Why a recession is a good time to start a childminding business?

So, it’s official! We are currently in the deepest recession since records began. We all knew the global Coronavirus pandemic would inevitably lead to an economic downturn. Tough times are ahead with autumn and winter on the way, and more local lockdowns especially if a second wave of Covid-19 is coming. However,  it isn’t all bad. As Einstein said, “in the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.” 

During the lockdown, people forced to stay at home have had more time to reflect on how they want to live our lives, including career options. So, for some the pandemic, presents an opportunity to set up a business doing something you love!  And, if you love being with young children, the ideal business is starting an early education business at home.  

@Home Childcare has seen a significant increase in enquiries from people wishing to set up an early education business from home. Why? Because for some:

  • It’s their dream career combining their love of children, with having the freedom of working for themselves and being their own boss.  
  • It fits perfectly with caring your own children at home, whilst earning an income for the care of other people’s children too.   
  • Redundancies or future redundancies are allowing people to think about their future career and happiness.  

Did you notice, I’ve used the term early education not childminding? 

Childminding is early education. Gone are the days where it was seen as glorified babysitting. Childminders are equal to nurseries and nursery schools because they all ‘teach’ the same early years curriculum to help young children meet their development and early learning milestones. We are seeing a more diverse range of people interested in setting up home-based childcare venture for themselves. From teachers/teaching assistants, retail workers, social workers, nurses, nursery professionals, elderly care workers, as well as parents and grandparents. They are all attracted to the prospect of setting up a micro business at home that allows them to do what they love, spending quality time with children.  

So, why is an economic recession a good time to set up a childminding business?

  1. Firstly, there is a great demand for childcare when there is a recession. The government has prioritised employment to get the economy moving again, and obviously many workers who are parents need childcare to enable them to work.  Some parents will increase their hours to bring more money into the household. Without childcare the economy cannot repair itself so childcare is essential. However, it does need to be high quality childcare. Parents will want to know their child will thrive in a caring early education environment, especially if they have to work more hours.
  2. If you set up an early education business when times are tough, you are forced to start as you mean to go on, even if you have to make sacrifices to make your business successful. If you can start and operate a business in lean times, you are more likely to be reap the rewards when the economy picks up and there is more money around.  
  3. If you can run a childminding business under Covid conditions, you are future proofing your business to ensure its survival and longevity. Good habits such as being strict with your opening and closing times, your fee payment policy and making sure parents are fully aware of your contractual terms especially if there is another lockdown, are all good habits that will stand you in good stead and it simply makes good business sense.  
  4. Setting up when there is an economic downturn encourages you to think out of the box and be innovative. For example, offering flexible hours to key worker parents who might need an extra half hour of childcare at the start or end of the day to fit in with their working hours or, if you rather not have to deal with parents who don’t pay, you can use a fee collection service to do the work for you.  
  5. However, just because it is hard times, it doesn’t mean who won’t make hardly any money. Childminding is a lucrative business. You can earn between £25k – £35k, sometimes even more if you are a large setting. It all depends on your capacity and how many childcare places ‘sell’ to parents.  
  6. Although you will be starting your childcare business in unprecedented times, there is still support out there. Our Ofsted registered community is an example of the support available. If you join our Ofsted registered community to register as a childminder, we give you pre-registration training to set up your business, and once registered, there is business support such as online marketing to find parents, funded childcare places to make childcare more affordable, as well as support with understanding the early years curriculum and continuous professional training to keep your knowledge and skills updated. 
  7. And it doesn’t have to be costly. Depending on your location, our become a childminder start-up training and support is free of charge, whether you are on benefits or not. It includes pre-registration training, paediatric first aid, food safety, free insurance and lots more. Once registered, the support simply continues! You even get a personal mentor whose job to support you to become a Good or Outstanding early educator.  

For anyone thinking of setting up a childminding business, you do need to make an informed decision so make sure you do your research first and consider long and hard whether self-employment is right for you and if you want to be work from home. If it’s simply a job in a childcare sector you want, there are lots of other early years jobs where you can be employed, rather than being responsible for your own home-based business  

Once you have made the decision to take the plunge and start up an early education business at home, move quickly as the funding for free training won’t be around for ever. The start to finish registration process takes around 2 – 3 months, so you know your business will be up and running in good time for you to start earning but you need to be quick!  


Yvette Oliver-Mighten  

@Home Childcare  

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