My journey to get an assistant....
Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  16
Dislikes Dislikes:  0
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 62
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,479
    Registered Childminder since
    Apr 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    GOOD
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default My journey to get an assistant....

    I am in the early stages of trying to get an assistant so thought I would share as I go along how I get on, explain the process and share any information I gain from various sources such as Ofsted and HMRC.

    ADVERTISING FOR ASSISTANT
    Early days at the moment. I have advertised on Jobcentre plus and had a big response initially. When I sent back information about my setting and asked applicants to answer a few questions (why do you want the job? What makes you think you would be the best? Let me know an activity you enjoy doing with babies or children? About 6 or 7 questions very basic.) I have only had 2 or 3 respond to this.

    SPACE REQUIREMENTS
    Taking on an assistant so I can accommodate more children is reliant on me having the space.
    Children require 3.5m2 if under 2,
    2.5M2 if 2 years old
    2.3M2 for 3-5 year olds

    By my calculations I can have a maximum of 8 under 2 year olds and 1 aged 2. I'd have to be insane to do that and would need 2 assistants. I'm only planning on one so I know I am wel within my space requirements. I also don't tend to take schoolies so I am working on the under 5's only.

    FILLING THE SPACES
    I don't have any extra children to accommodate so once I have an assistant I will have to advertise my spaces for a specific start date and hope I can fill the spaces all at the same time to make it affordable for me.

    WORRIES

    I've advertised for 1 or 2 days initially and I hope that I can employ 2 people so that they an cover each other in case of sickness or other absences. This is one of the things I am most worried about.





    to be continued...........

  2. Likes sarah707, VeggieSausage liked this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,479
    Registered Childminder since
    Apr 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    GOOD
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    EY2 Form / Ofsted Process

    I phoned Ofsted today just to clarify the process. The EY2 form is filled in and then the DBS check forms are sent to the person to fill out and return. These forms now cost the childminder £52!!! So if I want to take on 2 assistants thats over a £100 before I even start taking money. They do the check, a social services check to see if they've had any personal dealings with social services and an identity check. The identity check may cost anything up to £9 extra.
    Ofsted may also require a health check to be carried out depending on the information supplied by the person

    The person can start working for me as soon as Ofsted have been notified - ie they receive the EY2 but as the person pointed out to me if the person then turns out to be NOT suitable you have to ensure that you can continue providing care for any children you have taken on. As well as this you have to ensure the safety of the children so the assistant can not be left alone at any time with the children until the DBS comes back clear.

    (My understanding is that Officially you can't leave them alone anyway until they have had full checks, done paediatric first aid and you have permission from parents)

    I mentioned I may want to use other childminders to cover on their days off in case of emergency - if the assistant lets me down - and he confirmed that they would also then have to fill in an EY2 form to be connected to my registration as my assistant. It is not necessarily going to require all the DBS checks though because they already are registered.

    I also asked about using bank staff - like a pre-school might be able to call them up and get someone at short notice and he said it was unlikely as the person would already have had to have filled in their EY2 related to the childminder. A pre-school is responsible for their own checks but Ofsted is responsible for ours so they need to know first.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,479
    Registered Childminder since
    Apr 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    GOOD
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    EMPLOYER LIABILITY

    I already have employer liability because I had a placement student. It was really easy to arrange through NCMA (now PACEY)
    I rang them and asked them to add it to my insurance. There is a £5 additional fee. They were very nice actually because the placement student started with me in March and my renewal was in April so they waived the fee for the month and then just added the £5 to the renewal for the following year. I've displayed the document on the wall with my other certificates that I am obligated to display.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    not where I should be...
    Posts
    10,845
    Registered Childminder since
    Aug 94
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Good
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluelion View Post
    EMPLOYER LIABILITY

    I already have employer liability because I had a placement student. It was really easy to arrange through NCMA (now PACEY)
    I rang them and asked them to add it to my insurance. There is a £5 additional fee. They were very nice actually because the placement student started with me in March and my renewal was in April so they waived the fee for the month and then just added the £5 to the renewal for the following year. I've displayed the document on the wall with my other certificates that I am obligated to display.
    Unless this has changed this year there isn't supposed to be any charge for a student, worth checking..
    Debbie

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,479
    Registered Childminder since
    Apr 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    GOOD
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    ah right, sorry not sure - so must be worth checking!!

    it may be different because she was on a placement through the job centre so wouldn't have been covered by any college liability. Not sure - or maybe I confused myself because I was looking into going on to take on an assistant?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    norfolk
    Posts
    94
    Registered Childminder since
    Oct 13
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Thank you for sharing bluelion, I'm hoping to get an assistant so is very helpful to hear how you are getting on!

