If you’re great with children and want a flexible working schedule, then childminding could be the job for you. However, there are lots of important details you’ll need to take into consideration before you begin advertising your services. 

In this article, we’ll cover the following:

  • 6 steps to register yourself as a self-employed childminder
  • How Countingup can help childminders manage their finances

If you’d like more information about running a childminding business, find out more in our article What expenses can you claim as a childminder?

6 steps to register yourself as a self-employed childminder

Here are six steps you should take to ensure your services are fully compliant before opening for business. Some steps may vary depending on where you live in the UK, as education and care are managed differently across the four nations. We’ll provide information and links to the appropriate body wherever you live to make sure you’re correctly registered and compliant from the start.

  1. Make sure it’s right for you

Before you begin planning your new business, it’s vital to ensure that it’s going to work for you. You may want to consider some of the following points:

  • Physical fitness: It’s no secret that children can be a handful at times. Chances are, you’ll be doing a lot of running around, which can be physically demanding.
  • Your family: Are they supportive of your decision? 
  • Your home: Are you willing to care for children in your own home, and are you allowed to?
  • Travel: If you need, or would prefer to travel to clients, how large of a region would you like to operate in? Can you travel between different clients’ homes easily, or will you need to focus on a smaller, more local area?
  • The local market: Are childminders needed in your area? 
  1. Obtain the necessary qualifications

The training you need to complete largely depends on the ages of the children you’re planning to look after. In general, carers for children up to five years old will need to be familiar with early years development, specifically. However, regardless of age, it’s likely that you’ll also need to be qualified or familiar with things like first aid, food safety and safeguarding from abuse. 

Find out about the specific qualifications you need in England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

  1. Pass criminal and health checks

Anyone who will be associated with your business (including anyone in your household over the age of 16) must pass criminal background checks. These can either be called a Disclosure or PVG check. 

These checks are performed by different organisations depending on where you live in the UK. If you’re looking to become a childminder in England or Wales, you need to have a DBS check before registering as a childminder. However, if you’re in Scotland or Northern Ireland, these checks are completed once you register as a childminder.

Regardless of when the background checks are completed as part of your local area’s process, keeping a personal history free of criminal activity is essential.

  1. Register as a childminder and preparing for your visit

At some point of becoming a qualified childminder, you’ll be visited by the licensing authority for your area up to 3 times (depending on where you live in the UK). This may be called a ‘Briefing Information Session’ for visits earlier in your registration process or ‘Assessment Visits’. 

They’ll conduct an inspection of your home and ask questions about your care abilities and motivations for becoming a childminder. They may also be interested in the finances you have ready to build and support your new childminding business. 

Register as a childminder in your local area using the links below:

  1. Get insurance

Before you begin looking after the children, you need to take out a Public Liability insurance policy. Not only is this a legal requirement, but it will also give you peace of mind that you’re covered against any potential issues that may arise. 

You may also want to consider:

  • Home and buildings insurance: It may be worth checking if your existing policy covers you for accidental damage caused by the children or their families. If not, you may need to upgrade or renew your coverage.
  • Motor insurance: If you’re transporting the children in your vehicle, you will need to be adequately insured and must have Business Class 1 insurance added to your policy.
  1. Register your business

Like any self-employed individual, you’ll need to register for Self Assessment with HMRC and become a sole trader. This means you’re receiving income by running a new business and will be responsible for paying the correct amount of tax and National Insurance from your profits. Find out more in our article What is a sole trader?

In addition to this, you may need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if you’re planning on recording personal information electronically. This might include client details of families such as names, dates of birth, allergy information, specific needs, etc.

How Countingup can help childminders manage their finances

Children keep you busy enough, so why add time-consuming and stressful financial admin on top? That’s where Countingup can help.

With the Countingup business current account and accounting app, you can get insights into your profit and loss, automated bookkeeping and running tax estimates, letting you know how much you need to set aside, and more. The simple app helps you keep organised when it comes to your finances, and enables you to spend more time growing your business. Find out more here and sign up for free today.