Working together with others

Childminding can be incredibly rewarding, but working alone can sometimes feel isolating. There are plenty of ways to work with other childcare professionals, to support you and your business to thrive during these challenging times.

How can you work with other childcare providers?

  • Up to three childminders (or a mix of childminders and childminding assistants) can work together on the same domestic premises (above this counts as ‘Childcare on Domestic Premises’).
  • Create a cluster or hub - please refer to section 2.1 in this guidance.
  • Employ an apprentice

The benefits of working together

  • Support for each other – to prevent a feeling of isolation and to help each other to understand and implement new government guidelines
  • Continuity if one of you is ill and/or needs to isolate
  • Working together to meet childcare demands, if other local settings are closed
  • One person could care for early years children while the other does the school pickup – this is especially helpful as entering the school premises is no longer an option
  • Or, you could provide out-of-school care for two schools, by each taking responsibility for the drop-offs and pickups at one school.

You’ll need to communicate with the families you work with to make sure they’re happy with any new arrangements.

As stated in government guidance, “From 20 July, early years settings are no longer required to keep children in small, consistent groups within settings but can return to normal group sizes.” Childcare providers must continue to follow government guidance to ensure the health and safety of everyone at your setting, and remember that the guidance differs for children over the age of 5.

If you care for, or a mix of age groups including school-aged children, you’ll still need to ensure consistent groups of no more than 15.

50/50 rule for business premises

Regulations in England mean that childminders and those offering childcare on domestic premises may provide care on non-domestic premises for up to 50 per cent of the time.

For example, you could childmind in your home for morning sessions, then offer care in a church or school hall in the afternoon. Working in partnership with your local school or church can offer flexibility for your business and help strengthen children’s sense of community.

It’s up to you how you split the time, so you could also base yourselves on larger premises for the school holidays, and childmind in your home during term time.

Ratio requirements stay the same, but it is possible to run larger groups by working in partnership with other registered childcare providers, in groups of two or three.

Find out more about 50/50 delivery and how to apply.

Additional resources

  • Make sure you think about the latest guidance from government regarding covid-19 and early years settings. You can find this here. 
  • Read more on the protective measures for holiday or after school clubs and other out of school settings for children during Covid-19 here.