    I've just asked my local council for details on gaining planning permission.....hope the neighbours don't say no!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,479
    Registered Childminder since
    Apr 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    GOOD
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    ahh planning permission - i phoned them on Friday but they had gone home so were supposed to phone me back today but didn't! I spoke to them before when I was first looking into it months ago so wanted to confirm with them what they said the first time. I'm pretty sure they said I didn't need planning permission unless I increased numbers hugely - I guess its when it tips into childcare on domestic premises rather than childminding. I'm in Devon so I guess it varies for different councils and is probably always worth checking for each individual crcumstance.

    I will let you know what they actually say when I actually get to speak to them! lol!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,479
    Registered Childminder since
    Apr 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    GOOD
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    PLANNING PERMISSION

    Right, not much of an update - planning department very hard to get hold of! missed the duty officer first time I rang. They then rang me but missed me and left a message saying e-mail them. I was just in the process of doing that the next day when they rang again but then said easier to e-mail and I thought ok as at least then I would have the response in writing.
    Its over a week later and I've still not had a response so that's something else that I have to chase.


    APPLICANTS

    I had 30 applicants and I sent them information about the job. (I'm a childminder looking for an assistant. might only be a few hours a week until I can build up business. I gave my website address too. I'm looking for someone quite flexible, possibly 2x part-time so can cover each other absences and not leave me stuck. Starting possibly only few hours and building up, training can be provided and become registered childminder themselves if interested. Starting on minimum wage)

    (unfortunate but its all I can afford until I can build up numbers of children)

    (It's tricky because some people may need f/t hours so will either continue looking for another job or pick up another job for p/t hours on the other days - I know I would - so they will not be necessarily available to cover other person if they are ill. at the same time if i offer one person the job I am really reliant on them! )

    I've had only about 8 people reply to that - only 6 were any good and they varied from graduates with Early Childhood Degree to 18 year old straight out of school, new mum coming back off maternity leave, F/T mum's wanting to get back into work after 15+ years at home with children, really varied experiences and qualities.
    I'm interviewing 5 (1 wouldn't have the availabilty as she is a student at uni) Interviews are on Wednesday and Thursday.

    1 has e-mailed me to say 'please tell me the name and address of your nursery' (!?) This is after I sent the above information with my name, that I am a childminder looking for an assistant and my website address. She must have read it to answer the questions on the bottom and she even commented on what a good ofsted I'd had!?
    Very strange.

    Still my biggest fear is taking on children and an assistant then letting me down. Even someone who is extremely reliable and has the best intentions is still going to need time off for family reasons or illness.

    I need to have some kind of back-up system - someone who is available and willing to come at short notice, that I can have CRB'd ready in place to do it. The only person I can think of is my mil as she is home most days but that would be a nightmare and personally I want someone better for my children (!) Must look into this more.


    EXTRA CHILDREN

    I have the possibility of taking on extra children - I'm taking on twin babies and also an under 1 - the twins will do their settling in morning from October on a different day from the under 1 and then start properly for their 1 day in January when mum goes back to work. They will still all be under one for a month so will definitely need an assistant for that 1 day for 4/5 weeks. So I need to go for it now - to build up my children so that I can justify the cost of having an assistant. I have other people inquiring but I am being honest with them about I need an assistant first and I will have to rely on them!

    EEK!!!
    Last edited by Bluebell; 13-09-2013 at 04:13 PM.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Somerset
    Posts
    4,242
    Registered Childminder since
    may 05
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    If your assistant lets you down eg: sickness, would you have to cancel the children that she is key worker for or could you still have them as continuity of care? (As long as you didn't go over your 6 under 8!!!) Also what would happen if you had siblings and you had one child in your ratio and she had one in hers, how could you just cancel one child?

    Sorry for throwing up more problems but I am interested in the answer as I go out of my way to be reliable and to carry on regardless but know that an assistant on minimum wage probably wouldn't be so thoughtful.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,479
    Registered Childminder since
    Apr 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    GOOD
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I would have to cancel the children - there is no way I could have 3 under 1's or 6 under 5's on my own.

