Running a childcare business from home appeals to many. If you love children, have worked with them before, and have always been interested in childcare, it can be an excellent career for you. It’s often a career that appeals to mums looking to go back to work. Unfortunately, many career paths don’t offer the flexibility that many parents need to work around their children, and many mums face a tough choice when the time to return to work after maternity leave comes around.
If they are at home looking after their own child anyway, and can’t afford, or don’t want to leave all the financial responsibility to their partner, starting a home childcare business can seem like the ideal solution. It’s flexible, it’s a great way to make money, it’s fulfilling, and if they are looking after one child, how much harder can it be? But, while it can seem like the perfect career choice, there is plenty that you need before you start your home childcare business.
Good Levels of Fitness
Fitness is something that many childminders neglect. You might imagine yourself sitting at home playing with kids, why would you need to be fit? Well, you might be surprised. Running after one toddler can be tiring enough, multiply that by four and you’ve got exhaustion. Then, there are daily school runs, pushing prams, lifting multiple children into the car. You don’t need to be super fit and healthy, but you do need good levels of fitness.
Childminders in the UK need to be Ofsted registered. At some point, Ofsted will also want to inspect your premises and ask you some questions. You may have regular checks throughout your career. You might also need childcare training from your local council.
You may know that you’ll need a criminal record check, and other background checks before you work with children. But, did you know that all other adults in your household will need these checks too? Even if they don’t intend to have regular contact with the children that you look after. This includes children over 16. If adults from out of your household, perhaps your parents, visit often, they will also need background checks.
As a childminder, you’ll need special insurance, as well as liability insurance. You will also need to make changes to your home insurance to reflect your business, but also any extra equipment kept there.
You don’t need a large house or lots of spare rooms to become a childminder. In fact, you don’t need a specific room to look after children at all. You can invite them into your home, and take care of them in the areas that your family spend their time. But, they need to be clean and safe, and you will need to have room for plenty of toys, crafts and games.
A Quiet Area
If you plan to look after young children, babies and toddlers, they might need naps, or at least a quiet space to rest after a long day. A spare room with Blackout Curtain Lining to block out light, where you can add cots or mats on the floor can be ideal. But, it doesn’t have to be a specific room. Just remember any room that the children spend time in will need to be inspected by Ofsted.
A Business Plan
Childcare is a lovely thing. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s not a business. You might want to be a childminder because you love children, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t want to make money. Create a business plan to help you stay on track.
A Supportive Family
Looking after other people’s children in your home affects your whole family. You might have other children around at family mealtimes, or when you collect your own children from school. This can be especially difficult for any children of your own, who are used to getting all of your attention. Make sure your family support your career choice and are willing to make changes.
First Aid Training
As soon as you decide to become a childminder, you will need to find a relevant first aid course, specialising in infants and children. If you want to offer more specific care, you might also need training in looking after children with medical conditions or special needs.
Food Hygiene Training
Children are likely to eat at your home at least some of the time. That also means that you need food safety and hygiene training and another inspection.