Monday, March 26, 2007

Setting up a Child Minding business.

My reason for starting childminding was because I had a career in childcare and a dream of running my own nursery, whilst having my own children and doing it my way. I did not want the ‘institution’ approach but the homely mother/grandmother feeling.

When I started out it was just looking after other peoples children, you did your own thing.
Not many guidelines in those days but because of my experience and qualifications, mothers trusted I would give professional care.
So I rcalled Social Services of my local Borough Council, went to an introductory meeting and a short introductory course, had a home visit, was approved and set to.

Things have changed dramatically since then back in 1987!

Now there is a Foundation Course to start with, a home visit to make sure all safety regulations are up to standard, space is adequate, windows have safety locks, safety glass on patio doors, electrics and heating are in good order and a fire inspection from the fire officer is required.

All plug sockets must have childproof covers, kitchen cupboard doors & drawers must have child locks, medicines and cleaning fluids must be locked away.

The place is to be clean and well kept. You should have adequate and safe outdoor play areas and equipment.

All people of sixteen and over in the house have to have a Police Check.

You must keep all paper work in order i.e. contracts, children’s details, medical book, accident forms, daily diary, register.

Policies on; behaviour management, health and safety, child protection, policy on sick children, equal opportunities, accident procedure, fire evacuation procedure, complaints procedure, confidentiality report etc. according to the standards of the local Inspectorate. Insurance details and a personal statement.

Then, when all this is approved, you can start looking after children.

If you have some locations in mind, advertise in shops, local paper, doctors surgery, clinics, community centres but remember to keep your identity safe. You will be on the Social Services list and you can be put on the Childminder Database.

You will be expected to give a very high standard of care and take courses to keep up that high standard; be visited yearly by an inspector (not as much as an ordeal as you may think because they put the children first and make it a pleasant visit). You can also expect an unannounced visit at any time.

If I were setting up now, to make it a business venture, I would prefer to have a set room i.e. garage conversion, spare room, extension, a downstairs toilet and if planning full time, 40hrs a week, employ a cleaner!

Always put the children first- you are running a business and putting so much into it mentally and physically.

Please never loose sight of the fact that the children are individuals and you are a caring loving person.

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