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What to Look for in a Childminder

(38 Posts)
dashoflime Tue 29-Jan-13 10:18:46

Right, Looks like I'm going back to work full time and will need a childminder for PFB (6 months)
How do I go about this and what do I need to bear in mind?
Also what should the going rate be in Glasgow?
And finally (silly question) what does he need with him when I drop him off?

Thanks in Advance Vipers smile

ZuleikaD Tue 29-Jan-13 13:36:37

I also view myself as a professional, in just the same way as I viewed myself as a professional in my previous career. I have qualifications and experience and keep my training up to date by going on regular courses. Like all CMs I am inspected by a standards body and am also a member of my professional organisation. I don't see how the fact that I also look after my own children is remotely relevant.

Totally, your objection to wheeling out their CV to make a point is meanginless given that the accusation is that CMs aren't professional. How is someone to say "actually I am a professional, thanks"' without pointing out their qualifications?

Squeakygate Tue 29-Jan-13 13:38:12

I have used both nursery and cm's.

With my pfb, I thought nursery was the only option - dc1 went until I had dc2. At that point I had met a few childminders at soft plays and toddler groups etc.
I would go along to these and see if you can meet any. There are a few I have met that I would be uncomfortable leaving my dc with after seeing them away from the parents.
my current cm is good - quite flexible and the dc like her. My previous one retired and I cried all the way home on her last day as she was like a second grandparent to the dc.
Go with your instincts.

MaryPoppinsBag Tue 29-Jan-13 14:00:57

I think TotalBS has got the face on with CM's for some reason this week. Ignore her. wink

The vast majority are professional.

Fightlikeagirl Tue 29-Jan-13 19:46:53

I noticed that on a couple of threads too Mary, TotallyBS does not seem to like cm's at all!!
Op, visit lots, ask as many questions as you want to and go with your gut instinct.

ReetPetit Tue 29-Jan-13 20:29:20

TotallyBS - you seem a bit aggressive to me towards childminders - is there a particular reason for this? hmm

so the fact that cms are mostly mums wanting to supplement their income and stay with their children is a bad thing, is it? As opposed to a private nursery which is run for, umm, profit, and mostly staffed by young girls and or unqualified staff ime.

You may think you are getting a superior quality of care because your child is in a 'private' nursery but sadly Totally, you are probably mistaken. I have worked in private nurseries as a teenager and would never send my child to one!! I know many excellent, highly experienced childminders who have raised families or their own, and bend over backwards to help the families of the children in their care - that would be my choice any day - one dedicated carer.
Of course there are the odd not so good cm, same as there are some not so good nurseries. That's what ofsted reports/references are there for.

And fwiw, I never Mumsnet when working - and don't know any other cms that use their internet when working, we are all far too busy with the children.

You seem to have a serious problem with cms - would love to know what it's about to make you quite so unpleasant on here!!

calmlychaotic Tue 29-Jan-13 20:50:24

I wont get involved in the are we professional or not conversation !
As someone else said i would check childcare.co.uk to find someone local, if you put on your profile what you need childminders tend to pay subscription to the site and will go through the profiles and contact you. You can then go visit a few and you can then check them out and their last inspection report on the ofsted website.
I just ask mine to bring nappies, change of clothes and this time of year outdoor clothes, wellies and warm coat.
I take mine on some day to day things, they helped me put money in the bank today, showed them how to fill out the slip, queue quietly , wait till the number was called, say hello nicely to the lady and hand money over and have a conversation about where it goes etc, i love that the kids get to do this kind of stuff and i think they learn loads from it, I mean i wouldnt drag them rouud tesco for 2 hours, cant imagine anything worse! We also do lots of lovely activities too, museums, farms etc. Some people prefer nurseries some prefer childminders, we are all different. hope you find somone lovely for your little one.

mamadoc Tue 29-Jan-13 21:03:52

OP sorry your thread has got a bit derailed.
Sounds to me like you have sound reasons for preferring CM and I am unbiased (just a satisfied punter). Bond with one person and normal local activities are definitely advantages. I didn't realise it when dd started but it was great for her to start school later knowing some people from toddler groups etc and cm still has her now after school plus baby ds so it is a long term solution.

I found mine by looking on the local child are information service and on childcare.co.uk. Then you just have to make some appointments to visit people and see what you think. You will need to know what days and times you need and you may have more choice if you can be flexible on that.

I take note of how they interact with me and my child first, what the place looks like, what toys etc. I ask about typical activities, how they handle meals, naps, behaviour. Do you have any deal breakers (smoking for me, dogs for some people)?

My cm is 5 pounds per hour no meals or supplies included down south but not London.

I send ds with a bag with nappies, wipes, change of clothes and lunch daily but previous cm used to keep supplies there and just request us to top up when needed so it varies.

Good luck with your search.

Thewhingingdefective Tue 29-Jan-13 21:14:55

All four of my children go to a CM two days a week, although she is flexible enough to swap days or do extra days for me. Two go for the whole day and two just before/after school.

We chose her because we knew her as an acquaintance already and knew she had a good reputation as a minder.

It's reasonable cost and is convenient - close to the children's nursery and school and close to DH's work.

She and her assistant (her grown up daughter) are very loving and affectionate to the children they mind and the children (not just mine) all seem to love them. There is a mix of different children of different ages throughout the day (ie before and after school) or depending which days they go, so they have regular friends they see but there is variety. The minder also has lots of her own children (all teens and early twenties now) who are also fab with the children.

The CM and her assistant take the children to toddler/playgroups, the park, swimming, the aquarium, library, soft play etc. They also do baking and craft activities at the house and generally have a great time.

The CM will provide food if we want, or we can send packed lunches. I send my little twins with a changing bag and a packed lunch.

They bring home their Early Years Learning Journey folder every few months that are full of pictures and info about their development.

I think if you get a good CM you can't go wrong really - it's a lovely home setting for the child, but with all the stuff you get at nursery and more.

Thewhingingdefective Tue 29-Jan-13 21:24:09

I find it really odd that anyone would think that CMs just sit around all day ignoring their mindees! I think my CM deserves a bloody medal - she is wonderful!

MaryShoppins Tue 29-Jan-13 22:05:18

*TotallyBS Tue 29-Jan-13 12:57:38
Ladies - Some CMs are 'professionals'*

Think you can take the sarky ' ''s off of the word professionals, because the amount of paperwork (including our tax & expenses) and excessive training we childminders are required to do means we are very much so professionals.

Clearly though, you are oblivious to this and are too arrogant to appreciate that in all professions there are good and bad. except of course in your child's private nursery where it is probably run by Mary Poppins' clones

Tut tut. Off your high horse now

showtunesgirl Tue 29-Jan-13 22:44:48

Definitely go with your gut instinct.

I interviewed only one childminder and went with her!

showtunesgirl Tue 29-Jan-13 22:47:03

And if anything in some ways, I think my CM is more qualified to be with my DD than I am. She is a highly trained individual with 20 years childminding experience, not to mention having had 4 children of her own. The youngest of which is now 16, is polite, intelligent and sociable whom my DD adores. If my DD turns out half as well as her kids, I will be happy.

mindingalongtime Wed 30-Jan-13 16:29:53

dashoflime so lovely to her that you are happy for your son to form an attachment to another caring person in his life, a lot of people don't realise just how important it is for small children to have secure healthy relationships with people other than their parents ( John Bowlby - attachment theory)

You sound a lovely parent and your attitude to childcare shows that your choice will work for you as you are happy wit the reasons for choosing it.

I hope you find someone lovely, I have had many of my children for over 11 years and still in contact with families after 25 years

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