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Is it the end of childminding for me ?

(33 Posts)
thisfoofooisallmine Fri 15-Nov-13 16:49:10

I'm a childminder and I'm thinking of maybe giving up as there is so much competition where I live. Now lots of childminders have 2 or 3 assistants so they can accommodate lots of parents. I consider myself a very good childminder have lots of to offer but it sounds pretty limited when I go and see the website of the childminders with all the assistants. What can I do to make a parent chose me over them ? I'm not workless at the moment but at the beginning of the year, it was hard when it didn't use to be, I fear for next year. I'm sorry for the rent, I'm just worried.

Theimpossiblegirl Fri 15-Nov-13 17:09:52

When mine were very little I chose a childminder over a nursery because it was fewer children being cared for in a home setting. Lots of parents prefer this and maybe this is your selling point. I would personally worry that a childminder's with assistants and more children would not offer the same type of care I would have wanted for my children. Focus on what you offer- a home from home, quiet, calm, nurturing environment and don't worry about the others.

Kewcumber Fri 15-Nov-13 17:11:42

I also chose a childminder because a) they were personally recommended and b) I wanted a home environment. Certainly didn't want a pile of children and a professionally run business. My CM didn't have a website at all!

thisfoofooisallmine Fri 15-Nov-13 17:22:08

Thank you very much for your posts, I have taken note of your advice !! Now the childminders I'm in competition with have gorgeous house and big gardens, so it's a bit intimidating and everybody seems to be doing it, at least where I live !

minniemousey Fri 15-Nov-13 17:33:37

I used a minder who had 2 assistants, a lovely huge house, dedicated playrooms etc. However we parted company when I witnessed 1 assistant minder alone in the house looking after 6 kids all under 3yrs old. I lost trust immediately and removed my son. and reported her to ofsted.

I would choose 1 excellent minder in a small house over an irresponsible minder (or 3) working in a huge house. For me the childminders attitude, integrity and quality of care is much more important than the size of the house or garden! :-)

thisfoofooisallmine Fri 15-Nov-13 17:52:13

Thank you minnie for taking the time to share, you were right to remove your child. I feel less down by talking to you. I have lost a bit of confidence lately but I need to believe in myself !

Noggie Fri 15-Nov-13 18:07:52

I think it is so much more like being like a family when there are only a few kids and one adult- if you start having assistants and lots of kids it starts to be quite a different environment.

thisfoofooisallmine Fri 15-Nov-13 18:21:37

A lots of people in my area are doing it, then because they are successful they open other houses sad

FTRsGotAShinyNewNN Fri 15-Nov-13 18:56:28

The CM I use has no assistants and not a massive house or garden.
However she is very very good with DS she does lots of activities, crafty stuff and cooking. She try's to link activities with the topics they're learning at school and make them interesting.
She's also managed to get him to eat vegetables! This is miraculous grin
Being a good childminder isn't about the size of your house or how many staff you have, it's much more than that.
Have faith in your skills smile

MaryPoppinsBag Fri 15-Nov-13 20:46:40

Do you want it to be the end for you?
Can you actively market? Leaflets in Dr's Surgery etc.
Do you use Facebook? I have a childminding page. I put up pictures of the activities we do. Usually instagramed. I don't put up pictures of my mindees though.
I also have an CM album on my personal Facebook with similar pictures in. I have secured quite a bit if work this way. In fact 4 out of my 5 current customers have heard of me this way, some were friends already and another a friend if a friend. And of the the 8 families who've been on my books in the last year 5 were connected to FB.

I do have a website too. It was easy to do and costs me about £20 a year with lots of emphasis on my home from home setting.

PurplePidjin Fri 15-Nov-13 20:59:19

Do you have a USP? Maybe that you are happy to change cloth nappies, offer an heuristic setting, have experience of dc with SEN, etc?

linroz Fri 15-Nov-13 21:06:57

Hi there, I have chosen my childminders because they really cared about my children. I have been lucky enough to only have one childminder for my older two children until they went to high school and one now for my younger two. I was not looking for a great house or many toys, just a person who would care for my children and respond to their needs well. I am sure many others think like me too, I never considered looking at a website, but maybe people do now ( last child is now 7 and has always had the same cm). Hope this helps

Spookey80 Fri 15-Nov-13 21:12:40

I don't use a childminder but if I did I Definately would not choose one with a website and assistants. That sounds like a nursery to me.
One of the cms I talk to at school drop off is the type I would choose, warm, down to earth and friendly.

