Childminder Betsy Kehoe Shares her Childminding Experiences & Tips with us here...
Talking to Betsy Kehoe, a childminder for over 20 years is like talking to an old friend. Her laid back, chatty style makes it easy to strike up a connection with her. Like many childminders Betsy fell in to childminding accidentally and discovered she loved it! Her sister wanted to pursue a career in ballroom dancing and Betsy helped make her dream come true by minding her baby.
There’s no doubt about, Betsy loves her job – she even goes as far as describing it as ‘her paid hobby’! Recently we spoke with Betsy to find out more about her approach to childminding, her top business tips for other childminders and how she is managing with Covid-19.
Top Tips for Childminders – Business Point of View
While Betsy’s approach to childminding is child led and laid back, she takes a sensible and organised approach to the running of her childminding business. Betsy has a contract with parents so that both sides are clear on what is expected of them in terms of payments, hours and holidays. She finds that this eliminates any potential issues down the line as everything is in writing from the outset.
Betsy explained that she has improved tracking her income and expenditure for her childminding service over time. She keeps a dedicated copy book where she records all childminding income and expenditure (eg childminding insurance, food) every Saturday. Betsy tallies these up so that she has a running total on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis. She also keeps all childminding receipts and bank statements together in one folder. This is then ready to go to her accountant every year. Betsy points out having a good relationship with her accountant is an added advantage for her business.
Interestingly, Betsy finds she stands out from the crowd and can charge slightly more because she has childminding insurance, Garda Vetting and relevant training. She also loves Childminding Ireland’s forum finding it a great support and source of ideas.
Working During Covid
During the first lockdown Betsy’s childminding service was closed but she got busy in her garden. With an eye on things to come and knowing that she would need to spend more time outdoors, Betsy revamped her garden shed into a play house. She wanted to make an inviting snug for children to play in while they spent more time in her garden. The first step was to clear out the junk inside and then she painted the outside a lovely blue colour. Betsy got help to refurbish the inside so now its painted, wall papered and floored. She invested in some new toys and she has her own chair in it too! The children were so excited to see their new playhouse on their return to her.
In an effort to manage the amount of daily cleaning due to Covid, Betsy reduced the number of toys available for children to play with. In their absence and in the absence of outings, Betsy finds herself being transported back to her youth, playing good old fashioned games like Hide & Seek and Sally O Sally!
Although Betsy recognises the disadvantages of working as a childminder because it is not a permanent, pensionable job, she is very positive about all things childminding. She adores the children she minds and grows very attached to them – particularly those who she has minded for years and years. Betsy sees these children as part of her family, and she values the relationship she has with parents hugely. Her one wish would be that childminding would be perceived more seriously as a job. Hopefully, this will happen over time. One thing is clear though, the children and their families are lucky to have such a dedicated, loving and outgoing childminder as Betsy.