How to start a home-based childcare business: a step-by-step guide

With the end of the coronavirus pandemic firmly in sight and the demand for childcare services growing across the country, now could be the perfect time to start your own business as a registered childminder. If you love being around children and are passionate about helping the next generation reach their full potential, then a career in childcare could be the one for you.

It might be easier than you think to start your own home-based childcare business. With the right training and support, you can be up and running in as little as three months. If you’re interested, read on to find out more.

Benefits of starting a home-based childcare business

There has been a national decline in the number of childcare providers over the past five years. It is a trend the Government is worried about because parents need childcare to work. Paying for childcare is a big  economic factor and with some childcare provisions closing in the past two years, it’s even a bigger priority in some locations. So, if you have a passion for helping children and have been thinking about a career in childcare, there’s never been a better time to take the plunge.

Perhaps the biggest tangible benefit is the potential financial rewards. You don’t need a lot of start-up capital to establish a home-based childcare business, making it an extremely viable venture. With average salaries ranging between £25,000–£35,000 per year, it’s an extremely rewarding way to achieve a better work-life balance and earn a living while helping children grow, develop and thrive.

Speaking of work-life balance, because you’ll be working from home, it means you won’t need to spend hours every week commuting to and from work or being stuck in an office somewhere. If you have children, you get to spend time with them as they grow up, while running your business and taking care of other people’s youngsters.

You get to be your own boss, so you can choose the days and hours you work to suit you and your lifestyle. You can also start up quickly. If you work with @Home Childcare, we can provide you with complete step-by-step support and training to help you set up your childcare business within two to three months, along with ongoing mentoring to help it grow. Imagine that – a rich and rewarding new career with flexibility and freedom within just three months. 

Not bad, right?

Diverse children enjoying playing with toys

Steps to start a home-based childcare business

If you want to start a home-based childcare business, you must register with either Ofsted, or an Ofsted accredited childminder agency. You need to register if you get paid to look after children under eight years old in your own home for more than two hours a day. As an Ofsted-registered childminder agency, we inspect and register you on behalf of Ofsted. However, there’s more to launching your business than simply registering. Here are the other steps you need to take to get up and running:

Childminder training

To become a registered childminder, you’ll need to complete a pre-registration training course, which will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to start and run a home-based childcare business. At @Home Childcare, we provide funded step-by-step support and training to help you become a registered childminder early educator and set up your new childcare business in two to three months. We can also help you raise your profile and find parents looking for childcare in your area. Our in-depth training covers everything you need to know about starting and running a successful childcare business, including:

  • Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) training
  • Legislation and regulation
  • Safeguarding and child protection
  • Health and safety
  • Paediatric first aid and food hygiene
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Children’s learning and development
  • Observation and play
  • Leading and managing an early years’ setting
  • Financial and taxation requirements
  • Creating a business plan specifically for childminding
  • Registration requirements

To find out more, book onto our next FREE introductory webinar, where you can find out what it takes and get all the information you need to embark on this exciting and rewarding new career path.

DBS and health checks

If you’re planning to use your home to run your childcare business, you and any other adults (aged 16+) who live with you need an enhanced criminal record check from the Disclosure and Barring Service. You can apply on Ofsted’s secure DBS Application Portal.

If you’re applying to the Early Years Register, you’ll also need to complete a health declaration form and get your GP to sign it.

Getting inspected

Once you have registered, you’ll need to undergo an inspection either by Ofsted (which can take up to 30 months after registering) or by an accredited childminder agency, like @Home Childcare (which can be done within two to three months). This is to ensure your home is safe and suitable, that you’ve done the relevant risk assessments, and provide childcare to the required standards.

Ongoing Ofsted inspections should happen at least once every six years. However, at @Home Childcare, as well as providing ongoing support and training, we inspect all our registered childminders annually to ensure their service provision is of the highest possible quality.

Complete the legal paperwork

Once you’ve passed your inspection, you’re almost ready to launch your business. However, the final step is to ensure you’ve completed the correct paperwork to meet your legal responsibilities. This includes registering as self-employed with HMRC to ensure you pay the correct Income Tax and National Insurance. Remember, it’s your legal responsibility to keep accurate financial records and file your self-assessment each year, so make sure you receive professional advice if you’re unsure of what you need to do here.

You’ll also need to get the right insurance in place to protect yourself and your business before you start childminding. This includes sufficient public liability insurance, as well as ensuring your home and contents – and even your car insurance – covers you for what you need. And if you’re processing personal data electronically, either of your customers or staff, you’ll need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office and adhere to GDPR and the Data Protection Act.

Start your business

While the above steps will help you on your way to starting a new career as a home-based childminder early educator, there are many more things to consider. After all, you’ll need to run it as a professional business, which comes with everything that entails. However, it’s also a career with freedom and flexibility, so you can fit your job around your lifestyle and build the business your way. At @Home Childcare, we’ve helped hundreds of people register as self-employed childminders and get their childcare journey off to the best possible start. To find out how we can help you do the same, get in touch today.    

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