Working in partnership
Working in partnership with another local setting, such as a nursery or pre-school, can be a way of expanding what you offer. It also helps parents find consistency in their childcare arrangements.
Childminders are in a great position to be able to offer what is known as 'wraparound' care in a variety of ways, but these are the main options:
- Offer an ‘in loco parentis’ service, whereby parents pay you a retainer to keep their child’s place open while they are at nursery or pre-school, and you are on-hand in case of an emergency or they need picking up early for any reason. Remember that in this instance, the child you're caring for will take up one of your places, even if they're not physically present with you.
- See if there is demand for single session care in your area. With the rise of flexible working and working from home, some parents may only want a morning or an afternoon session. So for example, they could drop their child at 9:10, when you return from the nursery run, and pick them up at 12:30, before you need to collect from nursery.
New regulations mean that childminders and those offering childcare on domestic premises may provide care on non-domestic premises for up to 50% of the time without requiring extra registration.
For example, you could childmind in your home for morning sessions, then offer care in a church or school hall in the afternoon. 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.
This can be a way of expanding your business if you’re short on space, and if you have another member of staff who is a registered childminder, the two of you could work on separate premises (provided ratios are met).
Find out more about 50/50 delivery and how to apply.
Childcare on Domestic Premises
If you’re a childminder with increased demand, you may want to consider registering as childcare on domestic premises. In many ways, it is not very different from working as a childminder, but the key factors to consider are:
- You can have four or more staff members working together, and can therefore care for more children, but you may need to seek planning permission from your Local Authority.
- You will be reinspected by Ofsted, who will consider whether you have sufficient space to accommodate more children and whether you are set up to expand your business in this way.
- Half of your total staff members will need a minimum of a Level 2 qualification.
- You will need to provide a space away from children where your staff can take breaks.
Read more about childcare on domestic premises