about it, because I will miss my mindees terribly, but at some point I would like to be able to move out of my parents house again!

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    You do have to consider lots of different things. If you need a regular income this may not be the choice as you can be full one month and then have no children the next.

    Earning potential you also have to remember not all area pay what the news reports.

    However plus point think of what you will save by not putting your own child into childcare .
    Its very rewarding and you can make a comfortable living.
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floridatilly View Post
    Hi, I currently have a foundation in early years and worked with children for 4 years, I now have a child of my own and do not want to leave her while I work so I am seriously thinking of childminding however the numbers will have to add up.
    I am fine with lots of paperwork (husband is a teacher so used to his marking and Ofsted etc) our house is quite large with a big garden and we have a playroom already so I am confident that I will be ok setting up but can I earn the money???
    I have spoken to two child minders today (at play groups) the first one said that she is giving up childminding after the summer as she is sick of the paperwork and very low pay/wages . The other lady I spoke to loves it and earns quite a lot, she doesn't have any children of her own so is able to have the maximum amount of children (I have a baby so will be limited).
    Does being a child minder pay good money ? I love children and have a choice if working in a school but leaving my baby or setting up on my own and caring for my own child at the same time but I do need to earn quite a substantial amount. Also I am worried about setting up as a childminder but not getting any children!!! Is it hard to get started and get children in place?? I know that depends on area but would like your honest opinions please
    Thank you
    I like the attitude of the 2nd CM who is happy with her self employment. and has a good business
    the 1st one talked of wages and low pay and lots of paperwork

    we are not waged employees...the success of our small business depends on us, how we advertise, what we do to get noticed in our community.
    If she is fed up with paperwork ...maybe she should reflect why she has so much? why it has gone out of control?
    Yes some is required but not to the point of giving up an otherwise potential good business.

    Go for it...nothing to lose in trying!!

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    For me there is much more to consider than direct financial profit. I can make choices which earn me money, save me money and benefit my family. For example in the Feb half term I worked for 4 days caring for a child similar age to my daughter. They get on really well. If I looked at it from a 'how much have I been paid' point of view then the answer would be 'less than minimum wage' BUT if i factor in not having to pay for holiday care for my daughter and no commuting costs then I am financially better of than working, for example, in a nursery. The added bonus of spending time with my daughter and her playing happily is priceless (sorry to sound like a visa ad!). The only downside was having to listen to the Frozen sound track almost constantly.

    It will also make life much easier in september when my daughter starts school- no waiting for the places announcement so I can try to arrange before and after school care. I can just make sure the school has a stack of my business cards :-)

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    As pointed out by Natlou82, you need to look at what you NEED to be earning to stay afloat before you can look at how feasible it is, and as Fussy said, you can have maximum numbers one week and none a week later, so your income can vary significantly month to month.
    By seriously looking at what is essential in your household expenses and what really isn't, and where you can make savings - utilities, telephone suppliers, etc, you may find your required income isn't as much as you think.

    Once you know how much you need to be bringing in to 'survive', you can work on the viability of the work that's available in your area - research this element heavily!! IS there work in your area?
    When working out what money you can bring in with minding, deduct anywhere between a third and a half to allow for your costs. It's not an exact science, costs vary from one minder to another, but it will at least give you an idea.

    I agree with Simona, paperwork doesn't need to be overwhelming, although there can be a lot of it , but if you can get a system in place then follow it, it shouldn't get out of control.

    You would probably be allowed the maximum of 6 children.
    Your own will take up one EYFS space, leaving you 2 available spaces for EYFS children(under 5's), and the other 3 spaces for schoolies.
    Whilst schoolies are part time during term time, they can be full time hours in the school holidays which increases your income during that time.

