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Why to Choose a Childminder

2020 February 21
by nannyjob

Choosing a childminder to provide care for your child has many benefits for both the child and the parents.  In this article we will outline a few of the reasons of why a childminder can be a really beneficial influence in your child’s life, as well as why they can be a great choice for parents, too.

Child development, security and confidence

In an ideal world, parents would be able to choose to stay home with their children until they felt the child had reached an age that they were able to cope with being separated from them, but unfortunately this can’t always be possible.  A childminder offers the child a real sense of safety and security because they can really get to know each other well.  The child will not have to get to know a large amount of staff and be used to different people caring for her – instead they only have to settle in to a familiar home environment and one carer.  Developmentally speaking this is very important – children need to be able to form secure attachments to their caregivers, and this can be hard if there are many different caregivers in the picture.

Convenience and flexibility

A childminder looks after children in their own home, and as such they can be very useful when trying to find care for children who are already at preschool or school.  They generally will be happy to do pick-ups and drop-off’s from/to school and clubs, and some childminders will even pick up children from their homes and drop them back again if they are out and about at that time anyway.  This can make life just that little bit easier for busy working parents.  Additionally, special requirements (such as dietary needs) can be more easily managed in this kind of environment where care can be individualised.

Social benefits

Many parents worry that their children won’t get adequately socialised if they are not attending childcare in a group setting.  In actual fact, large group settings can actually be damaging for confidence and social skills for some children.  Research has shown that thrusting children into large groups before they are ready can make quite an impact on their emotional development.  With a childminder, children will get to socialise in small groups in a familiar environment.  They are able to get to know each other properly and will often become very good friends.  Additionally, children will benefit from the opportunity to socialise with children of different age groups, which is a much more realistic form of socialisation – after all, apart from school, where else in life are we confined to groups of people of the same age as us?

Cost

Childminders are a very cost-effective choice for parents.  Their cost will depend on their experience and any extras included but you can usually expect to pay somewhere between £4.50 and £5.50 per hour, depending on where you live.  Some childminders will include the price of meals, snacks and drinks in their hourly rate, whereas others will charge extra.  Additionally, childminders often get discounts for local child-friendly attractions, so excursions can be cheaper.

NMW National Minimum Wage 2020/21

2020 February 19

From April the NMW (National Minimum Wage) rates are changing for the 20/21 tax year.

As an employer you must comply with the national minimum wage, if you do not you could end up in an Employment Tribunal or be reported to HMRC and face a fine of up to £20,000.

The new hourly rates for the tax year 2020/21 are:

  • Apprentice   – £4.15
  • 16 to 17 year old   –  £4.55
  • 18 to 20 year old   –  £6.45
  • 21-24 year old   –  £8.20
  • 25+   –  £8.72

If nanny lives in the family home and not separate accommodation provided by the employer, then the national minimum wage does not apply.

For live in nannies, there is a daily accommodation offset rate of £8.20 per day, £57.40 a week. These rates are set every April, so it is important to keep up to date with the new legislation. These rates are from April 2020.

For accommodation provided to nanny other than the family home, this will need to be declared as a Benefit In Kind.

101 fun ideas for half term

2020 February 18

If you’re running out of inspiration then have a look at our 101 ideas!

Inside
1. Read stories
2. Make a den under a table
3. Give dolls a bath
4. Wash the dolls clothes
5. Have a teddy tea party
6. Have a tickle fight
7. Play dressing up
8. Dance to the radio
9. Have a film screening
10. Transform a cardboard box
Outside
1. Run races
2. Have a sack race
3. Skip
4. Draw on the drive/patio with chalk
5. Have a water fight, even if it’s raining
6. Play football
7. Go for a scoot or bike ride
8. Eat a picnic
9. Make a daisy chain
10. Jump in puddles

Days out
1. Go on a train to a different town
2. Take a bus to a different park
3. Go to the zoo
4. Take a long walk in the country
5. Visit a ruined castle
6. Go to a museum
7. Visit a farm park
8. Go to soft play
9. Have fun at the seaside
10. Go to a planetarium
 In the kitchen
1. Make bread
2. Bake and decorate a cake
3. Build a gingerbread struture
4. Master meringues (egg white + sugar = magic)
5. Make your own butter in a jam jar by shaking whole milk
6. Make jam
7. Ice biscuits
8. Create fruity cocktails
9. Freeze (and eat) your own ice lollies
10. Invent a herb or spice mix or a marinade
Constructing and modelling
1. Make a skyscraper from toothpicks or cocktail sticks and marshmallows
2. Create a Lego or Duplo town
3. Get the railway track out and take over the floor
4. Junk model
5. Create and paint figurines or jewellery from Plaster of Paris
6. Make a marble run
7. Build an outside den
8. Make and sail paper boats
9. Have a competition to build to the tallest tower from a newspaper and roll of sellotape
10. Challenge yourselves with a 3D jigsaw
 Messy play
1. Cook rainbow spaghetti
2. Make playdough
3. Play with gloop (cornflour and water)
4. Mix mud pies
5. Blow bubbles
6. Play with jelly
7. Fill a box with shredded paper
8. Make potions, from anything!
9. Play with diggers in a tray of compost
10. Make glittery cloud dough
 Painting and drawing
1. Fill eggshells with paint and throw them
2. Paints with forks, spoons and other kitchen utensils
3. Cut fruit and vegetables to make prints
4. Roll cars through paint on paper
5. Be inventive with hand and foot prints
6. Make your own natural paint from spices
7. Make self-portraits
8. Make a cartoon in a flip notebook
9. Play pictionary
10. Draw blindfolded

 

