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 centers. 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.
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 25 must also be paid the living wage. The living wage ensures everyone aged 25 and over receives at least £7.20 an hour (from April 2016) with the figure rising to £9 by 2020.
It will effectively replace the existing minimum wage for everyone aged 25 and above.
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, you must also hold Employer’s Liability Insurance. If you hold PACEY public liability insurance, underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc, you already have employer’s liability insurance. You'll just need to call us on 0300 003 0005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to activate this element and obtain a certificate.
Being a childminding assistant is a great way of getting some initial experience of working in a childminding setting. Discover more about becoming a childminder here.
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. This will also help them meet their professional standards requirements if they're PACEY members.
Contract and job description
PACEY's Childminding Assistant Contracts are a useful template contract to help set out the arrangement between the main childminder and the assistant.
If you're a PACEY member and have bought PACEY's Childminding Assistant contracts, you're able to download a sample job description to help you draw up your assistant's job details and contract.
PACEY Childminding Assistant Contracts are £8.50 for PACEY members and £14.99 for non-members - buy yours now.