    I know of a minder that only has schoolies before and after school, so has the rest of the day free to herself during term time, and then only a couple of them full time in the school holidays, she makes a pretty good living out of it plus doesn't have the same level of paperwork to deal with as they're all school age

    Good luck with your research

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    As others have said research in your local area is key . I went back to childminding 18 months ago ,have worked in childcare for 20 years had moved over to training childminders/nursery workers etc but missed the chidren. I love it. I set up with a friend in a similar position and mind set as me and to be honest we cannot keep up with demand. We are currently building an extension to increase our numbers. That is because we looked at what was needed in our area and advertised to get children. Once the first few arrived most of our other children came through these childrens parents recommendations so if you are providing a good service word will get out. I first childminded when my children were small (now 21 and 18) and it was ideal as it meant I got to be with them and didn't have the headache of childcare myself. Take all this into account when you look at finances - what would you be paying to go back to work and what would you be missing ( your little munchkin!)
    One word of warning - you say your husband is a teacher - how will he feel having other children in the house during all his holidays and you will be limited to holidays you can have . A successful childminder is someone who is open and available when parents need them . That said as you are self employed you can choose the hours you work so you could even decide to work term time only if there was a need for that.

    If you find it lonely consider childminding with someone else ( if your house is big enough) or even taking on an apprentice - we have done this and by working with someone else you can share the paperwork and have someone to bounce ideas on. There are lots of childmiinders doing this in my area.
    Setting up for you shouldn't be hard, you will have lots of equipment for your own child and can buy toys as you go along.
    Why not set a timescale for your finances and see how you enjoy it. If in a year you are not making enough money you can change jobs then but you will have had that extra time with your little one.
    I love it and certainly don't regret giving up a much better paid ( but more stressful ) job for it.
    Good luck

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    THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE!!! I am not too concerned about the paper work to be honest it's actually getting the business. I looking on here at child minders in my area and there seems to be a lot but in a vast area but that is a concern because I don't know enough to decide if there are too many child minders in my area or not!?!?!? Plus the pay seems to vary from £3-£4 per hour (not sure what the standard is) . I will be TERM TIME ONLY so that will have a huge affect on the amount I earn and limits my potential clients (great for teachers and students though) I need to be bringing home a minimum of £1500 PCM so not sure if this is achievable ????
    Also, my friend was a nanny for many years and is available to 'help out' a couple of days, if she was crb checked etc and this was put by the parents would it be allowed? I live right next to a park so it would be good to have two sets of hands on trips out (she would not want paying, it would be voluntary)
    Thanks again for any help

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    If you need to earn money to pay for a mortgage then CM may not be for you. That's my blunt answer.
    Need a laugh? Visit my website: www.unclegargy.deviantART.com

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    I've been a CM for 16 years and I became one because I was a single parent with my youngest being 7 years I found it fitted in with my family life BUT although you are there for your children, they won't have the benefit of your attention because you will be 'at work'. My children weren't keen really but would have been less keen had I not even been at home. I love my job and even though my own children are grown ups and I have grandchildren I still prefer being self employed and working from home.

    Financially, I have been lucky enough to be full almost continuously for most of that time with under 5's, under 8's and over 8's. I know that isn't the case for all CM and it has to do with how good you are and it also depends where you live and what the demand is in your area as well. Most of our work comes word of mouth once you get the first couple of children to mind. Look at your area, do you live in a town or a village? How many CM are within your immediate area? Are they busy? If they are busy this is a good indicator that work will be there. You can ask a CM in your area how much they charge to work out how much you would need to earn. As said already things can change suddenly and unexpectedly or the work just might not be there in the first place. Do some research in your immediate area and decide.

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    Echoing the other posters in saying that there is lots to take into consideration.

    Adding my situation just as an example: I currently choose to work 3 or 4 days a week, term time only, and only fill my 3 early years places. This is because I have 3 primary/ secondary age children of my own and a small house, and want time and space for them too. Technically my day/s off are meant for my Open University study, but they often get taken over by CM paperwork/ resource making/ housework.

    Last tax year my profit equated to less than the minimum hourly wage. However, if had gone back to my pre-motherhood job of early years practitioner in a group setting, then I would have to pay for before and after school care for my two primary aged children and pay bus fare to get to and from work PLUS holiday care if I couldn't find a term time only job. And my children and I would be apart and away from home 10hrs a day.

    Bear in mind that I could make more money CM if I took on 3 school aged children and worked 5 days a week year round, but I am a lightweight so it would be a struggle for me! (And therefore, probably for my children too.)

