How do I become self employed? If you’re wondering this, the idea of going it alone might feel stressful and daunting. Even if you have a clear idea of what you want to do, you might not know how to get there. If you want to work for yourself from home–and you like the idea of working with kids–becoming a childminder is a wonderful option you might not have thought of. 

There’s a huge to-do list to go through before starting any business. But that list gets much shorter if you decide to become a self-employed childminder with Koru Kids. Here’s why.

Want to become a self employed childminder?

Childminder pushing a happy child on the swing
Working with kids as a childminder is the best way to become self employed

How do I become self employed as a childminder, without the huge costs?

You’ll usually need money in some form before you become self employed. Whether you need to buy product or materials, or simply put aside savings to live off while you get started, working for yourself can be expensive at first.

The cost of setting up a childminding business usually depends on where you live, and what you already have. Is your home suitable for children? Do you have the training required? Have you done the health declaration and DBS check? It can cost around £1,300 to go from no qualifications to being fully trained and registered. Most people need money in some form before they become self employed in any industry. Whether you need to buy product or materials, or simply put aside savings to live off while you get started, working for yourself can be expensive at first. Koru Kids can help you start your childminding business with next to no capital.

Free training and start-up loans

If you decide to become a self employed childminder with Koru Kids, you’ll be given free, in-depth training, and we cover the cost of your DBS and background checks. We don’t charge for your registration or your post-registration training, courses that would otherwise amount to thousands of pounds. We even offer to reimburse your health declaration, after your background checks with us are completed. All you’ll need to get started is a £50 refundable deposit for training. This is then returned to you along with your first earnings. 

Another start-up cost many childminders struggle with is all the equipment needed to make your home safe. This, and the extra cots, toys and furniture, can easily amount to hundreds of pounds. The expense can be a huge obstacle to anyone that dreams of opening a home nursery in their own house. So, to help further with the start-up costs, Koru Kids offer a £500 interest-free loan to buy the equipment you need to get up and running. We also provide a free home consultation and set up service to get your home ready to welcome kids.

Ongoing costs

Most businesses have regular expenses, but the thought of managing everything yourself can be another source of stress. At Koru Kids, we offer our childminders help with ongoing training, administration, policies, insurance, taxes, marketing, managing parents, and community support. In return, we’ll take 10% of your rates once you start earning, but not before. We only make money when you do. 

How do I get the right qualifications?

Not every new business requires you to upskill to get started, but when you become a childminder a large chunk of the initial cost is training. We have written a detailed article on what childminder courses you need to complete. At a minimum, you will have to do a first aid course, safeguarding training, and EYFS training. 

In-depth training at no cost to you

These are just the basics for us. As part of the free training Koru Kids provide, you will also get training in running your business and setting up your home. We help you prepare for the registration visit. And cover food hygiene, safe sleep, outdoor-based learning, further EYFS and SEND training.

childminder helping a child play with blocks
Koru Kids offers childminders the right training to work with kids

Do I need background checks to start a business as a childminder?

Yes–you can’t register without them. You will need a health declaration, a DBS check, and reference checks, local authority checks, a ‘known to Ofsted’ check, ‘right to work’ check, and identity check. Sounds like a lot, right? We have written an article about the background checks you will need as a childminder. The article covers why you need them, and what they can cost. 

Checks included in our support

If you decide to become self-employed as a childminder with Koru Kids, don’t worry—we cover the costs of your initial DBS checks, and we can help by reimbursing your health declaration cost when you have completed your Koru Kids’ background checks.

How do I become self employed as a childminder with Ofsted?

If you start your own small business as a childminder, you will need to register with either Ofsted or an Ofsted-registered childminding agency (like Koru Kids). Before you register with Ofsted you need to complete the training and checks we outlined above. And prepare your home and business plan and brush up on food hygiene and safe sleep training, among other things.

You would have to complete all your childminder training and preparations before you even apply to register with Ofsted. After your application, it takes about 12 weeks before Ofsted makes their registration visit. In those same 12 weeks, you could go from hello to a registered childminder with Koru Kids.

Get registered fast without Ofsted inspectors

If you register to be a self-employed childminder with Koru Kids, you get the same benefits of registering with Ofsted without the hassle of doing it all by yourself. You can also get going faster—from saying ‘hello’ to a fully trained and qualified childminder in 12 weeks or less.

