Becoming a childminder is a highly rewarding career; however, given its reputation for being a low-paid job, it has made many hesitant to pursue this career.
Yet this could be a big mistake!
In this post we aim to dispel existing misconceptions about childminding, and instead help to paint a clearer picture of what childminding entails; how to turn it into a self-employed business and whether it is possible to earn a good income from childcare.
Is childminding worth the risk?
The reality is – very few of us these days have the luxury of being able to be a full-time stay at home parent, and as a result, the demand for childminders is incredibly high.
Yet, this doesn’t mean the life of a childminder is easy…
You see, every parent wants the best for their child, so if they are to entrust their children into the care of someone else, they want the finest the industry has got to offer.
Not only do they want a childminder that will care, stimulate and assist with their child’s educational development; they want a professional who has genuinely got their child’s best interests at heart.
In others words, they have exceedingly high expectations, so if you are to succeed and win them over, you need to be prepared to meet their expectations head on.
Luckily, achieving such expectations has never been easier.
Is it profitable?
In the past, childminding has been considered a low paying job; yet in recent years this mind set has begun to change. In fact, the whole profession has revolutionised itself, meaning if you undergo the right training and become a qualified professional, it is now possible to earn a salary that matches your high standard of training.
The key is to take this training and use it to make you their number one choice:
- What are parents expectations – parents are willing to pay to put their children in the right kind of environment, so it is important that you are able to recognise what they are looking for and then use this knowledge to find a balance between the needs of the child and your statutory/legal obligations as a childminder.
- Reputation – your reputation is everything – especially amongst parents – as they will talk amongst themselves. As your reputation grows, so will the demand for your services. Now whilst this is what you want, you need to remember your statutory limit – especially if you are childminding in your own home by yourself – as you can only legally look after a certain number of children at a time (depending on their age). However, by acquiring a strong local reputation, you can ensure that once a space becomes available you are able to fill it quickly.
- Keep it in the family – success in looking after one child, will ensure that their siblings follow suite. More so, as you will have established a relationship of trust with the parent (as they’ll know that they are leaving their child with a trained professional).
- Be an ‘all-rounder’ – taking an ‘all-rounder’ approach to childminding will ensure that your services always stay in high demand. This is particularly true if you can demonstrate specialist training in behaviour management, as your ability to assist children with special educational, behavioural or social needs, will make you an asset to parents. Remember: it can be hard for parents who have children with special requirements to completely entrust their child in the care of others. By acquiring specialist training you can earn their trust.
What qualifications do you need?
Whilst you don’t need to hold any specific qualifications to become a childminder; local authorities and parents alike, do have certain expectations and will more than likely choose a childminder who possess a qualification in childcare (or something similar).
For this reason, we strongly recommend looking into childminding courses as they will provide you with all the knowledge, training and resources you need to successfully create a safe environment where children can learn and develop. In turn, they can provide you with a deeper understanding of childcare related issues, so you can easily create a stimulating and educational setting where they will flourish and be happy.
Alongside enrolling – either on a college or online childminding course – it is also important that you:
- Attain a first aid qualification
- Remain aware of any changes/developments in child protection procedures
- Undergo an extended DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check – NOTE: this needs to remain current, so remember to speak with your local authority to find out how often you need to get this check updated.
- Get insurance to ensure that you are protected in the event of an accident or injury. This includes getting Public Liability Insurance, as well as insurance for yourself and your property.
Why should you become a childminder?
If you love the idea of working with children and helping them to grow emotionally, physically and educationally; then becoming a childminder could be the career for you.
The fact that it is so much easier to become a qualified childminder these days, means you don’t have to wait long to make your mark on this career. Instead, you can take advantage of all the online childcare and childminding courses that are available, and learn how to enter this career from the comfort of your own home.
So if you are looking to make a difference, why not consider becoming a childminder? Childminder figures may have dropped by nearly 25% since 2012; however, this drop – combined with your arsenal of qualifications – will ensure you are in higher demand from parents.