Note: Please bear in mind that this is a discussion board, not a place to advertise childcare vacancies or recruit childminders/nannies etc. We don't mind the odd mumsnet regular mentioning that they're looking for a job/mindee (although you're probably better off in MN Local) but repeated job "ads" and posts from nanny/babysitting agencies aren't fair to people who are paying for small business ads. Do feel free to report any you see. Thanks, MNHQ.

Mumsnet versus UK Childminding versus NCMA Local: which one is for you?

(31 Posts)
Italiana Mon 26-Nov-12 07:53:17

Which is the best in your opinion? and why?
Is there a difference between this 3 Fora?
What attracts you to one more than the other?

I use all of them as they all offer different sources of information ncma local and uk childminding also offer Facebook pages mumsnet is easiest to access from my iPhone as it has an app which the others don't so if I only have a few minutes I use mumsnet I also use ncma local as there is some really great info on there but I do avoid posting anything on there that I would not want associated with myself as you are known by name on there. I only joined uk childminding last night but I used the old forum because there were lots of users on there and it was quicker to get a reply on there as you can see how many people are online.

Italiana Mon 26-Nov-12 08:56:45

You can use a different name if you want like here and UK Childminding...would that make you contribute more?

I do contribute frequently on ncma local I just would not post things I wished to be anonymous for

pippin26 Mon 26-Nov-12 10:57:53

I have been with UKChildminding since its inception, I like the close community of people I have known for quite some time, I have made some really good friends on there and its quite specific to the job I do.. childminding.
I pop over here occasionally because as LesbianMummy says, you can often find different and additional information. MumsNet (and Netmums) are also broader forums.
with regards to NCMA Local... its useful

I still prefer UKChildminding though.

Tanith Mon 26-Nov-12 10:59:18

I don't think there is a best as such: they each fulfil such different roles.

I like Mumsnet because it's a good mix of childcarers and parents: it's useful to get both perspectives and to help with misunderstandings that sometimes arise.

I don't really use NCMA Local because I keep forgetting it's there smile

Ukchildminder has more childminders there, but is still open and accessible to anyone so I'm careful about security. I imagine it will remain a good source of inspiration and help, albeit a rather public one.

However, the members-only Facebook group has been invaluable for me in the last month or so. I posted something there that I couldn't possibly put in a public forum and I was overwhelmed by the understanding and support I received. It enabled me to be strong for the family I was supporting.
Sometimes a private, members-only area is vital in the job that we do.

Tanith Mon 26-Nov-12 11:03:59

It's not so much the anonymous aspect of ukchildminding and mumsnet; it's the knowledge that you're on public view. There are many people (loads on Netmums wink) who "would neverevereverevereverEVER use a childminder because they were horrid to me on Netmums. Ever." grin

See tanith that's one thing with ncma local it is a private forum which you need an Ofsted number to access so that is an added benefit of ncma local also most people are childminders with a few nannies

poopnscoop Mon 26-Nov-12 11:28:33

I agree with Tanith.

Ukchildminding Mon 26-Nov-12 12:30:40

I replied via the other post (pip et al) about asking your ideas about how to provide a private area for members, if be interested in your ideas xx

I feel a members only section can be beneficial maybe ofsted verification or something along those lines would be helpful as just because somebody posts often does not guarantee they are a childminder.

Mindingalongtime Mon 26-Nov-12 14:18:38

Is UK childminding UKCMA? As there is also UK registered childminders and UKchildminders yahoo groups, both full of sharing information and very active

I find NCMA local a bit lightweight, it is not easy to navigate, the site is awkward, it never remembers you despite ticking the box, it seems a bit ineffectual to me. The local to you section is out of date, and no contact from the local facilitator or any information about what is happening in the county.

Also Childmindinghelp?

poopnscoop Mon 26-Nov-12 14:28:50

UK Childminding is here: http://www.ukchildminding.info/
UKCMA is here: http://www.ukcma.co.uk/ontheweb/

The first is a forum for childminders and by childminders.. the latter is an association.

Italiana Mon 26-Nov-12 15:08:40

Just got a message from UKCMA willing to have ideas on how to represent c/ms!!!

I think they need to tell us..don't they? obviously no one sure how to deal with us as yet
Also just heard E Truss is to visit a Lambeth CCentre and meet c/ms tomorrow...I will feedback when I get it

MrAnchovy Mon 26-Nov-12 15:41:12

You need to remember that there is no guarantee of privacy even on a closed forum.

1. People access forums from all sorts of devices from desktop PCs to iPhones. Many of these have facilities for saving passwords, or are left online when not being used allowing anyone in the family to access the web sites.
2. Accounts can be hacked. In a community with thousands of member accounts it is inevitable that at least one will have been compromised.
3. Again in a community with thousands of members there will be some who do not respect members privacy and will happily copy messages to others, or even let them use their credentials.
4. No online registration process is bullet proof - people may not be who they claim to be! (Note that as NCMA local has access to childminders confirmed email addresses theirs should be as bullet proof as it can be).
5. Even a really tight registration process will not cope with the fact that people leave the profession etc. and may no longer qualify for membership. (Again NCMA local has a better chance than most).
6. If a forum allows access to people who are not yet registered as childminders, or even other people who just have an interest (nannies, nursery workers, accountants...) not all of your audience is who you assume it is.