My CM is amazing, and has helped my DS grow and develop. I chose her because the care and devotion she shows to the children in her care was clear from the offset. He was 6 months old when he went, and is now nearly 2 years old. I can't imagine leaving him at a nursery, but that's what has to happen to get the free 15 hours. hmm. Her house is average sized, but well set up, and the home from home environment is what me and my DH want for our DS.

littlestressy Fri 15-Nov-13 21:19:45

My son was in a nursery before he went to a childminder, lots of assistants, great website, amazing resources, location, building. He did not get on well there at all. I then chose my childminder through personal recommendation. She has a normal size house, small garden and small living room, no website, no other assistants.
She is lovely and my son loves her. She keeps the child/adult ratios low and takes them on trips to park, picking up children from school, playgroup. All normal stuff.
All I need to know is that my son is happy and being cared for by someone who cares for him, I knew this would be my childminder the minute I met her.

tvstand Fri 15-Nov-13 21:23:33

Assistants = diluted care for me

I chose my childminder because I would always know who was looking after him and it was a family environment. I would choose you

How do you compare price wise?

MaryPoppinsBag Fri 15-Nov-13 21:26:14

I'm warm and caring and have a website! wink

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 15-Nov-13 21:29:49

I've used nurseries and childminders. The whole point of a CM, as opposed to a nursery, is the home from home environment, not gazzilions of assistants and gazzilions of children.

I think you could make this your USP in a Market full of larger settings.

Reality Fri 15-Nov-13 21:31:26

This may be awful advice, but can you move? I have just finished CMing after five years and I was always in demand without any real advertising (word of mouth and car magnets) because there is a massive shortage of good CMs here.

I actually felt morally obliged to continue for a while because I put the feelers out and none of my families were able to find a replacement. I felt awful tbh but had to quit in the end for my own sanity.

I was incredibly lucky to bag a space with my CM friend for my own 2yo.

I know there are big pockets of the UK with a serious lack of quality childcare, if it's at all an option for you I would consider relocating.

thisfoofooisallmine Sat 16-Nov-13 11:24:42

Hi all. thank you all for your post and advices. I quite like the facebook page. I have a lot to show, I'm always thinking about fun activities to do with the children, respecting their age, their interest and in connection with EYFS. So yes I think I'm a really good childminder !! I just don't have a 3 storey house smile.

Really - We are considering moving actually

ChippingInLovesAutumn Sat 16-Nov-13 11:35:47

If I was going to use a childminder it would be because I wanted a home from home setting - more like going to a favourite aunties house for the day. I would want them to do 'at home' things and go 'out & about' in the way they would if I was caring for them. I would not want a four ringed circus. Don't undersell what you offer.

thisfoofooisallmine Sat 16-Nov-13 11:36:39

tvstand - I'm cheaper than them

HSMMaCM Sat 16-Nov-13 14:51:03

DH and I work together and have a website. We get most of our business through recommendation and by people seeing us out and about in the community. We considered taking on an assistant and expanding, but decided we'd lose the personal touch. If we ever do expand it will be because we want to be more like a nursery, which is completely different to a home.

Your USP is your small homely setting.

Pistillate Sat 16-Nov-13 14:59:11

I really don't know why anybody would prefer a childminding business to a family childminder. Especially if you are cheaper. I would discuss it with your local children's information service/ childminder network.... Find out what the demographic is.... Who prefers the businesses and then use that information to inform your move.

thisfoofooisallmine Sat 16-Nov-13 16:04:17

With what you are saying, I understand that I really need to sell the home from home care and less busy environment. I have most days 2 children plus my 2 and I'm not after more. It's just that this year has so much harder than before so I'm a bit more worried when one of my current children will leave but I took your advice on board.

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