Balancing Your Child Minding Books (Accounts)

 

Rebecca, who is a registered child minder has suggested this blog topic.

As a registered child minder; you should be invited to attend meetings and courses, on the basics of keeping child minding accounts, for tHMRC. As a self-employed person, record keeping is your responsibility.

You can, of course, hire an accountant to do this for you and there are many companies, who will offer help, but, as most child minders wouldn’t be able to afford this luxury, doing-it-yourself, seems a better option. That said there is a company called “Mazuma Money” who my second child (now aged 29) uses for his children’s entertainments company, he tells me they are fantastic and very reasonably priced (if you do go with them please mention his name “Damon Gaunt”)

I always kept my own income and expenditure records, quite simply in an exercise book, although there are specialist books and worksheets available to buy, from a variety of suppliers.

If you opt to do your own, keep all receipts. ( I used to put mine monthly in separate recycled old envelopes). As well, as being able  to claim large expenses against your tax, such as, start up costs like safety equipment for your home such as safety gates, a fire guard and the compulsory fire blanket. Plus of course, the cost of buying toys and story books.

You can also put a percentage of utility bills and any rent, if you rent your home ( when I was a child minder, this was 10%, but it may of changed now, so do check with HMRC) First aid qualifications and other training can be quite costly, so claim for these too. Don’t forget to include the smaller expenses, they all add up to a considerable amount, like the cost of attending toddler group sessions. If you visit several each week (as I did) it will cost more than you realise; although you are able to charge this to the child’s parent, if you write it into the contract at the first interview. I used my car to take the children out (with written consent from parents) on trips further afield to local attractions. I kept a track of my mileage, by setting the mile counter on my car, also keep car parking fee tickets, as these can add up quite quickly.

I sometimes took the child minded children to a local soft play centre, where I would buy myself a coffee, while watching the children play. I put this expense through my books too, because if I wasn’t a child minder, I would be drinking coffee at home; not buying a more expensive one, while out!

I also purchased ice creams for the children on a warm day, the ice cream seller most likely won’t issue a receipt, but you can still claim it as an expense. I once had a lovely parent offer to pay for an ice cream for all the children I was taking out on a particular day, as she said I was using my petrol to take them out and she wanted to help by buying treats, I thanked her for her kind offer and I explained that it was all tax deductible.

Subscription to magazines, like Nursery world and nursery education are another expense, you may not think of claiming for. I found both of these publications invaluable for activity ideas and for obtaining posters to display in my playroom. Spending money on marketing your child minding business, is also money well spent and of course, is something that is tax deductible. As always comments/ questions are welcome.

I always found HMRC to be very helpful, if I ever needed advice. The self assessment forms they issue every year are not as horrific, as they appear at first glance, if you tackle them calmly and slowly.

As always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a comment. You can also contact me privately by clicking here.

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