Start Your Own Childcare Business...
If the answer is 'yes' to any of the above questions, then starting a childcare business is ideal for you.
This guide explains how to start your own childcare business in the UK.
You must be registered as a childcarer in England and Wales meaning you must meet the standards set out by Ofsted. Ofsted is responsible for registering and inspecting your childcare business making sure it meet their standards.
Your home will be inspected by an Ofsted officer making sure it is safe for children and... you... are a suitable person to look after children. You must pass a First Aid course, complete an introduction course to childminding, hold a CRB (criminal record bureau) disclosure, have a health check and be insured.
Ofsted aims to complete all new registrations in three months.
Most new childcarers receive a start-up grant to help with the cost of setting up their childcare business. This funding is distributed by your local authority. Visit SureStart for more information (opens in new window).
You are allowed to care for up to six children under 8 years old depending on space in your home and no more than three children may be under 5 years old.
As a childcarer you will be self-employed and running your own business. This means you can set your own working hours and fees.
You will also need to organise your own tax and National Insurance contributions, but childcarers benefit from generous tax allowances and benefits. Visit HM Revenue and Customs website for more information (opens in new window).
Ofsted is the national governing body in charge of registering and inspecting childcarers in England and Wales making sure they meet the national standards for childcaring. Visit Ofsted at Ofsted.gov.uk or call 08456 404045.
There are hundreds of childcare groups and local associations that always welcome new members. As well as providing services such as equipment loan schemes. Childcare groups hold social events and drop-in sessions where you can meet up with other childcarers.
Yes. Join a recognised association that can offer you quality support in terms of fees, expenses, contracts, insurance, tax and national insurance, milk refunds and training.
Since starting our childcare business, we've joined the NCMA (National Childminding Association... For England and Wales) and we've been offered quality support.
Joining NCMA gives you all the following benefits:
NCMA provides its members with regularly updated information and advice on all aspects of being a registered childcarer from working out your tax allowances to negotiating a childcare contract.
For peace of mind, as an NCMA member you will be entitled to free legal representation on childcare matters and to free advice on professional and legal matters.
NCMA's colourful quarterly magazine will keep you up to date with news and issues affecting childcarers, features on child development and offers and giveaways.
Members get up to 50 per cent off NCMA's range of publications and products, specially developed for childcarers, including childcare contracts, accounts book and child record forms. Plus exclusive products available only to members.
You can benefit from many special offers and discounted services from companies including the Co-operative Bank and Britannia Rescue.
NCMA offers home and car insurance tailor-made to childcarers' needs.
Belonging to professional association lets you easily show parents and other childcare professionals your commitment to your career.
As a registered childcarer you must hold public liability insurance. NCMA's insurance policy has been designed by people who understand childcare.
NCMA speaks on behalf of all registered and home-based childcarers in England and Wales and campaigns on issues its members feel strongly about.
NCMA members can join an online vacancy scheme and advertise their vacancies to parents who use Care-4 childcare vouchers Care-4.co.uk.
Most new childcarers receive start-up grant from their early years team to help give their business the best beginning possible. Many early years teams offer NCMA's Quality Start package, created to support the grants. As part of your Quality Start package you will receive:
To receive all this you won't have to part with a penny as it is directly paid for by the start-up grant. To see if you are eligible for a start-up grant and the Quality Start package, call your early years team.
You can find its number by calling 0800 2346 346.
Call 0845 880 0044 to join NCMA today or visit NCMA's website -- http://www.ncma.org. uk -- is also full of useful information about registered childminding.
National Childminding Association
81 Tweedy Road
Tel: 0845 880 0044
Fax: 0845 880 0043
Childcare offers lots of opportunities to develop your career. Childcarers must attend an introductory course in home-based childcare as part of their registration as a new childcarer.
Introduction to Childcare Practice (Home-based) (ICP) is the first unit of the nationally accredited Diploma in Home-based Childcare (DHC).
There are a further four units of DHC which go together to make the full level 3 qualification. This then provides the underpinning knowledge for the level 3 NVQ in Children's Care, Learning and Development.
You may also find that your local authority or childcare group offers training on topics ranging from child protection to messy play. Your local authority may give you the opportunity to complete NCMA Quality First - a quality assurance scheme that gives you a way to show parents you are offering quality care.
You may also get the chance to join an NCMA Children Come First quality-assured childminding network that offers you the support of a network coordinator (who can help you with training, filling vacancies and so on) and other childcarers on the network.
If you belong to a network, you may be able to train as a community childcarer offering care to children in need, or as an accredited childcarer who can claim funding for providing early years education to 3- and 4-year-olds.
There are also innovative projects that make the most of childcarers' unique skills. For example, childcarers in some areas are... offering childcare for families working shifts... working with fathers... and encouraging them to become registered childcarers... offering care for children whose parents are attending training or hospital.
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