My journey to get an assistant....
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  1. #21
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    Ok...I have an assistant. I used to have 6 under 5's during the day & my assistant worked with me to allow this.Shes fab but isnt able to work any school holidays. I then had 2 back up assistants (registered with ofsted & first aided & safeguarded) to cover those holidays & if my assistant was poorly. My back up assistants though couldnt always do the hours I needed when I needed them because it was only a few hours and more often than not in school holidays. I found it very stressful trying to juggle the staff & hours out every holiday and I have now reduced children (as they have started nursery/school I've not replaced them) & altered their days/hours so that I now only have my assistant for after school hours and emergencies. Although my money has reduced, so has the wages I pay out & the stress I endured every holiday and I'm far happier!!!
    My problem wasn't having an assistant, I really enjoyed it...the company, extra advice, a little help, etc, but the problem was that my fantastic assistant brought a holiday home in spain & now goes there every school holidays!!! I could replace her I guess but she really is fab & we work really well together.
    So currently I have my assistant, and 2 back up assistants still registered as my assitants with Ofsted (aswell as hubby).

    Take the plunge...my assitant is fab...just ensure they can commit to the hours you need and also be aware that they may leave you at some point as its limited hours and that can mean people don't feel as obliged to stick with it if you know what I mean.

  2. #22
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    I've always been tempted by this but always thought it was more trouble than it was worth. I'm much more tempted of the idea of working with a co-minder for company but don't really know how I would go about this either.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluelion View Post
    lol!! now I am very nervous!!

    I am taking on twin babies (4 months) and a baby (8 months) I can have the twins on the same day with an exception but not the 8 month old. The 8 month olds mum is desperate for care because she was dropped in it by another childminder and she is due back at work in a couple of weeks. The mum of the twins is due back in January but wanted me to start next month for mornings.

    I have asked the mum of the twins to do a different morning until she goes back to work. Then both parents will only need one day but unfortunately the same day. The 8 month old will be 1 at the beginning of February but there is no way I can justify 3 babies on 1 morning and in the afternoon I also have other children that come later in the day so would be 3 under 1, 2 over 1 and 2 over 5 (so in total 7 under 8's)

    Oh my goodness - I have just realised that in January my hubby will be on winter hours and he finishes at 2.30. He would be able to come to the school to do the pick up with me and he is already registered as my assistant. He has only been registered as my sons were 6 and 4 so were in my numbers but now are 8 and 5 (nearly 6)
    I feel sure he would be able to do it if i asked him very nicely! One of the babies goes home at 4 so its literally the school pick up and then home and about 15-30 minutes!

    Oh. except the 3 under 1 bit. hmmm. will have to think about how to resolve that! would only be 4 weeks!

    I have got an inquiry from another desperate mum who is coming to see me on Tuesday as she would like to go on my waiting list for when I get my assistant in place but I am thinking this is what is pushing me over the edge - it would be every day so I would have to get an assistant every day AND i would then have to take on MORE children to justify the cost. If I take on the babies it would literally be one day a week!

    Will try not to over commit myself with this other mum and remember I am not obliged to take her on!

    Thanks for all your advice on this!
    I guess there's plenty of business around you lol!! Good luck with what ever you decide!!

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by KAZBAZ55 View Post
    Ok...I have an assistant. I used to have 6 under 5's during the day & my assistant worked with me to allow this.

    Thanks for this, I totally forget you can do this too. Too many ways to do things, I like that childminding is flexible but some things sure do cause you a headache in trying to think straight.lol


    I got back onto my council today and asked them to send me planning application forms, there were over 20 to choose from on the website. I can't believe I have to pay close to £300 for the privilege of asking if I can have extra children.

  5. #25
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    Question Lots of questions......

    Hello everyone,
    This is a very helpful thread bluelion as I too am slightly stressed at the prospect of recruiting an assistant!

    My Mum and OH are currently registered as my assistants, and my Mum has just started working with me each Wednesday (term-time) as I have twins and siblings, so 4 under-5s, which although was continuity of care, I do not want to do long-term by myself. My OH cannot always take Wednesdays off if needed so I will have the 4 of them for a day in October when my Mum is away. I am also pregnant, so once the baby is born then I will DEFINITELY need an assistanton Weds, and would benefit on my other days too from having someone there.

    So I do have a few questions that hopefully someone will be able to answer:
    1) Are you planning on taking on your assistant as employed or self-employed?
    2) Do you have home insurance that covers an assistant that is NOT a family member? My home insurance is through Morton Michel, and it the policy document it states that assistants must only be members of your family (it is supposed to be more specialized childminder insurance!)
    3) Does it cost to advertise with the jobcentre?
    4) Does anyone 'share' an assistant with another childminder? As in works different days between the two of you so they get more hours?
    5) Did you manage to get any info on taking on an apprentice? Or find a childminder on the forum who works with an apprentice?
    6) Does anyone have an assistant for term-time only?

