Most common trainee FAQs

How tiney makes money, setup costs and more!

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Written by tiney
Updated over a week ago

We’re big on transparency and we know it’s important for you to understand our business model and how things work.

Here are the answers to some of the questions we get asked the most...

  1. What do I get in exchange for tiney's fee?

The benefits are big when you choose tiney...

  • £3000+ worth of upfront business & education training

  • A personalised marketing pack to help you find customers

  • A search engine friendly website to manage enquiries & showcase your setting

  • A digital marketing kit to boost your social media presence

  • A home launch kit to help set up & promote your home

  • Access to our tiney app, giving you & your customers easy to use tools including a learning journal, daily digital register & huge library of EYFS aligned activities

  • A secure app based ‘wallet’ to bill parents, track your hours, track your business expenses & accept payments digitally from all major childcare payment schemes

  • Ongoing billing, tax & contracts support from our central team

  • Help and support on all essential policies

  • Inclusive premium insurance plan from Morton Michel

  • Expert phone advice for safeguarding, EYFS or SEN questions

  • Emergency care cover meaning you won’t need to let your customers down if you’re off sick

  • Access to our community hub & professional network of hundreds of other early years educators meaning you’ll never feel alone

  • Access to our ongoing programme of community events including things like our business bootcamp & quarterly book club

  • In-person inset days and regular talks from early years experts

  • Inclusive ongoing training & support to help you hit your yearly CPD targets & boost your career

  • Regular free content such as our Anti-Racist educators guide & upcoming series on wellbeing & mental health

  • Help to find & onboard high quality assistants to significantly boost your earnings

  • Leadership & progression pathways in our network based on your interests

  • Inspections done by us, not Ofsted. We’ll still conduct your visits to the same quality bar, but provide you with communication, consistency, and friendly support
    throughout to set you up for success

  • We also have 5 star ratings on Google and a 9.7 satisfaction rating from our
    existing community that we’re extremely proud of.

2. How does tiney make money?

At tiney, we don’t make money until you’re making money. That means you don’t take on any financial risk yourself. Rather than you having to fork out any money upfront, we use a revenue sharing plan.

Revenue sharing means that when a parent pays for their childcare through the tiney app you receive 88% of that payment and we receive 12%. This applies to all the customers that you work with while partnered with tiney.

However, at tiney, we love to reward loyalty and your successes so we will drop your percentage down to 8% permanently as soon as you achieve a lifetime earning of 50k. This will mean you receive 92% of what a parent pays you.

Any existing childminders switching from Ofsted, or from another agency, we recognise the hard work you have already put in and therefore we will start you on the 8%. During your first 6 months, we will not charge for any existing contracts that are brought over when you register with us.

Revenue sharing goes towards providing all the benefits above. It works brilliantly because the only way for us to be successful is to help you become successful. If you’re not working with clients, then tiney makes no money.

We see ourselves as your long-term partner. We promise to be there to get you started, to support you in your educational journey and to help you grow your business.

3. How much money do I need to spend to get set up?

We cover a lot of the upfront costs, including:

• EYFS and childminding training

• Insurance from leading provider Morton Michel

• Local Authority / Social Services checks

• Marketing materials design and printing

• Ongoing professional development

However, there are a few things you'll need to cover too:



Joining fee


DBS Checks; for yourself and for each member of your household over the age of 16


DBS Update Service; this automatically renews your criminal background check every year

£13 per year

Paediatric First Aid Training

£75 (when purchased through the tiney shop)

GP Check / Health Declaration Form; confirming you are physically able to work with children.

This can cost as little as £20 to as much as over £100 - each GP surgery is different!

Toys and equipment

We recommend budgeting around £150-£200 for this (depending on how much stuff you might already have…).

= Approx £350 - £500

4. How long do I have to stay with tiney?

We have designed an initial 2 year professional learning and development journey for you, with clear career milestones and ongoing support to train you to become a world-class Early Years educator. Therefore, we expect our childminders to stay with tiney for at least 2 years to complete the programme (and for many successful years thereafter). If you decide to de-register from tiney within 2 years of registration, we will charge a fee of up to £500 to recover the costs of training, home visit, and onboarding support. However, we make exceptions to this on an ad-hoc basis for exceptional circumstances, and our goal is to offer you so much support and such an amazing community that you won’t want to leave tiney.

5. Do you find parents for me?

Not exactly, but we do support you through the process.

We have step-by-step guides that explain clearly what you need to do and how to do it. We also give you marketing training and business coaching to help build your confidence and support you to find customers. Many home leaders find word of mouth in their community brings families to them, others use social media.

You’ll also have your own profile page on the tiney website so if parents seeking childcare pop in their postcode, they can easily find you and get in touch.

Ultimately, we don’t make money until you do so we’re invested in making your business a success!

6. When should I start advertising myself?

As soon as you've started your training! Throughout your training we'll encourage you to think about your nursery brand and showing off your unique highlights. It can take time to build an audience, so we encourage you to get your name out there through word of mouth and social media profiles once you're registered with us.

7. What if I'm worried I don’t have the space to open a home nursery?

As a registered childminder, you must meet the following indoor space requirements:

Children under two years: 3.5 m2 per child

Two year olds: 2.5 m2 per child

Children aged three to five years: 2.3 m2 per child

This is space before furniture and toys, so the square footage of the empty room you’ll be having them in.

It is unlikely that for 3 children under the age of 5 you won’t have space. We work with people based in 1 bedroom flats all the time! But it’s worth checking with the guidelines above to make sure that you do have room.

8. I've never run my own business - will I be self-employed?

Yes, you will be self-employed.

9. Does that mean I need to do my own tax return?

Yes, you’ll be submitting your tax return each year. But, we support you through it with lots of training specific to being self-employed.

There are many benefits to working self-employed - a key one is that you will be able to claim back tax for your business expenses. These could include travel costs if you do pick-ups and drop-offs and even the heating of your home.

We’ll walk you through what you can expense, how to collect your receipts and how to submit your tax return. We’ll take the guesswork out of it so you don’t need to stress come the end of the tax year.

10. Can I train and still work full-time?

Yes absolutely! We have designed the training to fit around your schedule, so you can complete your modules around your work. We just ask that you give a dedicated amount of time to learn and reflect on the content so you're fully equipped to care for children in your home.

12. Do I need a DBS if I already have one?

Yes. As a Childminder Agency, we have a duty to make sure that all the children in your care are safe and protected. We are legally required to run a criminal background check on all people aged 16 and over who will regularly be in your home nursery. This makes sure we've done our due diligence and keeps the children in your care safe.

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