    Would there be a possibility of going back to your school role part time and childminding part time so that you could try it out without burning your bridges? Or would that just be even more confusing and complicated?!

    Best wishes with weighing it all up xx

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    I work 4 days a week with 2-3 EYFS babies/toddlers a day. I have been lucky and my income has grown each year as I have moved from 1 mindee a day to two and this last year I have 3 a day most of the time (taken 4 years to build up to that). I have not had many gaps between children leaving and starting.

    My husband has a steady but not high-paying job, my income is a 'second' income but actually my pre-tax profit is now almost equalling his pre-tax income. I run quite efficiently and try to not spend too much money on stuff.

    I agree you need to decide what you 'need' to earn: work out how many children/hours/days that is at your local rate, take off about 1/3 for expenses and then work out what your income tax would be + NI and take that off. That should help answer you own question!

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    Agree with the others that your first step is to work out how much you need to earn as a minimum and what this could mean in terms of spaces. Baring in mind the chances of having straight forward contracts are slim so for example although I'm open for 10 hour days I often have children not needing 5 hours and unfortunately the other child needing 5 hours may not fit with the other child coming 5 hours so I may work 10 hours and could potentially have 3 under 5s so 30 hours of pay but in reality i am likely to get only 15-20 hours of pay as they don't do the full 10 hours and the hours needed over lap. However I do feel that childminding can be pretty well paid considering the expenses you can take off your income before calculating tax.

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    Another thing to consider is that you have the choice (if there is the demand) of earning big and paying lots of tax or earning small and not paying much tax (if any). If between you and your husband your joint income is low you can also claim working tax credits with the childcare element which can really boost your money!

    The biggest factor to consider (for me) is the high risk. You can have oodles of work for months and then circumstances change (people, move/get pregnant/get made redundant/kids start school and all of a sudden you are high and dry with no money coming in and bills to pay...... It's not nice when that happens and you never know when it will!!!

    Personally speaking it was the best thing I ever did for my kids. Because I was working to provide a good service they benefitted from all sorts of activities and outings, crafts and experiences I probably wouldn't have bothered providing. Especially if I was working full time - I'd have wanted a break during my time 'off'. Plus the playmates for them was brilliant and definitely made them more sociable and more accepting of different people.

    If you join childcare.co.uk you can prob get a good idea of supply and demand in your area. Monitor it to see how quick people find care - what the turnover of children is like if you see what I mean!!

    Good luck with your decision.

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    It's a funny one actually. You are self employed so you can only earn as much as you want to and you are limited on the phonecalls for parents looking for childcare.
    Childminding is a low paid job and if you want to achieve a higher wage you have to do longer hours with more children. My dh's wages pay the bills and my wages are extra money which enables us to have holidays, kids clubs and meal out.

    But in order to earn a higher wage I've had to work a 50hr week with 16 children on my books. I have 3 little ones every day and in total with all the school children have between 7-9 in total every day. I have just stopped working Fridays so now my wage will drop. When I say a higher wage I still work for minimum wage if I average my wages over 52 weeks. (anyone multiply 9 children at £3.50 will come up with a figure but its no where near that)
    My wages are ok but they are not great but it suits me because I don't have any bills to pay.

    Sit down and work out how busy you would need to be in order to reach what you need. 1 child would bring in £35 a day if they were doing a 10hr day and 2 would bring in £70 but out of that £70 there will be expenses. And not everyone is full time.

    I enjoyed staying at home with my own two children. It has its ups and downs but every job does. Good luck with whatever you decide
    Time Out.. The perfect time for thinking about what you're going to destroy next.

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    Also something to bare in mind is the uncertainty - recently did a spreadsheet trying to work out where I had spaces coming up and where I needed to keep spaces for a sibling baby and thought I was going to be quite full - but this morning the pregnant mum arrived and said they are moving 20 miles away so I will be losing her current little girl plus the unborn baby sibling. Also have 2 other parents who are having to apply for their own jobs at the moment so could be made redundant, plus other children heading off to Nursery and school in Sept.

    Just when you book a well deserved summer holiday, your wage potential comes crashing down.