    Sorry for the list of questions! if I think of any more then I will let you all know

    Luckily I am in an area where I don't need planning permission for additional children! That's one blessing I suppose!

  6. #26
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    [QUOTE=Little_steps;1300864]Thanks for this, I totally forget you can do this too. Too many ways to do things, I like that childminding is flexible but some things sure do cause you a headache in trying to think straight.lol

    I got back onto my council today and asked them to send me planning application forms, there were over 20 to choose from on the website. I can't believe I have to pay close to £300 for the privilege of asking if I can have extra children.[/QUOT

    OMG that's a lot of money. I'm lucky it's just a letter stating it's OK just as long as the neighbours don't complain regarding noise, car parking etc. If anyone complains then I'm stuffed! My neighbours leave very early in the morning to travel into London so, so far so good!

  7. #27
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    So I do have a few questions that hopefully someone will be able to answer:
    1) Are you planning on taking on your assistant as employed or self-employed?

    Probably as employed - it will be regular hours and therefore I will be obliged to cover holiday and sickness. If I could get them to do self-employed I would be willing to pay more as I then wouldn't have to pay NI contributions, Holiday or sickness. It was one of the things I asked HMRC when I phoned them and there were rules about what is defined as self-employed and what is employed so I would check your individual circumstances.


    2) Do you have home insurance that covers an assistant that is NOT a family member? My home insurance is through Morton Michel, and it the policy document it states that assistants must only be members of your family (it is supposed to be more specialized childminder insurance!)

    I am with PACEY for my liabilty insurance and YES you definitely need Employer liability insurance. This is a legal requirement not an Ofsted/ EYFS requirement. It wouldn't be as part of your insurance it would be an additional policy so it will be worth checking with MM to see how much it is - PACEY charged me an additional £5 for my certificate.



    3) Does it cost to advertise with the jobcentre?

    No it didn't cost anything to advertise with job centre. I created an account and made my advert which I could put on and take off when I liked.


    4) Does anyone 'share' an assistant with another childminder? As in works different days between the two of you so they get more hours?

    This would be ideal - I would like someone who could cover /help other childminders -you could definitely warrant them being self-employed then. They would have to fill in an EY2 for each and every childminder they worked for and then it would be down to Ofsted to authorise them as an assistant in each case but presumably they wouldn't repeat the CRB checks. Unfortunately in my area no one else uses an assistant. They would be more likely to need someone to step in if they themselves were ill or away and that would mean the person would have to be fully registered as a childminder AND fill in the EY2


    5) Did you manage to get any info on taking on an apprentice? Or find a childminder on the forum who works with an apprentice?

    One of the colleges called and said they no longer offer the childcare course. I haven't heard from the other college yet. Information on apprentices you can find a lot on the job centre website. It has loads of advice about the different ways you can employ people and the incentives that are available You can get money for taking on an apprentice or a person that has been unemployed which would cover your starting costs.

    6) Does anyone have an assistant for term-time only?

    KAZBAZ55 has a term-time only assistant.

    [/QUOTE]

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluelion View Post
    So I do have a few questions that hopefully someone will be able to answer:
    1) Are you planning on taking on your assistant as employed or self-employed?

    Probably as employed - it will be regular hours and therefore I will be obliged to cover holiday and sickness. If I could get them to do self-employed I would be willing to pay more as I then wouldn't have to pay NI contributions, Holiday or sickness. It was one of the things I asked HMRC when I phoned them and there were rules about what is defined as self-employed and what is employed so I would check your individual circumstances.

    2) Do you have home insurance that covers an assistant that is NOT a family member? My home insurance is through Morton Michel, and it the policy document it states that assistants must only be members of your family (it is supposed to be more specialized childminder insurance!)

    I am with PACEY for my liabilty insurance and YES you definitely need Employer liability insurance. This is a legal requirement not an Ofsted/ EYFS requirement. It wouldn't be as part of your insurance it would be an additional policy so it will be worth checking with MM to see how much it is - PACEY charged me an additional £5 for my certificate.

    3) Does it cost to advertise with the jobcentre?

    No it didn't cost anything to advertise with job centre. I created an account and made my advert which I could put on and take off when I liked.

    4) Does anyone 'share' an assistant with another childminder? As in works different days between the two of you so they get more hours?

    This would be ideal - I would like someone who could cover /help other childminders -you could definitely warrant them being self-employed then. They would have to fill in an EY2 for each and every childminder they worked for and then it would be down to Ofsted to authorise them as an assistant in each case but presumably they wouldn't repeat the CRB checks. Unfortunately in my area no one else uses an assistant. They would be more likely to need someone to step in if they themselves were ill or away and that would mean the person would have to be fully registered as a childminder AND fill in the EY2

    5) Did you manage to get any info on taking on an apprentice? Or find a childminder on the forum who works with an apprentice?

