I want to work from home: ask the expert

I am 17 and have a four-week-old baby so I would like to work from home if possible. I only have my level 1 in childcare and have started to do my level 2, but had to go on maternity leave. I’m open to doing something like childminding, but want to know my options. I’ve tried beauty services, but I’m too young to be an Avon representative.

Let’s look at your situation a bit.  You’ve got your Level 1 in Child Care already and have started on the Level 2 course – you’re open to doing child-minding as a career.  You also liked the idea of providing beauty services (eg nail painting) or working as an Avon representative when you’re older.  You’re planning for the future at the moment as your baby’s only four weeks old and you’ll have very little time for yourself.

It might be possible for you to work in a local child nursery – your baby taking up one of the places at the nursery.  If the “staff discount” for childcare was sufficient, your wages for this job might mean you’d get some financial benefit from working.  You’d also have to find out about the benefits you’d be entitled to as a working single parent – they might be good enough to make work pay for you.

If you tried to do childcare in your own home, there would be some hurdles to get over first.   Childminders’ homes have to meet higher standards than ordinary homes in terms of children’s equipment and child safety features.  It’d be a good idea to speak to someone already providing child-minding to check what helped her get through the registration process.   You’d need a new CRB check too, I imagine.

To provide beauty services of any kind you’d probably need to do a formal beauty therapy course.  That doesn’t sound as if it would be practicable for you, given all your other commitments.

To keep yourself going financially in the interim, you might like to try little jobs like delivering leaflets / free papers as you walk around your home area with your baby in the buggy; taking in ironing; doing cleaning jobs for people who’ll let you bring your baby with you; and so on.  Best of luck!

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