Pros and cons of being a childminder...

I have 2 young kids (1 about to start school is Sep, the other one is 9 months). I work full time and so does my hubby. Neither of our jobs can be done on part-time basis. The kids are being looked after a childminder and this is costing us a fortune (£245 per week for both of them and this is after a discount!!!).
I am really starting to miss my kids (having spent few months with them while on maternity leave) and as we cannot survive just on my hubby's salary I was thinking of becoming a childminder. My thinking behind is that I get to spend time with my own kids while earn some money looking after another child/children at the same time.
I was told I was a favourite auntie to my 7 nephews and nieces and all of my friends children who come to play in our house don't want to leave as they love being in our house so I think the kids would be happy to be looked after by me.

So any experience/advice would be greatly appreciated...
Thanks
It's best to regret things you have done rather than those you have not...
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Replies

  • JetJet Forumite
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    Advantages

    You've listed the main ones already....
    Get to spend time with your own children
    Get to earn money while being with your children in your own home.
    Less to pay out on travelling, lunches, work suits etc.

    Disadvantages
    Can be a V long day - sometimes 7am to 7pm or longer, although that is really up to you to choose.
    You have to make an allowance for wear and tear on your house.
    You have to deal with parents - some of which, can be over-protective, bad payers, or turn up late.
    Your children might not like having to "share" Mummy and their toys and you may find their behaviour is more difficult than normal.
    Other peoples children are brought up differently to yours and you may find some behaviours difficult to deal with.
    Lack of adult interaction can lead to loneliness.
    There is a certain amount of paperwork to complete for records and also tax returns.
    You may have to make alterations to your home.

    Can't think of anymore at the moment.

    Good luck with your decision.
  • I'm currently taking unit 1 of level 3 Diploma in home base child care which you need to become a childminder as a minimum. The course costs about £90 but mine is being paid for by the local council as a local inititive.

    I'm looking to start childminding once my little one is born (12weeks pregnant at the moment), you can have up to about 6 children under the age of 8/9ish. Only one can be under 12months with a max of 3 children under 5 (1 being the baby). On average childminders charge about £3 per child per hour but that does depend on the area you are in. Just bear in mind with childminding you become self employed and are therefore responsible for your own tax and NI. Also you need personal liability insurance by law. One thing we have been advised is to get paid from parents of children you childmind in advance as some have been known to wait a month before paying and then suddenly taking the child away leaving you with money owed and it being very difficult to get it.

    It will cost you more on your household bills, eg utilities, toilet rolls, food etc but you can offset your expenses against your tax return. But your working hours are more than likely going to be longer than present and you probably won't earn as much money but it will save you your current childminding costs and allow you to look after your own children.

    I'm thinking the same once mine is born as we can't afford for me not to be working but I currently work 25miles away from home so I would be quite a distance away from the child if I was needed urgently. Also with the costs of childcare it wouldn't be financially viable for me to pay someone else and still work full time myself. Sorry I've rambled a bit!!
    :heart2: Charlie born Aug 2007 :heart2: Reece born May 2009
    :heart2:Toby born Apr and taken by SMA Dec 2012
    :heart2: Baby boy failed M/C @ 20 wks Oct 2013 :heart2: Sienna born Oct 2014
  • don't forget you have to count your own children in to the numbers and it will also depend on the size of your house how many kids you are allowed.

    Bad points
    Crap Pay
    Long hours
    You need business insurance on your car
    Bad payers
    can not rely on your wages
    LOTS OF PAPER WORK for ofsted
    your home is not your own
    increase in house insurance
    you need lots of equipment(Toys,highchairs,car seats plus many more things)


    to name but a few, that is why i am giving up this year after 11yrs.
  • skylightskylight Forumite
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    When I was looking at childminders, many years ago, I expected to view the minders entire house. I know that my child was only going to be downstairs, but as I was entrusting this person to my littles ones life, I wanted to know all about her (not to the extent as what was under her bed, but do you see what I mean!?)

    One particular childminder went mental when I asked to see her whole house - obviously my daughter did not go there at all, but you do need to expect that some parents wont give a damn and others will be inquisitive and that may feel intrusive.
  • amandadaamandada Forumite
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    I'd add that I have a wonderful childminder, and one of my main criteria when I was looking was that I didn't want a minder with young children of her own.

    The main reason being that if there's any issue with behaviour etc, there is going to be a natural bias towards one's own child, whether intentional or not, and if the minder's own child and my child are both upset/hurt, which one would she go to first? Not a criticism, just human nature.

    Having spoken to a lot of people I know, I know I'm not the only one with this viewpoint.

    Also, why should I knock my pan in so you can stay home with your kids!;)
  • SpendlessSpendless Forumite
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    I'm NOT a childminder, but know several people who are. The disadvantages I can see are

    Not having any time off from kids, when you're not looking after your own, you're looking after other peoples.

