Employing or working with a family member or friend as a voluntary or self employed tiney assistant enables you to increase the number of children in your tiney home, and therefore your revenue, and it also provides you with a valuable extra pair of hands.
You can offer more varied activities, go on group outings or offer multiple school pick ups. For some tiney home leaders an assistant will simply offer extra cover on rainy afternoons, meaning you can leave smaller children at home while you do the school run!
Remember that if you are paying your assistant it is a legal requirement to pay them at least minimum wage.
You need to let us know before your assistant starts work with you. Until your assistant has completed all their background checks and been issued with their letter of registration by tiney they cannot be left alone at any time with the children in your care.
Your assistant should not begin working at your setting until their DBS check has come back at the minimum. Once their DBS check has been returned and a copy has been sent to tiney, they can begin working with you but cannot be included in your ratios (meaning you would not be able to take on any additional children until your assistant is fully registered) and cannot be left unattended with the children until they are registered. The children in your care must remain within your sight and hearing at all times throughout the day. You must advise tiney if this is the case.
Know the Facts
Before you work with a tiney assistant, it’s important to know what’s expected of you and your tiney assistant.
You can work with one or more tiney assistants in your tiney home nursery, but you can have no more than three people (including you!) working together at any one time.
You can care for up to six additional children per tiney assistant (provided the tiney assistant is aged 17 or over). Normal ratio rules apply.
Assistants under the age of 18 cannot be left alone with the children at anytime.
If you are working with an assistant and taking on more children, you must still adhere to the space requirements set out in the EYFS Statutory framework as follows:
3.5 m2 per child for children under two years
2.5 m2 per child for two year olds
2.3 m2 per child for children aged three to five years:
Children can be left with tiney assistants for up to two hours per day, provided you have permission from their parents.
You are responsible for your tiney assistant as their employer and you will need to register as an employer with HMRC. Here is some helpful guidance from HMRC. You will also be responsible, if applicable, for their pay.
You are also responsible for ensuring that your assistant is, and remains safe to work with children. You must make sure they are familiar with your policies, procedures and risk assessments. You will need to assess the quality of their work and give them appropriate training (something tiney can help with!).
Assistant Registration Tasks
Whether your tiney assistant is there to support meal times and school runs or takes on bigger Key Person responsibilities for a small group of children, you must first register them with tiney.
Registering a tiney assistant is simple. All tiney assistants working in tiney homes must complete a series of checks and training before starting work.
We conduct background checks on all prospective tiney assistants, including enhanced DBS, Local Authority check and a Known to Ofsted check. If your prospective tiney assistant lives with you, we’ll already have this information.
1. Address history and Consent For background checks - now via the tiney app
You need to contact the team via the tiney app giving us the following information about your assistant:
Their full legal name
Their email address
Their phone number
We will then add them as a 'new household member' in your tiney app. You will see the tasks reopen for them and you need to ask the assistant to complete these as part of their registration.
(This process has changed. You no longer need to return a paper consent form if your assistant gives consent for checks via the tiney app)
2. Applying for DBS
How much does it cost?
Each DBS Check costs £44 per assistant, you will be asked for payment at the end of the process.
Why do we need it?
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.
What if my assistant already has a recent DBS Certificate?
In order for tiney to accept an existing DBS Certificate, it must also be registered with the DBS Update Service. If your assistant has both in place, then please contact us via the app to let us know the details and send us through a copy.
What details will my assistant need before they start?
Each assistant should have the following details ready to enter into the portal
Address details for the past 5 years
Details on any names previously used including dates
Documents which prove their identify
What documents will my assistant need before they start?
During the DBS check process you will be asked to upload photos of multiple documents that provide your identity. Valid documents include:
Passport (Any current or valid passport)
Biometric residence permit
Current driving licence photocard - (full or provisional)
Birth certificate - issued within 12 months of birth
Marriage/civil partnership certificate
Immigration document, visa or work permit
Mortgage statement (within the last 12 months)
Bank or building society statement (last 3 months)
When taking photos of the documents, please make sure you submit clear photos with good lighting. If we can cannot see the documents clearly, you may need to resubmit.
How to complete a DBS Check
Your assistant will need to complete the DBS portal.
Follow this link to access the DBS portal
They will need to complete information about their personal history
Complete information about address history
Upload at least 3 different documents which prove their identity and current address.
All tiney assistants must complete safeguarding and paediatric first aid training.
You are responsible for providing your tiney assistant with additional training to ensure they’re familiar with your policies and procedures.
1. First aid training
This is the full 12 hour paediatric first aid course. If your assistant has completed this course within the last 12 months then please forward a copy of their certificate to us - they may not need to do the training again. The course is made up of 6 hours online training and 6 hours in-person.
Tigerlily is the provider we use for first aid courses. Please use the link below to find a location, date and time for the course.
Once you have found the best date and time for your assistant, you or your assistant can purchase a voucher code from the tiney shop for a discounted price for First Aid Training with Tigerlily.
Once completed, please send your assistant's first aid certificate through the app or to our dedicated inbox at email@example.com.
2. Safeguarding training
Here is the safeguarding workbook, which is to be manually completed.
Please either print and work through, then scan and email back to us
or click ‘make a copy’ on the document, mark your answers on it then email back to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll send you an official letter as confirmation of the successful registration of your tiney assistant once all their background checks, DBS and training are complete. When this has been received they will be able to be left alone with the children for up to 2 hours. You'll need to keep a copy of the letter on your files
Before you register a tiney assistant, you must be confident they are competent in the areas of work they undertake. If they’re taking on Key Person responsibilities, you’ll need to find out about their interests and experience in childcare beforehand. Your tiney assistant must also have sufficient understanding and use of English to ensure the well-being of children in your tiney home - for example they must be able to keep records in English and summon emergency help.
Whilst we offer training for your tiney assistant in safeguarding and first aid, you’re responsible for ensuring they are familiar with your policies and procedures, including giving them training in your tiney home’s safeguarding policy and risk assessments.
You’ll need a policy for working with tiney assistants and this may be checked at your annual inspection visit.
Should you become aware of a change in your tiney assistant’s circumstances, it’s your responsibility to inform us and we’ll review their registration. Similarly, if a tiney assistant leaves your setting, you need to let us know.
[ ] Assistant details sent to tiney
[ ] Assistant details input in to the app
[ ] DBS application submitted
[ ] DBS certificate sent back to tiney once received
[ ] First aid online complete
[ ] First aid in-person booked and completed
[ ] Safeguarding workbook completed and returned to tiney
Please make sure that all documents are sent back via the email@example.com email address to enable us to easily track the status of the application.
Want to find out more? You can watch this webinar recording of a session led by Sam Beech, a tiney home leader, on working with an assistant and how she does it!