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    Sorry to hear that, hectors house Hope you find new mindees to slot into the spaces without too much stress x

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    Just do it! If you don't want to leave your baby while you go back to work then you don't have to. I couldn't entertain the thought of leaving my daughter either. I had always wanted to be a childminder though and so it was the natural thing for me to do. It was the best thing I ever did for our little family. As Fitrix said, my child benefited from all the extra resources, outings, activities and home cooked meals that I provided. I was so lucky with my mindees though and they became my daughter's best friends. Now though, I have a mindee that she clashes with (not majorly or I would give notice) and they are all younger than her and so she doesn't get as much out of it as she used to. However it does allow me to do school drop offs and pick ups, attend school meetings and plays.

    It doesn't pay well but it is a useful amount of money or I wouldn't do it anymore. I only work three days a week (until 6.15pm) and haven't yet needed to pay tax (just).

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    I haven't read all the replies.

    I love my work as a Childminder. I have been one for 20 years and started when my own children were nearly 3 and 11 mths old. I could only have one under 5 and stated with one from 1pm to 4pm M-F Term Time only. We had managed when I had the extra maternity leave which was unpaid but knew we couldn't do that long term I needed to earn some money. This one baby was enough for me at the start, hubby was a Teacher and we enjoyed the holidays together with our own children. I gradually took on more children as mine went into school and fro a while I had a job in the day and just had before and after school children as it suited me and our family at the time.

    As my children got older I then was able to have 3 EY children and still do now. I did have before and after school older children but choose not to do that now and just have the 3 EY children every day.

    I make a good living working, I know how much it costs me to care for each child I have and I always make sure I don't over spend.

    I know my fixed costs and how to manage my varying costs so I always make a decent living.

    It is essential you work out these figures before you look at childminding as a career.

    What is the approx cost per hour I can charge?

    Fixed costs which stay the same whether you have a minded child in your house or not and don't change depending on the number of minded children you have: Ofsted Annual Registration Fee £35 Information Commissioners Office annual Fee £35 Public Liability Insurance, Employer's Liability Insurance (if you employ an assistant), Car Tax.

    Varying Costs but ones you incur whether you have a minded or not, don't change with the number of minded children you have but can vary in amount each year: House Insurance, Car Insurance, Gas, Electricity, MOT and car maintenance, petrol, maintenance of your childminding space, internet.


    Varying costs which it is your choice to incur and decide how much to spend on them.

    Membership of a professional organization like Pacey or Pre School Learning Alliance
    Purchase of Craft Items and other toys and resources.
    Professional magazines like Creative World, EYE, etc.
    Food
    Type of phone and how you pay for it
    Advertizing
    Printing of documents paper ind ink
    How and how many photos you print
    How you organise your paperwork for your business and your minded children's records

    I went on a Training Course on How to run Your Business this weekend and the first thing they asked was do we all know how much per hour we spend to run our business and is that the basis for us to set our hourly rate? The majority in the room answered no they did not know and anyway they had to charge what all the other childminders near them were charging.

    This is not the correct answer of course. Why would you even consider going into a business unless you were going to make a living out of it? I wouldn't. The amount we all need to make will vary of course, I didn't need to make much in the beginning and one part time child suited my needs at the time, my needs changed and so did my business.

    I move house 10 years ago to a new area and County. I didn't know any cms in the area, I brought one child with me and it didn't take too long to fill my vacancies. I increased my hourly rate when I moved because I hadn't increased it for a number of years (naughty me!) filled my spots and was happy. I then found a cm group to go to. I quickly found out I was charging 50p and hour more than any of the cms there and £1 in some cases. they all though I was very cheeky asking for so much! The moral is that you indeed don't have to charge the same as all the minders around you! I currently charge a £1 more than those same minders and £2 per hour more than I did 10 years ago.

    I charge what I need to to provide a good service to my clients, cover my costs and to make a decent living for myself.

    I charge for my holidays, I have for 15 years now since Pacey suggested to it's members it would be good practice to do so. They also said we should have a min of 4 weeks off a year plus BH. I currently have 5 weeks plus BH.

    I charge for 4 full paid Training Days a year, I don't always need to use them but they are there if I need them as very useful as so much training is offered during the day now.

    I don't charge if I am off sick.

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