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Pregnancy Clinic

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Finding out about local childminders

A childminders, unlike a nanny, often cares for more than one child at a time, usually in her own home rather than at the home of the children she looks after. With a nanny you can be expected to pay employers tax and national insurance, but with a childminder you are usually hiring services for which she, as a self-employed person, must pay tax and NI herself.

Childminders – key points

•  A childminder usually looks after children under the age of 12.

•  A nanny usually comes to your home and bases the care of your child there, but with a childminder usually you will take your child and collect your child from her, even if some activities might take place at playgroups and other locations outside her home.

•  A childminder can look after up to six children under 8 years of age at any one time, but no more than three of those children can be younger than 5.

•  Childminders tend to work weekdays from 8am to 6pm. If you are looking for different days or hours then this might be negotiated between you and the childminder.

•  A childminder usually costs much less than a nanny. However, as with a nursery, the fee will be per child so it will usually double when a sibling arrives, whereas a nanny’s fee only tends to go up a small amount per week to cover a second child.

•  A childminder must be a registered childminder, fully qualified. Her home as her place of work is inspected to ensure it meets certain safety standards for child care.

•  As with a nursery or a nanny, you will want to go at first with your instincts, but then spend time getting to know her before you confirm employment. Even the best qualified person may just not be right for you or your child purely because of a personality clash or your particular needs.

For detailed information on what training your childminder should have completed and what other things you should consider, visit the website for the National Childminding Association (NCMA).


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