It’s no secret that being a mobile military family can make it difficult for spouses and partners to maintain a career. In AFF’s 2018 research, conducted with The University of Warwick, you told us that access to childcare was top of your list when it came to gaining employment. So, could it be possible that each problem holds the solution to the other? Well, perhaps…
As a childminder, you work for yourself in your own home and provide a childcare service to other working parents in your location. It could be a win-win.
If you’re just starting out, be mindful that childminding is heavily regulated, and you do need to follow certain rules to ensure that you’re legally compliant. Requirements and regulatory bodies vary depending upon where you’re living, so do check what’s required for your specific location, either in the UK or overseas.
Here’s our top ten of what you’ll need when you set-up:
1. Completion of a home-based childcare course approved by your local council or regulatory body, which covers the early years education framework for your location
2. Registration with the relevant regulatory body: OFSTED in England; the Care Inspectorate in Scotland; the Care and Social Services Inspectorate in Wales (CSSIW) and the Health and Social Care Trust (HSCT) in Northern Ireland. To childmind overseas, bear in mind that each country has its own regulatory body, so you’ll need to find out who you need to register with in your location
3. Child protection training
4. Food safety and hygiene training
5. Paediatric first aid course
6. Criminal record checks for you and any other adult living at your address
7. Health check from your GP
8. Public liability insurance
9. Business use insurance on any vehicle used to transport children
10. If you live in a quarter, you’ll need to secure permission from the local commander and Amey to operate a business from that address.
Need a childminder?
If you’re looking for a childminder, seek recommendations from your local Facebook groups and take a look at childmindinguk.com to find out what you should expect.
Find out more
The gov.uk website has guides to becoming a childminder in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, information on the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and you can also find out who your local authority is.
Contact AFF’s employment & training specialist, Jenna Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Military spouse Jasmin has worked in schools and nurseries for ten years. Following a posting from Germany to the UK, she found she had no support to help with childcare so that she could work. After doing lots of research, she decided that childminding was a good an option.
“It fits well with military life,” explains Jasmin, “not only can I take my business with me if we’re posted, but it’s flexible. Unlike a nursery, I provide home-from-home childcare and can adapt beyond my usual opening hours – military life can be so unpredictable, so it’s good to be able to support others.”
“It fits well with military life… I only wish I had started sooner.”
During the school holidays, Jasmin plans her working days to include her own children, so she doesn’t have the additional cost of holiday childcare. She says: “I only have small groups, so I can take them on day trips – my own children and my minded ones have lots of fun together.”
Despite being qualified in childcare, Jasmin still needed to complete a childminder course, before applying for OFSTED registration, a DBS check, a health declaration and completing both paediatric first aid and safeguarding courses. However, she feels it was well worth it: “It took about three months to get set up, but I absolutely love my job. It allows me to continue working and means I can be there for my own children, which is so important when their father is away so often with the army. I can help other parents to support their child’s development and help other army spouses with getting back into work. I only wish I had started childminding sooner!