Curo customer Sophie is a single parent and full-time mum to four children. The Government’s recently introduced benefit cap meant Sophie was set to lose £86 a week. Today Sophie is a qualified child-minder getting paid to do work that she loves and that fits around her life. Here’s Sophie’s story:
My starting point was that I wanted to start earning again. But finding work that could fit around my circumstances and my one-year-old daughter wasn’t easy.
Becoming a child-minder was a perfect solution for me. I’d seen that the local council offered a child-care course and, having worked in a children’s centre, I knew I’d just need to brush up on my existing skills. The course offered information about setting up as self-employed as well as the certificate needed to be a qualified child-minder.
The only problem was the costs of the course. Being on benefits meant I couldn’t afford them, and the cap was going to make that even harder. This is when Curo came in.
As a Curo customer, I was put in touch with Curo’s Employability Services and I met Lisa who manages the service. We discussed the course and other requirements to become set up as a self-employed child-minder. Lisa talked through my plan, we discussed finances and checked I’d be able to make enough money to live off. Once we’d agreed that becoming a child-minder would be a sustainable way for me to earn a living, Curo approved a grant to pay for my training course and OFSTED registration.
The course with Bath & North East Somerset Council was a great help. I felt confident knowing what I needed to do to better my financial situation. There are lots of support tools available after the course, like templates for invoices that I’ve been using. The course advisors offer to come and see you before any OFSTED visits to give tips and make sure you’re fully prepared. I also have access to a free tool that helps me calculate how much money I should put by for tax each month. It’s a lot easier than I thought it would be.
I knew someone who already ran her own child-care business from home. She was looking for help to keep up with demand. I now work with her and have three children in my care. This is going to increase soon.
I could have set things up to work from my own home, and that’s still an option – but right now this works really well for me.
I wish I’d done this sooner to be honest. It’s great being back at work, earning money and being in control of my finances. I’m already better off working than when I was on benefits and I’m entitled to working tax credits too.
My daughter Poppy comes to work with me – this means I’m still spending time with her and saving money on child-care costs. Poppy loves being around the other children – she’s really come out of her shell and is more confident than ever. She sometimes acts like she works here, helping to fetch things to care for the other children!
I’d strongly recommend this as an option to anyone who loves children, has their own children and needs to increase their household income. It fits around your needs and there are so many people out there looking for child-care.
I’m so much happier doing this than I was just staying at home with Poppy all day. I get a lot out of it and so do my children.
For more information about support available from Curo and courses to help you become a self-employed child-minder, contact Curo’s Employability Services team.