    One of the colleges called and said they no longer offer the childcare course. I haven't heard from the other college yet. Information on apprentices you can find a lot on the job centre website. It has loads of advice about the different ways you can employ people and the incentives that are available You can get money for taking on an apprentice or a person that has been unemployed which would cover your starting costs.

    6) Does anyone have an assistant for term-time only?

    KAZBAZ55 has a term-time only assistant.

    Sorry for the list of questions! if I think of any more then I will let you all know

    Luckily I am in an area where I don't need planning permission for additional children! That's one blessing I suppose!
    [/QUOTE]

    Thank you for all those answers. I'm in the process of taking on an assistant as an employee. She had already gone through all of the checks with ofsted etc and helped me out voluntarily before I went on maternity leave but now I am taking her on officially as an employee. On question 5 you said you can get money for taking on someone who has been unemployed is this only if they are aged 18-24? Also do you know what I need to do in regards to hmrc etc?

    Thanks x

  9. #29
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    Thanks Bluelion

    Just one thing though - my question about home insurance wasn't about PLI or ELI as I already have those. It's about my home insurance (buildings & contents)... so if anyone has any info about that I would be grateful! I am waiting on a reply from them about it, so if I find out anything I will let you know!

    "Do you have home insurance that covers an assistant that is NOT a family member? My home insurance is through Morton Michel, and it the policy document it states that assistants must only be members of your family (it is supposed to be more specialized childminder insurance!)"

    I've got my LA support officer coming out on Friday as I saw her tonight at a training course, so hopefully she will have ideas on who to speak to/go to for advice etc.
    Last edited by LittleLadybirds; 17-09-2013 at 09:39 PM. Reason: adding info

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by bindy View Post

    OMG that's a lot of money. I'm lucky it's just a letter stating it's OK just as long as the neighbours don't complain regarding noise, car parking etc. If anyone complains then I'm stuffed! My neighbours leave very early in the morning to travel into London so, so far so good!

    It's ridiculous I know! I only have one neighbour beside me, I'm a bungalow so not attached and she is trying to sell hers so neighbours complaining shouldn't be a problem......

    Why councils don't work to the same remit I don't know

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleLadybirds View Post
    Thanks Bluelion

    Just one thing though - my question about home insurance wasn't about PLI or ELI as I already have those. It's about my home insurance (buildings & contents)... so if anyone has any info about that I would be grateful! I am waiting on a reply from them about it, so if I find out anything I will let you know!

    "Do you have home insurance that covers an assistant that is NOT a family member? My home insurance is through Morton Michel, and it the policy document it states that assistants must only be members of your family (it is supposed to be more specialized childminder insurance!)"

    I've got my LA support officer coming out on Friday as I saw her tonight at a training course, so hopefully she will have ideas on who to speak to/go to for advice etc.
    Hi i have an assistant and being a childminder with assistant doesnt affect my home ins cost wise or any thing

  12. #32
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    [QUOTE=LittleLadybirds;1301092]Hello everyone,
    This is a very helpful thread bluelion as I too am slightly stressed at the prospect of recruiting an assistant!

    So I do have a few questions that hopefully someone will be able to answer:
    2) Do you have home insurance that covers an assistant that is NOT a family member? My home insurance is through Morton Michel, and it the policy document it states that assistants must only be members of your family (it is supposed to be more specialized childminder insurance!)

    My liability insurance is with Morton Michel when I printed off my e-mailed documents there was one for Employer's liability as well - or did you mean insurance for accidental damage done by an assistant working for you in your home? I don't have accidental damage cover on my home and contents policy as my policy with Aviva won't cover any damage done by mindees and any other company wants so much money that in just a couple of years of paying the extra premiums you could buy a new carpet or TV.

    I begrudge paying out too much money on insurances as in 30 years of being a home owner we have never claimed for anything.

  13. #33
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    sorry - completely misunderstood your question! I have no idea - its not something I have even considered. My home insurance is also with MM so that is something else so I must check!

  14. #34
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    Default confused.com!

    Ok, so I would like to take on an assistant; an experienced childcare worker who has just stopped working at the childrens centre and needs work, I think we could help each other out.

    I have trawled through the boards on here and looked everywhere and I still find it all a little confusing. Am i right that the process should be something as follows:

    1) contact you local council to check their requirements for planning permission - apply if needed (also check space ratios for setting)
    2) Get applicant to complete Ofsted EY2 form;
    3) this should generate a DBS check for that person, the childminder should expect to pay about £52
    4) Decide if they will be employed or self-employed (I'm going for self-employed I think) and notify HMRC
    5) Book them on 12 hour paediatric first aid course if needed
    5) Change policies, parental permissions etc as needed
    6) Notify insurance companies
    7) advertise for extra children and go for it!