Science
1. Put an egg into vinegar and watch the eggshell dissolve
2. Now see what happens when you put an egg into coca-cola
3. Experiment with chromatography
4. Grow cress-heads
5. Inflate a balloon by mixing bicarbonate of soda and vinegar in a bottle
6. Go on a nature hunt and identify the plants and bugs you see
7. ‘Rescue’ playmobile figures from a block of ice
8. Grow salt crystals
9. Make a rainbow on a sunny day
10. Experiment with shadows
 Crafts
1. Sew a dress for a doll or a quilt for a teddy
2. Weave a table mat on a home made loom
3. Make candles
4. Create a bowl from papier maché
5. Make pom-poms
6. Mix up some bath bombs 
7. Learn to knit
8. Make a drop spindle
9. Decorate sock puppets
10. Make a necklace or bracelet by threading beads on ribbon
 Around town
1. Have a grown up ‘coffee’ in a café
2. Visit the library
3. Draw a sketch map of the town
4. Go on a treasure hunt
5. Learn about architecture
6. Research your area’s history
7. Learn to read an OS map
8. Take a different route every day
9. Search the town archives or the internet for old photograhs and drawings of the town and talk about how it has changed
10. Take photographs and make a guidebook showing all your favourite places

 

Zero-Hours contracts

2020 February 13

‘Zero hours contract’ is a non-legal term used to describe many different types of casual agreements between an employer and an individual.

Generally speaking, a zero hours contract is one in which the employer does not guarantee the individual any hours of work. The employer offers the individual work when it arises, and the individual can either accept the work offered, or decide not to take up the offer of work on that occasion.

Regardless of how many hours are offered, the employer must pay at least the National Minimum Wage.

Everyone employed on a zero hours contract is entitled to statutory employment rights. There are no exceptions.

A person will benefit from the employment rights associated with their employment status and individuals on a zero hours contract will either have the employment status of a ’worker’ or an ‘employee’.

Any individual on a zero hours contract who is a ‘worker’ will be entitled to at least the National Minimum Wage, paid annual leave, rest breaks and protection from discrimination.

Valentine’s Day Activity Ideas for Young Children

2020 February 12

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it’s the perfect time for young children to unleash their creativity.

Choose from our top 5 valentine’s activities for young children and have a great day with arts and crafts making gifts for friends, family and nanny!

read more…

Unpaid Parental Leave

2020 February 11

Eligible employees can take unpaid parental leave to look after their child’s welfare, for example,

spend more time with their children

look at new schools

settle children into new childcare arrangements

spend more time with family, such as visiting grandparents

Their employment rights are protected during parental leave.

Parental leave is unpaid. Employees are entitled to 18 weeks leave for each child and adopted child, up to their 18th birthday.

The limit on how much parental leave each parent can take in a year is 4 weeks for each child (unless the employer agrees otherwise).

You must take parental leave as whole weeks (eg 1 week or 2 weeks) rather than individual days, unless your employer agrees otherwise or if your child is disabled. You don’t have to take all the leave at once.

Employees qualify if all of these apply:

they’ve been in the company for more than a year

they’re named on the child’s birth or adoption certificate or they have or expect to have parental responsibility

Employees must give 21 days’ notice before their intended start date. If they or their partner are having a baby or adopting, it’s 21 days before the week the baby or child is expected.

Employees must confirm the start and end dates in their notice. Unless an employer requests it, this doesn’t have to be in writing.

How to Handle Their First Haircut – Tips for Parents

2020 February 9

Taking your child to the hairdresser for the very first time might seem like a daunting experience, but with these top tips, it’ll be a smooth, enjoyable experience for both you and your child.

The first thing to remember is that there’s no set age as to when your child will need their first hair cut and that you won’t be about to lose their precious baby curls!

You only really need to cut your child’s hair if it’s starting to creep towards their eyes, if it’s irritating them in any way or if the fly-away sections of hair at the sides of their face start to look out of control.

If your child is ready for their first trim, remember these top tips:

read more…

Discrimination

2020 February 8

It is against the law to treat someone less favourably than someone else because of a personal characteristic such as religion, sex, gender reassignment or age.

Discrimination can include:

  • not hiring someone
  • selecting a particular person for redundancy
  • paying someone less than another worker without good reason

You can discriminate against someone even if you do not intend to. For example, you can discriminate indirectly by offering working conditions or rules that disadvantage one group of people more than another.

Discrimination in Job adverts

You must not state or imply in a job advert that you’ll discriminate against anyone. This includes saying that you are not able to cater for workers with a disability.

Only use phrases like ‘recent graduate’ or ‘highly experienced’ when these are actual requirements of the job. Otherwise you could discriminate against younger or older people who might not have had the opportunity to get qualifications.

Where you advertise might cause indirect discrimination – for example, advertising only in men’s magazines.

Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids

2020 February 7

The day of love is right around the corner and Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to bring out those craft supplies and start making gifts for all.

Try these fun Valentine’s Day inspired crafts for kids of all ages:

read more…

Nanny and Additional Employment

2020 February 6

When nanny gets an additional job whilst still in your employ, it is her responsibility to make sure her tax codes in each employment are correct.

As an employer, you could always notify her of her tax situation in your employment and what should happen in her 2nd job. This way you have mitigated any risk of an under payment for nanny and potentially your costs increasing if you have agreed a net wage.

If you are nanny’s main job and have the tax code 1250L for her, if she gets another job, Basic Rate tax (BR) must be applied in her other job.  This can be indicated by nanny completing a starter checklist and ticking statement C –

https://public-online.hmrc.gov.uk/lc/content/xfaforms/profiles/forms.html?contentRoot=repository:///Applications/PersonalTax_iForms/1.0/SC&template=SC.xdp