How much does a childminder earn in England?

The 2023 spring budget announced a £1,200 bonus for new childminders joining an agency like Koru Kids. We’ll share more information when details have been published.

How much does a childminder earn in England, you ask? Welcome to one of the trickiest questions in the UK. How much a childminder earns has so many variables that the answer is quite literally £0–£77,000 per year. But let’s break it down to get a clearer picture. Your childminder salary depends on:

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childminder earnings in a pile of money
Childminder earnings can vary depending on your rates, location, and hours

How much does a childminder earn in London?

Childminders in London generally report earnings around £20,000–£30,000 per year. Keep in mind this is self-employed income. That means you have to work out taxes and business expenses to get your actual earnings. 

Koru Kids childminders in London typically earn about £40,000 per year, and get help with their taxes and with reclaiming expenses as part of our support. London is a particularly high-demand area for childcare, and many childminders, particularly in inner London, are able to charge a premium. If you charge £7.50 per child per hour or more, and care for at least 3 kids, you can make a great income.

How much does a childminder earn in South England?

On average, childminders in the South West of England earn just below £20,000 per year. So if you live in Exeter, Southampton or Bristol, this is the norm. Outside of London, in Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Berkshire, Kent and Surrey, a childminder charges between £3.50–£6 per hour. That also means an annual income of £13,000–£20,000 per year, if they care for 2 children, for 40 hours per week–more if you care for 3. 

If you are a Koru Kids childminder, we expect you can charge a higher daily rate, meaning you might earn around £25,000 for that same work-week. Depending on where you are in the UK, we’ll adjust your rate to make sure you fill your places and maximise your income. Sometimes this means slightly increasing your rate, sometimes slightly decreasing. 

How much does a childminder earn in the Midlands?

In the Midlands, a childminder can start as low as £3 per child per hour. If they had only 1 child, even at 50 hours per week, that comes to £7,200 per year (with 4 weeks of unpaid holiday)–so incomes can be quite a bit lower here. With 3 children under 5 years, an independent childminder in the Midlands could expect to earn almost £22,000 per year. 

How much does a childminder earn in Northern England?

If you are in Sheffield, you can usually charge £5 per child per hour. In Nottingham, it’s also common to charge £4–£6 per child per hour. The average hourly rate per child in Lincoln, Manchester, Leeds, and Newcastle upon Tyne, starts at about £3.50, but can easily go up to £6. This makes incomes in some areas of the North comparable to the South, although less than in London.


How do ratios affect what I earn as a childminder?

The number of children in your setting affects your earnings drastically. If you have one child at £3 per hour you would have a hard time earning enough per year. But caring for 2 children would double your earnings. How many children you can have depends on a few things. What’s the size of your home? Do you have children of your own? And will you be working alone, or with an assistant? 

At Koru Kids, if you work alone for 4 days per week, and have 2 toddlers of your own, you can look after 1 other child under 5 for 40 hours and earn £13,600. Double the paying children, and of course you end up earning £27,000 for that same 40-hour week (these figures could vary depending on your rates).

How much does a childminder earn working 4 vs. 5 days a week?

The easy answer is—an extra 25%. If you work as a Koru Kids childminder in London, and care for 2 children, 4 days per week, that’s £27,000 per year. At 5 days a week, it’s £34,000. Yes, you’ll earn another £7000 per year to stay open one extra day per week.  

What are common childminder expenses?

The biggest childminder expenses are nappies and food. If you have to take children on the bus, drive them in a car, and replace things like high chairs and buggies, those costs fluctuate quite a bit. We suggest allowing for an expense of £25 per child per week. That’s not set in stone, but it does help you get a clearer picture of your final childminder salary.

Depending on the brands of nappies and baby formula you buy, and the quality of the food you serve in your setting, these expenses really vary. If you’re in London, think at least £2.50 per child per day, and you shouldn’t be running at a loss. 

Here’s one example of the different costs of every-day items:

  • ASDA 72 pack nappies, and ASDA 4 pints of whole milk = £6.15
  • Pampers 72 pack nappies, and Yeo Valley’s 4 pints of organic whole milk = £11.90

Think about costs of memberships, or childminding agency fees, and you can start getting a clear picture of how much you will earn before taxes.

What does it cost to set up a childminding business?

The costs of becoming a childminder can also vary a great deal. If you set up with Koru Kids, we cover the cost of your training, health declaration, enhanced DBS check, and also offer an interest-free loan to help you buy equipment or toys for your home nursery. We do take a 10% fee once you are earning, and not before. We help you set up your pension; include the cost of an accountant to help with your taxes; you’re covered by our public liability insurance; and we provide you with policies, advice, support, and marketing to fill your spaces. So it’s a steady, basic rate to cover all those expenses, that can otherwise fluctuate widely.  

If you start up independently, you could often be thousands of pounds out of pocket before you even start earning. Training, registration, and setting up your home can be very expensive.

Setting up your home can be expensive (image of Claire’s home nursery, Southall)

What can I claim back if I run a childminding business?

Anything you are actually using to run your business can be claimed back at the end of the tax-year. So although you can’t claim your own child’s birthday presents, you can claim for food, nappies, any costs for transporting the children in your care, and you can claim some of the electricity and gas bills. Koru Kids support fee includes an accountant, so they will help you with this—just be sure to keep the receipts. 

Can I earn more if I take on an assistant?

Quite a bit! Due to Ofsted regulations, you can only look after 3 children under 5 at one time. But with an assistant, and enough room in your home, you can let another 3 children join your home nursery. A Koru Kids childminder working 5 days per week with 3 children could earn £51,500 per year—not to be sneezed at—but with an assistant, they could turn that into £77,000. 

Is there any hidden value in becoming a childminder?

You get to spend your days in the fresh air with tiny humans. You will be a hero to parents, and second family to the children in your care. Adventures and creations are part of the package. And you’ll impact the entire future of these children’s lives. So if you love working with children and want to work in your own home, with control over your day, it’s a really great choice. 

All figures above are calculated before taxes. Any Koru Kids rates are based on the current hourly rate in London and the surrounding counties, and we have already subtracted our fee and your own average expenses, and added in your paid holiday. Other figures are before expenses, and with no paid holiday included.

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