Dog walkers earn more than double the rate of pay per hour of registered childminders

11th February 2024

Dog walkers are earning double the hourly rate paid to registered childminders

Research by, the UK’s largest childcare platform, has revealed that dog walkers are earning more than double the rate of pay per hour of registered childminders.

The UK’s average dog walking rate for a single dog is around £14 per hour but many dog walkers walk multiple dogs at the same time. Group dog walking rates average around £9 per hour. RSPCA Professional Dog Walkers’ Guidelines1 recommend that no more than four dogs are walked together at any one time. This means that on average group dog walkers earn an average of £36 per hour.

The average net rate paid to a childminder for a three- or four-year-old child in England under the government’s so called ‘free childcare’ scheme is £5.59 per hour in 2024-252. The EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage)3 recommends that registered childminders care for no more than three under-five-year-olds at any one time, giving an average hourly income of £16.77.

Whilst dog walkers have virtually zero business expenses, childminders work from their own homes, with increasing utility bill costs, often having to provide meals, snacks and other consumables. Other essential childminder costs include public liability insurance, paediatric first aid training and Ofsted registration fees.

Although anyone can set themselves up as a dog walker, childminders in England must be registered with Ofsted who regulate and inspect them.

Richard Conway, CEO & Founder of said,

“It is simply unacceptable that many childminders are earning less than half the hourly rate of dog walkers despite all the additional responsibilities, knowledge and professional training required.

“Childminders are not babysitters. They are required to follow the EYFS and adhere to a detailed curriculum - teaching young children maths, literacy, geography, technology, arts and other skills.

“It is high time that childminders are treated with the professional respect they deserve and are paid a fair and reasonable rate for the valuable work they do.”

Childminder numbers in England have more than halved since 2012, placing additional pressures on the early years sector to fulfil the government’s ‘free childcare’ scheme.



2 [Average three-and-four-year-old rate minus 5% retained by local authority]

3 [Requirement 3.43]

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