When you are new to childminding, all of the paperwork and things you need to do can feel overwhelming. Some childminders get help at every stage through their councils. Others get next to no help at all and this is very much a postcode lottery. Even if you get all the paperwork in place, you still need to get parents through the door in order to make money. Here are 9 tips to help you get started:

1) Sign up for our free weekly Childminding Best Practice Newsletters

Every week I send out short email newsletters containing childminding tips and advice, legislation and childminding related news, free downloadable craft activities and templates, professional development ideas, news on new products and special offers, competitions and more! These newsletters are completely free so are a good way to start to get a feel for things when you are first setting out.

To subscribe to our newsletters follow the link below to our sign up page I will add you to the mailing list.

2) Book mark our ‘Official Document Links’ page

It can be very confusing to work out which official documents you should be using, especially when you are new to childminding. This page has links to all the documents you need, such as the Ofsted Parents Poster which you must display and all the current Safeguarding Documents you must know about.

3) Like and follow our Facebook page

We are on Facebook! Like and follow us at Kids To Go

4) Join the Childminding Best Practice Club

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Start out as you mean to go on by joining the Childminding Best Practice Club. Every month you will receive a downloadable ‘toolkit’ with loads of helpful content, including: themed planning ideas, crafts and templates, ideas to try with children under two years old, inspection tips and a monthly self-evaluation question, news, safety tips, colouring sheet, lots of quick and easy professional development ideas and more. You will also receive a certificate to display in your setting, helping you show parents your dedication to quality and a downloadable CPD log book to record your professional development. Members are also entitled to a 25% discount on lots of other Kids To Go products. Membership is only £30 a year so is fantastic value.

5) Sign up for your local Safeguarding Children’s board email newsletters.

6) Think sensibly about your childminding fees.

Do not price yourself so low that you end up not earning enough and feeling resentful but do not price yourself out of the local market. This articles has some more useful tips.

If you pay peanuts you get monkeys (for childminders) Marketing advice and getting new business advice for childminders including advice about setting sensible hourly rates.

7) Make sure that you are following the correct food preparation guidelines and legislation

A useful checklist for when you are setting up.

8) Start advertising your places

There are lots of ways that you can spread the word about your new business. You can set up a Facebook page or a website (or both!) print leaflets and put up posters or hand out business cards. Other local childminders may be able to refer people to you so it is worth joining any local childminding groups to get to know people.

Some common sense business advice for childminders about how to sell yourself to parents.

You may also decide that paying to be registered on a Childminding Directory site is the way forward. This article has some good tips on what to avoid doing when using these sites.

10 Mistakes to Avoid on Childminding Directory Sites

Most councils and many private companies offer websites where you can list details about your childminding business to help you to fill your childminding vacancies. Getting these listings right will help parents to find you and choose your service over the competition.

9) Don’t take on too much at once.

It takes a while to get to grips with any new role and childminding is no different.

How to burn out at childminding…. in 10 easy steps. Some tongue in cheek advice for all childminders on balancing childminding with life without burning out.

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Products that can help you with your childminding business

Ultimate Childminding Checklist

The Ultimate Childminding Checklist is 3 checklists in 1: statutory requirements, countdown to your inspection, and outstanding workbook. It is useful whether you are new to childminding, trying to get organised before your inspection, or if you want to get outstanding and want to check you haven’t missed anything.

Forest Childcare Association Pack

Members of the Forest Childcare Association make a commitment to taking children on weekly outdoor outings year round. It is a mark of quality of your setting, great for keeping children active and a great way to promote your business to parents. This pack helps you to market your business as a Forest Childcare provider – a very sought after service by parents.

Contracts, Policies and Forms Pack

All the basic forms and policies you need to set up and run your childminding business.   Simple forms and printable childminding contract. Pack includes free updates when legislation changes because it’s hard to keep up.

 Partnership with Parents Pack

The Partnership with Parents Pack contains all the tools you need to improve how you communicate with parents or learn to do so in an outstanding manner. The pack includes tackling more challenging forms of communication like when you have concerns about a child’s development, dealing with late payment, or giving notice. The pack also contains detailed marketing information to help you to attract new business including making a step-by-step plan to ensure that the all-important first visit goes well.