Getting your self employed childminder business up and running

So, you’ve decided to start a childminding business and you’ve done your training and registration. Now what? It’s time to get to work!

Finding families

The first thing you need to do is find families for your new home nursery. If you start your own business you will have to advertise yourself. You might want to use a local social media group. Or, you could print and drop off flyers (this can be costly), or rely on word of mouth. Whatever you do, it’ll take some work to get your business off the ground.

Experienced marketing support, and parent waitlists

Koru Kids have years of experience pairing families and childcarers–we use clever technology to match them perfectly. We already have hundreds of families on the waitlist for our childminding service, so we can help you fill those spaces once your home nursery is ready for parent tours. That means less time and money on marketing, and more time working with the kids.

Choosing the right business insurance

If you are going to run a business from your home, and other people will come into your house that don’t live with you, you need insurance. Costs vary widely depending on your situation and setting. Business insurance for a small business like childminding can range from £100–£1000+ per year. You will need to read through the paperwork carefully to make sure it’s the right business insurance to run a home nursery in your own house. 

Already covered

The public liability insurance you are covered by when working with Koru Kids allows you to keep on being an awesome childminder without worrying. Another benefit of not going it alone!

Business taxes, payments and invoicing

When you register your business, you may have to set up a business bank account and create an invoice template. Include dates and payment terms in your policies. This way, parents understand how it all works before they receive their first invoice. Include all your payment information, and be clear about your fees and rates. Do some research to see what childminders usually charge in your area. Once you have a business bank account and a UTR, you can also set up a way to accept Tax-free childcare as a childminder, so more families can afford your services. If you are self-employed you will be a sole trader and, that means doing your own taxes.

Sorted

If you choose Koru Kids, we deal with all the invoicing. We take care of payments, and Tax-Free childcare arrangements, to save you the time and hassle. We also provide an accountant for any childminders who decide to run their business through us, so all you have to do is keep receipts and invoices on file. Find out how much you could earn before taxes here.

childminder taxes and pensions can be expensive to work out
Help with the financial side of running a business is really valuable

Pensions and holidays

When you are self-employed, you are responsible for sorting out your own pensions and holiday pay. Make sure you find a good pension provider that will care for your money and give you a good return—then sit down and figure out how much of your income you want to set aside for your retirement. You could open a savings account, and put aside money to take a holiday when you want.

Paid holidays, and go-to pension provider

Koru Kids account for 4 weeks of paid holiday for our childminders. We also help to set up their pensions through our partner, Penfold. That’s one less thing to worry about, giving you more time to spend on providing quality childcare for little humans.

Growing your business

Childminders often work alone, but they don’t have to. Once you are self-employed you can decide to expand your business by hiring assistants. You would need to create a job ad and interview potential candidates to find someone that meets your own standards for childcare. Previous childcare experience is great, but focus on someone that shows real passion for working with children. 

It will be your responsibility to make sure they are DBS checked. You also have to make sure they are healthy, and have safeguarding and first aid training just like you. Keep in mind any assistants need to be non-smoking just like you. They should also speak English at a level that helps small children develop their language skills. Remember right-to-work checks, appropriate contracts, and updating your insurance.

Qualified assistants that you choose

It’s a lot to think about, so we make it as easy as possible for our childminders to expand. We locate and vet assistants for you, then you interview them and decide who you would like to work with. We will do all the necessary checks and training, so you end up with a fully trained and qualified assistant. You won’t need to employ them directly (they will be self-employed too), but you will get to manage them in line with your policies and schedules. It’s a great way to share responsibility and grow your home nursery from 3 to 6 children. 

Further education and professional development

It’s really important to us that childminders don’t feel stuck in a rut. That’s why we have included things like seasonal activity cards, community support, feedback, and webinars in our Facebook group for Koru Kids childminders. We also take a real deep-dive into childhood development and early education in our Koru Ethos

We keep you up-to-date with annual refreshers in safeguarding and first aid. And we keep an eye on recent EYFS standards, and any new government guidelines. When you want to learn more and grow in your role, we are here to listen to your suggestions. There’s plenty of extra support and training on offer when you need it.

More questions?

Starting your own childminding business is a great way to become self employed, doing something that makes a difference. If you want to know more, visit our help centre or our site. And if you choose to apply, we look forward to helping you become a childminder! It’s the world’s happiest self employed job.

Want to become a self employed childminder?