Childminding is a seriously misunderstood career - so if it’s something you want to know more about, we’re here to answer all those big questions, from home suitability to the qualifications you need to get started…
At tiney, we pride ourselves on our diverse community of childminders and we truly believe children need role models from all walks of life to unlock their potential.
That’s why we’re determined to help potentially fantastic childminders overcome hurdles - many of which are actually misconceptions about the profession - and get their tiney homes up and running so they can quickly start building a flexible career while changing children’s lives.
If childminding is a career you’re considering, we know you’ll have a lot of questions. Is your home big enough? Do you need childcare qualifications? When it comes to understanding the ins and outs of childminding, there can be a lot to get your head around - but that’s where we come in…
We're here to debunk eight of the most common myths holding people back from opening tiney homes. We hope that by the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of what childminding is all about - and might even feel more confident that it’s the right choice for you!
"My house isn't big enough - and I don't even have a garden"
This is such a common concern - but, in reality, often isn’t a problem at all. We have successful tiney homes operating from a wide range of homes, from one bedroom flats in urban tower blocks to sprawling homes in the suburbs and countryside - and everything in between! Why not browse some of our tiney profiles here to have a look around at some of our thriving settings?
The only types of homes we can’t accept are studios or shared accommodation, due to regulations around sleeping areas.
If you don’t have any outside space - which, let’s face it, isn’t at all unusual, particularly in cities - you just need to demonstrate that you’ll make use of local parks and other amenities to give children plenty of fresh air.
Still unsure? When you start your journey to become a tiney childminder, our community team can help you plan how your space can be optimised, and this is something you’ll also be guided on during your registration visit.
It’s also possible to operate part of the time from another setting, such as a community space - and currently tiney are working with the government to advise on how the sector could be opened up to more potentially fantastic early years educators if some of the current rules around this were reviewed.
"I don't own my home"
This is something many potential childminders ask about early on - or worse still, they don’t even begin the process of making enquiries about childminding because they’re assuming the answer would be a big fat no.
You CAN be a childminder in rented property (including council housing), as long as you have written permission from your landlord or the council who own the property. Over 60% of our childminders live in rented properties so it is common to be granted permission.
If you’re having problems getting permission, this is something our team can support with too. Over the years, we’ve helped turn around the decisions of many a sceptical landlord!
"I don't have the right experience to become a childminder"
Would it surprise you to hear that over 50% of tiney childminders have no previous childcare or teaching experience? We have successful tiney childminders from all sorts of backgrounds, from hospitality to floristry, media, aviation and retail to name just a few - and we love hearing these stories!
Truly, everyone has relevant experience that can make their tiney home uniquely wonderful, which is why we don’t look for prior experience at tiney; we care far more that you share our passion and values.
We’ll also give you a boost by helping you find your transferable skills - from retail experience making you a great people person (ideal for winning families over!) to admin skills empowering you to nail the paperwork side of running your own biz.
Crucially, we provide full training based on the EYFS framework, with 1:1 support throughout up until registration. However, for those who do have previous childcare experience, we also offer an accelerated registration path, so you could be running a thriving tiney home even faster than you think.
"The paperwork sounds overwhelming!”
Many potentially great childminders worry that they will be held back by things like policies, insurance, contracts and all the general paperwork that can go with territory of being self-employed. We know it can feel seriously intimidating - especially if, like the majority of our childminders, you’ve never run your own business before.
But don’t panic, this is no longer the case. With tiney, you don’t need to worry about any of the boring bits; we have a highly experienced (and very friendly!) team who will work with you to manage contracts, process payments, provide policy and risk assessment templates and sort your insurance and first aid, along with providing continuous professional development.
Our state of the art app does a lot of the heavy lifting too. And we are always just a phone call or instant message away for any support you need, from SEN to tax returns to marketing.
"Childminding isn't well paid enough"
If you want to earn decent money with childminding, you can. For example, Sam Beech has recently doubled her income to £5,800 a month after hiring her husband as her assistant. Read the full article here.
Even without an assistant, our childminders can earn up to £40,000 a year, so you can certainly create a solid income for yourself, in line with a career in teaching (and often double the salary you might get in other childcare settings), yet with the flexibility of working from home and choosing your own hours.
Our team will work with you to help set the right rates for your setting and area.
"The whole process to become a childminder takes too long"
At tiney, we’ve supported childminders to get registered in as little as four weeks! You can train at your own pace via our tiney app, so you can complete the training as quickly as you like.
We also offer in-person training weeks in various locations across England so you can complete an intensive five day training course, in which time you'll gain the qualifications to become a successful childminder.
On the flipside, if you want to train at a slower pace, we can work with you to achieve this too. We know that many potential childminders have a lot on their plates - from caring responsibilities to busy existing jobs - so we’ll work with you to get you up and running in the way that best suits your lifestyle.
"I have my own children so can't care for others at the same time"
Wrong! Ofsted regulations say you can care for up to six children under the age of 8 at any one time and these ratios are currently being reviewed. Three of these children can be under the age of 5, plus one can be under the age of 1. So, as long as your child/ children are factored into this structure, you're golden!
Plus, if you hire an assistant you can double the number of children you can look after at the same time and it gives you much more flexibility and breathing space when it comes to things like juggling school runs around mealtimes and naps.
In fact, finding instant playmates for their own kids is often something that attracts parents to the profession. Those bonds often form faster and thicker in home-based childcare settings. It’s a huge part of the joy of childminding!
"Childminding sounds really lonely"
Many of our most successful tiney childminders work in pairs, with a partner, friend or family member. Many also choose to take on assistants to increase their capacity. Even for those who do choose to work on their own, being part of tiney means you have a local community support circle that regularly meets up in person and supports each other virtually. We also run regular webinars and book clubs and come together twice a year for inset days.
You won’t be in it alone, you’ll be part of a whole village of 300+ childminders all rooting for each other.
To find out more, book a call in with one of our helpful advisors today by clicking here.