    One childminder I knew told me that her kids couldn't have anyone round for tea after school as she was upto her limit with the amount of children she looked after (don't know whether this would be true or not :confused: ).

    I also used to see a childminder with a minded child whilst her kids had swimming lessons due to hours worked by minded kids parents, so I'd say perhaps having work spill into what you would like to be family time (obviously depends on times you mind etc).

    Having to work around your family's lifestyle. I know of 2 childminders whose husband works nights whilst they mind (one on permanent nights). I have a hubby who works from home occassionally and I find it hard occuppying my own kids to not disturb him. (again depdends on lifestyle)



    The advantages I see are that
    You can earn money without putting your own kids in childcare and can be there for them when they are ill, school closes at short notice cos of burst pipe etc.
  • twinktwink Forumite
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    i work in a special needs playgroup and do quite a lot of training, more and more now we see childminders attending too, so that might be something to bear in mind
  • Thanks everyone for your replies. You have pointed out few things which I have not thought of.

    june 1970

    Crap Pay - I earn £280 p/w and £245 of this goes to the childminder, so even if I was to earn only £100 p/w I would feel quids in
    Long hours - I already get up at 6.30 am and don't get home until 6 pm so once again, I'm used to this
    You need business insurance on your car - this I will need to check out
    Bad payers - very good point
    can not rely on your wages - again, very valid point, but hopefully, this wouldn't happen and if it does, I could work in the evening temporarily until I the place would get filled. When I tried about 1 month ago to try to find a childminder I contacted at least 15 of them in my locality and all of them had no vacancies. This makes me think that demand for good childminders in my area is highLOTS OF PAPER WORK for ofsted
    your home is not your own - I can see where you're coming from but I would have to say that it's one of those things and just live with itincrease in house insurance
    you need lots of equipment(Toys,highchairs,car seats plus many more things) - I was hoping to use all of the items which I kept from when my kids were younger. Is that allowed?


    charlotte664
    When I was looking at childminders, many years ago, I expected to view the minders entire house. I know that my child was only going to be downstairs, but as I was entrusting this person to my littles ones life, I wanted to know all about her (not to the extent as what was under her bed, but do you see what I mean!?)
    I happen to be one of those parents that didn't need to see all of the house but would be quite happy a parent to inspect my house

    amandada
    I'd add that I have a wonderful childminder, and one of my main criteria when I was looking was that I didn't want a minder with young children of her own.

    The main reason being that if there's any issue with behaviour etc, there is going to be a natural bias towards one's own child, whether intentional or not, and if the minder's own child and my child are both upset/hurt, which one would she go to first? Not a criticism, just human nature.

    Having spoken to a lot of people I know, I know I'm not the only one with this viewpoint.

    I understand that but my current and my previous childminders both have young kids and I actually liked that because I knew that my kids had someone to play with which I think is important for their social skills development and it gives them a certain consistency. And they get on really really well.

    Also, why should I knock my pan in so you can stay home with your kids! - I really don't understand this remark. I am not thinking of becoming a childminder so I can have an easy life. I would be leaving a job which pays very well (but still not enought to pay for 2 kids in full time care and have plenty of money left over at the end of the month) to get paid rather poorly (please see other posts from other MSErs). In few years time when my youngest child would go to school and I would return to an office job I would very likey find it difficult to get employed in a well paid job but I think I am willing to take that chance. Furthermore looking after someone else's child is an enormous responsibility and not something to be taken ligthly
    It's best to regret things you have done rather than those you have not...
  • skylightskylight Forumite
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    Also, why should I knock my pan in so you can stay home with your kids! - I really don't understand this remark. I am not thinking of becoming a childminder so I can have an easy life. I would be leaving a job which pays very well (but still not enought to pay for 2 kids in full time care
    and have plenty of money left over at the end of the month) to get paid rather poorly (please see other posts from other MSErs). In few years time when my youngest child would go to school and I would return to an office job I would very likey find it difficult to get employed in a well paid job but I think I am willing to take that chance. Furthermore looking after someone else's child is an enormous responsibility and not something to be taken ligthly


    I think that this was meant to be a tongue in cheek comment rather than a knock or slight upon your suggestion in anyway!
  • My wife is a childminder, we have two kids 7 & 4. I am a postie home by 1 most days, there is NO biase what so ever with our kids and if anything it goes the other way. This may be a fear of yours and perhaps some people are like that but I can guarantee you 100% we are nothing like that.

    amandada wrote:
    I'd add that I have a wonderful childminder, and one of my main criteria when I was looking was that I didn't want a minder with young children of her own.

    The main reason being that if there's any issue with behaviour etc, there is going to be a natural bias towards one's own child, whether intentional or not, and if the minder's own child and my child are both upset/hurt, which one would she go to first? Not a criticism, just human nature.

    Having spoken to a lot of people I know, I know I'm not the only one with this viewpoint.

    Also, why should I knock my pan in so you can stay home with your kids!;)
    nothing.
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