You took some time off when your baby was born, but really never wanted to go back to work full time. You baby is growing into a toddler, you feel ready and able to take on some work, the bank account would certainly appreciate it… and yet you still don’t want to go out and leave your child 9-5. It’s a dilemma so many of us have faced – it’s one of the reasons that freelancing and women setting up their own businesses (and no, you are NOT a Mumpreneur… *rage face*) is on the rise in the UK.
One of the options I think a lot of us think about is registering as a childminder. It’s a bit of an obvious one to consider, isn’t it? I mean, you’re already home and looking after children, a few more just seems an obvious way to earn some extra cash whilst allowing you to be a parent too.
Owning your own business is a challenging, time consuming but ultimately rewarding experience, and make no mistake – being a Childminder definitely counts as running a business. On top of the business side you have the responsibility that the little ones in your care are ready to take on school (and the world!) when they leave.
You’re also providing much needed supporting childcare for new parents who want to return to work and need a safe place to leave their own children. You’re SO important. If you’re thinking about setting up as a childminder, here are the top 8 things it will teach you:
- Management skills : As I said, being a childminder is like running any other business; you need to ensure you have the right provisions in place to guarantee the children in your care are receiving the best from you. This means locating those essential nursery resources, such as indoor and outdoor play equipment as well as sensory activity items.
- People management skills : A child isn’t raised by one person, and you need to ensure the children receive the right amount of support and guidance. This means working with the parents and any other carers like Nursery and Pre-School staff to ensure the child in your care receives the best care morning to night.
- Patience : Patience with children and their parents is essential when childminding. Little ones can be demanding and their mums and dads have high expectations, so expect to have your patience tested every now and then!
- The importance of play : Children should be children, so you can strip away the iPads and the computers, and allow kids to learn through play. Let them get messy in the sand pit or with paint, let them mix with each other and find out the best way to interact with friends and take them outside to teach them the importance of getting fresh air and close to nature.
- How to remove stains : It’s safe to say, as a childminder you are going to find your home each day is sprinkled with a multitude of fresh stains on your clothes (and your furniture, flooring and walls…), and sometimes you can’t be sure what they are. You’ll become a pro at removing these from your favourite jeans in no time and also appreciate the importance of aprons and plastic sheets when working with paint!
- The importance of marketing : While it’s safe to say word of mouth will quickly spread the message about you, it’s important you also employ some marketing techniques to attract the attention of local parents. Social media, leaflets and networking at local events can help you pick up new clientele and kids.
- Health and safety measures : Being a childminder means employing strict health and safety measures to ensure the children in your care won’t come to any harm. You should gain a qualification in this, to ensure OFSTED know you are capable, and that no child will be put in danger under you.
- Dealing with OFSTED : Being a Childminder involves being inspected by OFSTED, who will take a look at your home, what you are teaching and the happiness of your children to give you a rating. This is important, because many parents base their choices on this score, so the higher quality the better. You will learn to remain calm and always be prepared for an inspector to drop in at any given moment while owning your nursery.