Working with other childminders
Childminding can be a solitary occupation, where for long periods of the day you're the only adult in the house. Many childminders make sure that they get out and meet with other childcare professionals during the day, at playgroups, drop-ins, and visits to libraries and children's centres. This has a great benefit for the children too, as they meet and mix with other children of different ages.
As your childminding business grows, you might decide to take on an assistant to help you offer care to more children. Childminding assistants can also offer extra care for children with additional needs.
In England, if the assistant has an appropriate paediatric first aid certificate, they can have sole care of the children, with parents' written permission, for up to two hours. This is particularly useful where children attend different schools or nurseries, making the drop-offs and collections more manageable.
In Wales, there are specific requirements for childminding assistants outlined within Annex A of the National Minimum Standards for regulated childcare, including training that should be completed before commencing in the role. Read more about the requirements that childminder assitants must adhere to here.
If you're planning to work with an assistant, you'll need to register with HMRC as an employer. This is because any assistants must be on your payroll. There's advice and guidance on HMRC website or you can contact them Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm on 0300 123 1083.
Any assistants you employ over the age of 23 must also be paid the living wage. Read more about employing a childminding assistant in MyPACEY.
If you become an employer you should also check your responsibity for pensions auto-enrollment. Login to MyPACEY to read more about pensions.
As an employer by law you must also hold Employer’s Liability Insurance. PACEY Practitioner Insurance is automatically included in your PACEY membership and provides Public Liability and Employer’s Liability cover, arranged by Morton Michel and underwritten by Covea Insurance PLC.
Policies and procedures
Any childminding assistants working with you need to be fully aware of the policies and procedures in your childminding setting and how they are implemented. They should be encouraged to undertake training to keep up to date.
Contract and job description
PACEY's Childminding Assistant Contracts are a useful template contract to help set out the arrangement between the childminder (employer) and the assistant (employee).
PACEY members can download a sample job description to help you draw up your assistant's job details and contract.
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.
Head over to Business Smart for all the information you need about Childcare on 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. Email us at email@example.com and we can provide details of our insurance partner.
You'll find a collection of ideas, inspiration and tools to help new and existing childcare practitioners develop and maintain a sustainable business. From employing assistants, to working in partnership, you'll find everything you need to grow your business.
PACEY Practitioner Policy is arranged and administered by Morton Michel Limited and underwritten by Covea Insurance plc.