Childcare on domestic premises (England only)
One option to help you grow your business and increase the number of places you can offer to children in England is to convert your childminding registration to childcare on domestic premises (CoDP).
Childcare on domestic premises is where four or more people come together to work in a home-based setting at any one time. A CoDP setting can sometimes feel like a "mini nursery". It will usually have all the advantages of a larger group of children learning together, but still with the "home from home" feel of a childminding setting.
CoDP is classified by Ofsted as "where there are four or more people working together, for example four childminders, or two childminders and two assistants, or one childminder and three assistants."
These providers can spend up to 50% of their time working on approved non-domestic premises.
Getting your insurance right
One important thing to remember about CoDP is that you need to ensure that your insurance is adequate to cover you and your staff, including volunteers or students. PACEY's standard PLI cover is for the policy holder and up to two other staff members, including volunteers or students. If you are working with three or more others, you must contact the customer services team to arrange suitable cover for your setting. Call us on 0300 003 0005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One thing to be aware of as you start to build your business is how to cope when VAT registration becomes necessary.
The VAT registration threshold has been frozen at £85,000, until at least April 2020. This means that if your annual turnover is more than £85,000, you will need to register for VAT and start to charge 20% VAT on your invoices and complete VAT returns.
Childminder businesses registered with Ofsted are exempt from paying VAT (see section 3.3 here)
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t register for VAT if you wish. You also need to take care because, in particular with some larger childminding businesses, you could be running a non-exempt business alongside or in conjunction with an exempt business. In these cases you need to ensure you are registered for VAT. Always seek guidance from a financial adviser if you are not sure.
Registering with Ofsted
Childcare on domestic premises can be registered with Ofsted either in an individual’s name or in a company name. Sometimes the company will be a limited company. They must meet the qualification requirements for group care and appoint a manager before Ofsted registration is granted.
In group settings, the manager must hold at least a full and relevant level 3 qualification and at least half the other staff must hold at least full and relevant level 2 qualification. The manager should have at least two years' experience of working in an early years setting or at least two years' other suitable experience.
The provider must ensure there is a named deputy who in their judgement is deemed capable and qualified to take charge in the manager’s absence.
At least one person with a current paediatric first aid certificate must be on the premises and available at all times. They must accompany the children on outings. All staff with a full or relevant level 2 or 3 qualification must have a paediatric first aid certificate before they can be included in the staff / child ratios.
If you plan to operate with fewer than four people at any time, you will also need to register as a childminder. In this instance, you must apply for a separate registration with Ofsted and will have separate inspections and inspection reports. The law does not permit anyone to act as a childminder and childcare on domestic premises at the same time.
Childcare on domestic premises can be a great way of building your business by collaborating with other childminders.
Read how Sam built up her childminding business to childcare on domestic.