Essex County Council is encouraging people to start a childminding business in 2024.

Business / Tue 16th Jan 2024 at 10:27am

ESSEX County Council is encouraging people to start a childminding business in 2024.

As part of its ongoing ‘Make a change. Build a future.’ campaign, the council hopes to attract people searching for a rewarding career to consider one in early years and childcare. 

There are currently 714 registered childminders in Essex. The council is looking to increase this by offering a range of support. This includes advice and a variety of helpful services. There is also a dedicated web page.1

Advice includes completing research to check there is a demand in their local area. The council also recommends learning about the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. Completion of mandatory training is also essential.

The campaign aligns with the government’s priorities to support new childminders. People can apply for a government grant to cover start-up costs. Eligible new childminders can apply for a £600 grant if registered with Ofsted. Two payments of £600 are available if they register with a childminder agency.

To set up as a childminder, there is a registration fee and individuals must complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. New childminders must also complete an appropriate first aid qualification to cover the age groups they will look after. They are also required to have public liability insurance. The grant can help to subsidise these costs.2

Councillor Beverley Egan, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Early Years, is passionate about changing perceptions around childminding. She said:

“Childminding offers a very rewarding career opportunity. It also offers entrepreneurs a chance to start their own business and develop a thriving career. Childminding is a fruitful, flexible career choice. You can choose your own hours and build close connections with local families. You can also create your own curriculum based on the EYFS framework.

“There’s plenty of support to help manage start-up costs and train new childminders. I’d encourage anyone looking for a rewarding career to find out more.”

Essex-based childminder, Jodie Daniel is supporting the early years and childcare recruitment campaign. Jodie recognised a need for childminders in her local area and was the second childminder to set up there.

Jodie said: “I set up my childminding business with an agency, who were brilliant at helping me. I love being a childminder because there are so many opportunities to grow my business.

“I’m always looking for the next challenge, so I’m currently taking a beach and forest school leadership course. I’m lucky to live near lots of woodlands and several beaches, so the course will allow me to teach children in these settings.

“There are also so many great support groups and training opportunities out there for childminders. There’s a local childminder group mentoring hub for people who are new to the sector, where more experienced childminders can mentor them. You don’t have to do it alone.

“I built my business slowly, gradually taking on more children, but as my knowledge and confidence grew, my business flourished. Our agency graded us as ‘Outstanding’, and I’m so proud to have built my business from the ground up.”

More information about a career in early years and childcare is available at www.essex.gov.uk/early-years.

For the latest vacancies in early years, visit www.essex.gov.uk/early-years-jobs.

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