    ....any glaring holes I've missed?

    Thanks all,

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    Quote Originally Posted by knittaroo View Post
    Ok, so I would like to take on an assistant; an experienced childcare worker who has just stopped working at the childrens centre and needs work, I think we could help each other out.

    I have trawled through the boards on here and looked everywhere and I still find it all a little confusing. Am i right that the process should be something as follows:

    1) contact you local council to check their requirements for planning permission - apply if needed (also check space ratios for setting)
    2) Get applicant to complete Ofsted EY2 form;
    3) this should generate a DBS check for that person, the childminder should expect to pay about £52
    4) Decide if they will be employed or self-employed (I'm going for self-employed I think) and notify HMRC
    5) Book them on 12 hour paediatric first aid course if needed
    5) Change policies, parental permissions etc as needed
    6) Notify insurance companies
    7) advertise for extra children and go for it!


    ....any glaring holes I've missed?

    Thanks all,

    When you notify the insurance company you will need to ensure it covers employers liability as well as public liability - or is that what you meant?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluelion View Post
    When you notify the insurance company you will need to ensure it covers employers liability as well as public liability - or is that what you meant?
    I am thinking she would be self employed so I would think I wouldn't need employers liability?

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    PLANNING PERMISSION

    I waited weeks for a reply to my e-mail so eventually phoned them again. The duty offeicer asked a lot of questions about exactly what the situation was and the number of children and said I was on the limit of needing planning permission but that I wouldn't need it. If I were to take on another assistant and more children again then I would need to have planning permission.

    Ironically a few days later an e-mail came through saying I would need planning permission but as I have now spokedn to them twice with the exact situation and they have said no permission needed I'm going with that.

    APPLICANTS.

    In the end I offered interviews to about 6 applicants and only 2 came - 3 got other jobs in the time it took me to go through all the applicants and get back to them, and 1 I never heard from to confirm the interview.

    The 2 that come were both good choices and lovely but 1 more experienced and had safeguarding and first aid and CRB check and would be my first choice, the other was lovely but I felt just looking for a fill in job while her kids are young and could only work between 9.30 and 2.30 on some of the days and not in the holidays. so I felt she would be really good but not ideal.

    I ave written to them both. 1 to reject and 1 to say get in touch and come and have another chat. I have asked for another chat because the woman who is sending the twins still hasn't signed on the dotted line and committed to which day she wants.

    One of the staff from the local pre-school and out of school club mentioned she is looking for a job on a wednesday - if the twins come on the day they originally said it will be a wednesday - I know this young lady and she is lovely and everyone speaks very highly of her. she's had her hours cut at the pre-school as they are open less hours and the out of school club are no longer going to open in the holidays just before and after school. so she will need another job.
    I'm not sure if it some kind of 'conflict of interest' me being the chairman of the committee of the pre-school if i offered her a job the day she doesn't work at the pre-school?

    I could possibly offer her extra hours in the holidays if there will be demand for extra care in the holidays.

    Rejecting the people I interviewed feels horrible - really personal.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by knittaroo View Post
    I am thinking she would be self employed so I would think I wouldn't need employers liability?
    Yes, you still need employers liability

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    HMRC - PAYE

    Spoke to a really nice chap about registering as an Employer. I can do it all online and it will tell me what I have to pay regarding NIC etc. There are a number of free online tools I can use. I used to work in accounts/payroll but used SAGE to do it all so I'm relieved there won't be anything too complicated.
    He said the lower limit earnings is about £109 so anything under that if the person doesn't work somewhere else won't be eligible to pay tax. BUT it was all quite complicated and dependent on individual circumstances so I would definitely recommend that you give a call and discuss your individual circumstances.

    I've also checked about eligibility to work in UK - must see proof that person is UK citizen - birth certificate or passport or has appropriate right to work here.
    Must also see documentation with their NI number on.
    It was a bit complicated so again probably best to check exactly whats what!

    I'm doing second interview this week of the person I want to employ so I'm a bit nervous!

    Haven't looked into contracts at all but think there ought to be one. I will probably do a fixed term contract to begin with and see how it goes.

    I'm taking on twins on Friday for 3 hours, they are friends of the family but it seems I will need an assistant so thankfully my husband is registered as my assistant and Friday is his day off so he can be my assistant for the first couple of weeks until I can start the new assistant.

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    DBS procedure! Wow this is complicated. I have no idea how to do it - I'm going to have to phone Ofsted in the morning and get them to walk me through it!
    What is all this identity check stuff. I checked all her documents and assume she would have had to put some details on the EY2 but it does not include me a proper professional able to check them!
    Don't mind paying for the checks (well I do but accept thats how it is) but why oh why do we have to deal with complex forms!!

 

 
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