    If one of the children in the under 5's group had a sibling then I might be able to have them as a 4th child as continuity of care. I'd have to be very clear to parents that their space is reliant on the assistant coming.
    If I had a parent that possibly had a day off then perhaps I would offer a parent that needed to work the day instead if the first parent agreed to giving up their space. Its very complicated and precisely the reason I would like to have a back-up/stand-by.

    But they would have to be CRB'd and gone through the EY2 process. Even another OFsted childminder who has a day off in the week would have to agree to be my stand-by and apply to ofsted to work in my setting. Also most childminders I know that have a day off in the week have it for a specific reason - to look after elderly parents or do their cleaning and paperwork or even go out and enjoy themselves for the day - they might want to help me out once or twice but they won't always be available just because I need them to be iyswim!

    It's a real dilemma and I think its a shame that Ofsted don't allow us to use agency staff because of the reasons in one of my previous posts.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    457
    Registered Childminder since
    Mar 08
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Good
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It is a big thing to do, but I am sure you will be fine. Some times, if you think about it too much, what if... what if.... one would do nothing. I understand though, regarding taking on assistants, its so easy for them to call in sick etc. I have 2 now, touch wood had no problems in the last 6 months. I did have 6 kids one day on my own, one day only! she was sick. It was OK had no school runs that day so we stayed in the garden. Would not like to do it regular though! I hope you find some good help. Take a chance and see how you go!

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,479
    Registered Childminder since
    Apr 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    GOOD
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Bindy - thank you so much for your reply! What would Ofsted's view be on having 6 on one day? even if only for an emergency? Would they not expect you to have a back-up for this sort of circumstance?

    Also I do the school run twice a day for my own children - my husband is moving to winter shifts soon which means he will be home to do the afternoon run but I will have to do the morning one. If i had 6 under 5's on my own (that would be 3 usually with me and 3 with the assistant) I would also have my son who is 6 - so I would have 7 under 8 and that is a big fat no no - and that is very clear in the EYFS. (One thing that actually is!)

    My husband works a 4 day week and is registered as my assistant so he could help me on that one day if he needed to.

    On one day I am having baby twins and an under 1. I've moved the baby twins day to a different day til the mum goes back to work in January but then I will have all 3 and the baby will be 1 a month after. I will need an assistant for that day.

    You are definitely right about thinking too much about things - the first time I thought about this at the beginning of the year I talked myself out of it. well I tried it out by having a work placement from the job centre who on paper was excellent and she was lovely with the children but completely unreliable! As an unpaid volunteer hopefully a paid member of staff will be different!

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    457
    Registered Childminder since
    Mar 08
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Good
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluelion View Post
    Bindy - thank you so much for your reply! What would Ofsted's view be on having 6 on one day? even if only for an emergency? Would they not expect you to have a back-up for this sort of circumstance?

    Also I do the school run twice a day for my own children - my husband is moving to winter shifts soon which means he will be home to do the afternoon run but I will have to do the morning one. If i had 6 under 5's on my own (that would be 3 usually with me and 3 with the assistant) I would also have my son who is 6 - so I would have 7 under 8 and that is a big fat no no - and that is very clear in the EYFS. (One thing that actually is!)

    My husband works a 4 day week and is registered as my assistant so he could help me on that one day if he needed to.

    On one day I am having baby twins and an under 1. I've moved the baby twins day to a different day til the mum goes back to work in January but then I will have all 3 and the baby will be 1 a month after. I will need an assistant for that day.

    You are definitely right about thinking too much about things - the first time I thought about this at the beginning of the year I talked myself out of it. well I tried it out by having a work placement from the job centre who on paper was excellent and she was lovely with the children but completely unreliable! As an unpaid volunteer hopefully a paid member of staff will be different!

    You are right, 6 kids is hard work but I was allowed to have the children, I did call Ofsted and ask. My assistant went home after the kids were dropped off. I personally can cope with 6 children ( mine being older than yours, for the odd day only) each person is different. I looked after 5 kids daily, all under
    age 5 has a nanny, sole charge, for a few years. Yes its none stop all day but I don't find it stressful or unable to cope! Some minders who have assistants refuse the children if they are left without help which is always an option! I would have to now, if both assistants were off at the same time, has we have more than 6 and school runs. Good Luck, it will all fall into place!