I think of it like this: posting on an open forum is like walking into the middle of the high street and giving out your message to everyone who walks past; posting on a closed forum is like standing in the middle of the high street in front of a sign saying "Childminders Only" giving out your message to everyone who says they are a childminder.

MrAnchovy Mon 26-Nov-12 16:16:53

A few notes for those that haven't been following this for a while:

The Childminding Forum (http://www.childmindinghelp.co.uk/forum/) was set up by childminders for childminders but was bought a few months ago by the company that owns childcare.co.uk. This company is controlled by a serial internet entrepreneur who formed and later sold datingagency.com.

NCMA Local is part of NCMA and is (as I understand it) only open to members of that organisation, including childminders who have not yet been registered. NCMA has accepted nannies as members for some years, and is now preparing to include nursery workers and other pre-school carers and is changing its name to PACEY (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years). The constitution of NCMA does not give its members any say in what it does. As a charity the NCMA is bound to follow its Charitable Objects, which are basically to promote high standards of childcare (not to represent childminders).

The SCMA Member Zone I believe has a forum open only to members of that association (membership is open to childminders in Scotland).

I do not believe that the NICMA has a forum.

UKChildminding.info is a closed Facebook group and publicly accessible (but restricted membership) forum. I cannot see any information as to who owns these (well Facebook own the Facebook group of course, that's how they work), or what criteria or checks there are for membership.

UKCMA is a Limited Company which invites subscriptions for membership. The company is constituted as a profit-making business which does not give its members any say in what it does. It does not have an online forum.

What childminders haven't got at the moment is any organisation which represents their interests alone, or provides an open forum which is not controlled for commercial gain.

ChildrenAtHeart Mon 26-Nov-12 16:31:51

Just to slightly correct Mr A - NCMA Local is not just for NCMA members - the name is very misleading and most CM's think they have to be NCMA to join. It has been set up by NCMA using Government funding to provide a local, peer support based system available to all childminders, with regional facilitators (volunteers) appointed to help develop this. I am a member and I recently joined their fb page too but I forget to go onto the site & can never remember my login!
UK Childminders & UK Registered Childminders are both Yahoo groups that are closed & moderated BUT much quieter these days. I get individual emails into my inbox s they don't really feel forum-like
There is a closed & secret (won't appear on searches) FB group that you have to be invited to join by a member. I like this as I regularly check into fb and I feel safe on there.
I'm still a member of the fluffy pink forum but I rarely go on as I find there are so many areas and sub forums that I'm a bit overwhelmed. I usually just click on 'new posts' but not many grab me.
I joined 'The Staff Room' but keep forgetting it's there lol.
I like NM & MN for the scraps wink and to get a parent view.
Haven't joined the new blue forum yet but I suspect it's only a matter of time - assuming they'll have me!

Ukchildminding Mon 26-Nov-12 16:51:51

The staff room is no longer available..hence why the new blue one was set up.
Mr A, the uk Childminding was set up and is owned by childminders, ex members of the other place. childrenatheart, you are most welcome to join smile

I must apologise for quick reply but IM out at the moment and phone not letting me post properly .

ChildrenAtHeart Mon 26-Nov-12 17:14:41

I'm in! Thank you xxx See you on the 'blue side'

Italiana Mon 26-Nov-12 17:22:01

The question is what will NCMA do when the DfE funding stops in March 2013?
I doubt it has fulfilled the aim of reaching out to isolated c/ms or those in need of peer support where the LA lacks that service.....I know many isolated and unsupported c/ms and they do not flock to Local

The other problem with Local is that it is impossible to know which posts get the most hits, therefore pointing at where the most interest is, they have refused to put that facility in.

The site has gone through 2 updates in less than a year and now to search for a new post you need to enter each area of topic...takes ages!!!! also you don't get the name of the person who has replied to a post just the original who posted it
Yes you can get emails to alert you to new posts but they cannot compare to the 'traffic' generated here at Mumsnet and UK Childminding
Some of the areas of topic such as Child Development in Local are useful though and the blog have been interesting
I had hoped for discussions to compare LAs services to c/ms, how they differ or who does what but no joy!

What I like here is that a discussion can involve many people and so many different points of view which appears to be in UK Childminding too.....so well done

Italiana Fri 30-Nov-12 08:03:56

UK Childminding Please can you clarify if your forum is just for c/ms or open to all ...same question posted in the other blog...just curious as you will see from my reply elsewhere

Tanith Fri 30-Nov-12 09:44:57

Sorry, but who the hell appointed you as membership police?!! angry

Contact Pippin et al if you have an issue about the forum. Don't bring it on here!

Italiana Fri 30-Nov-12 12:25:30

Tanith I have no issue whatsoever as I like the forum very much as I said I am curious to find out if it was just for c/ms...no need to be so cross!!

Tanith Fri 30-Nov-12 13:32:57

If you want to query someone's membership, go to the appropriate place. Bad form to bring it up on another forum and rude and officious to be publicly questioning another person's right to be there.

Italiana Fri 30-Nov-12 15:09:49

Tanith I am not quering anyone's membership If you look at my post above of 26 Nov I said I like the fact it involves many people....you are misjudging my reasons so lets get on and continue our useful discussions with all involved, it's Friday after all!!!

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