  15. Likes Bluebell liked this post
  16. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    mad house
    Posts
    764
    Registered Childminder since
    jul 00
    Latest Inspection Grade
    GOOD
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default

    i'm really lucky that my assistants are my niece and best friend (and my two eldest daughters)but I have also taken on an apprentice !! she turns 17 next week so I can count her in my ratios then I pay her apprentice wages of 2.38per hour (I think but I haven't got it at hand) for a minimum of 30 hours a week .She doesn't go the college at all ,the assessor comes here to do any work that needs observing (im doing level 3 ,she is doing level 2 so works out great ,both getting assessed at the same time).I suppose I have an advantage that she is the daughter of one of my school friends but you could advertise that you are offering an apprenticeship rather than asking for an assistant,get in touch with your nearest college,the qualification is children and young persons workforce

  17. Likes Bluebell liked this post
  18. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,479
    Registered Childminder since
    Apr 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    GOOD
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Bindy - on the day your assistant needed to go home and Ofsted agreed it - was it before or after the new EYFS?

    As whenever I phone Ofsted these days the response always seems to be 'you have to interpret the EYFS and decide for yourself' whereas before they used to be quite helpful!

  19. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,479
    Registered Childminder since
    Apr 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    GOOD
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    SECOND THOUGHTS

    I am having second thoughts! EEK I am so overworked I must be insane to be considering all this extra work. I've got a lot on at the moment but I have been through all the applicants and arranged interviews. They are on Wednesday and Thursday. while I don't have children. One was a late applicant so will come in the evening. I need to sort interview questions so I have something to ask them. I have sorted what I want to ask but need to print out and add some of my own.

    I took Dette's advice and contacted the 2 local colleges to see if they had apprentices that would be interested. I had spoken to someone before but had phoned about getting someone for a 2 week work placement and got put through the wrong place lol! I think it may be a minimum 2 year commitment but will have to check (depending if I get a response!)

    The other things are will the care of the children suffer, will i get on with the person, will i stand having someone in my space all the time when i am used to working on my own. will i be embarrassed having someone in my house when i try and keep the downstairs presentable but upstairs is usually a disgrace. These are all things running through my head. Will this person let me down, how will i deal with days when the person is not there. This is all going over in my head over and over again.

  20. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    162
    Registered Childminder since
    2004
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Your second thoughts are sounding very much like mine!

    I have interviewed two potential apprentices, one I am sure I wouldn't be able to work with - she was very nice just felt she wouldn't take kindly to being asked to do things. Second was very young - only 16 so couldn't be included in ratios. However, the children are already with me as I have been working with my daughter so I would be able to keep them on through continuity of care. However, the training company has said that she cannot change nappies or help with personal care routines until she is 17 - which I was unaware of. I thought that if she had a dbs check, and parents permission of course, that she would be ok to do this.

    I am also wondering how it will be working with another person in the house who isn't related to me.

    Potentially, if the parents agree, with a bit of swapping around I could care for all the children on my own - would have to give up my day off though . Really debating what to do.

  21. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    457
    Registered Childminder since
    Mar 08
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Good
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluelion View Post
    Bindy - on the day your assistant needed to go home and Ofsted agreed it - was it before or after the new EYFS?

    As whenever I phone Ofsted these days the response always seems to be 'you have to interpret the EYFS and decide for yourself' whereas before they used to be quite helpful!
    It was only a couple of months ago. I always found Ofsted to be helpful, the problem now is getting through to them! After pressing too many buttons etc when I have finally got to speak with someone they have always been helpful or got and inspector to call me back!

  22. Likes Bluebell liked this post
  23. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    457
    Registered Childminder since
    Mar 08
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Good
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Yeah, just one last thing...... I think it can be very hard having someone in your home who you do not know, my assistants just happen to be family members and a girl my sister fostered for 11years ( she has her level 3) I have known her since she was a little girl. I personally don't think I could do it with a stranger. I did try one person, once and it did not work for me.

  24. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,479
    Registered Childminder since
    Apr 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    GOOD
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    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!

 

 
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Quick Links and Advertisements

Important Information Links
Some Useful Quick Links
Advertisements

 

You can also find us on:
My journey to get an assistant.... My journey to get an assistant.... My journey to get an assistant....

We use cookies to make this site as useful as possible. They are small text files placed in your browser to track usage of our site but they don’t tell us who you are.
By continuing to use this site you are consenting to cookies being placed on your computer. Find out more here: Cookies in Use

Childminding Help and the Childminding Forum are part of Childcare.co.uk