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Important question to ask when interviewing a childminder?

(18 Posts)
Tatiana11235 Thu 21-Apr-16 20:27:27

Hello, unfortunately I have ended up in the position where I have to look for a childminder to look after DD 5 for three afternoons a week including pick up from school.
I am speaking to one candidate tomorrow so from your experience what are the most important questions to ask her? I am also very worried about the whole situation, letting my child go into a stranger's house scares the hell out of me. I've heard too many horror stories about despicable people who do unspeakable things to children in their care sad
She does have good reviews on childcare.co.uk though so hopefully it'll be ok.
Any advice and experiences shared would be appreciated, thank you!

GruffaloMoggy Thu 21-Apr-16 20:33:47

I went to see two childminders.
The first one I wanted to leave within seconds but I stayed about 20 mins.

The second one, I knew instantly that she & her house were perfect. I had a feeling straight away.

We did about 6 settling in sessions and gradually eased into it. My DD was a tiny baby at the time.

I cant remember asking her a single thing as she was so excellant she absolutely covered everything possible in our first meeting.
She is an amazing childminder & an amazing mother to her children.

MrsAukerman Thu 21-Apr-16 20:37:46

gruffalo are you me?
Exactly the same.
We're horrendously sheep-like and do all the right-on AP shite and cloth bum. Nothing phased her, she did BLW with her kids, cooks from scratch, whole house wipe clean / IKEA.
I only saw two and just knew.

Fitzsimmons Thu 21-Apr-16 20:52:37

I went to visit four different childminders and my gut instinct told me to pick one who has been brilliant. I would definitely recommend taking your child along to meet the childminder before you decide so you can see how they interact. Also see if the childminder will let you contact the parents of other children they look after to get feedback. Ask them about what types of activities they do with the children on a daily basis, and ask to see any areas that the children would use, I.e, bathroom, dining area, napping area if relevant. They should be happy to show you all of this. They should also be registered with Ofsted and should be happy for you to see their most recent report.

AJ279 Thu 21-Apr-16 20:58:42

As PPs said, I had a gut instinct with mine and knew as soon as I met her.

She showed me all of her policies and procedures, her ofstead report, staff numbers, activities, permissions and showed me around her house.

I'd just meet them and take your DD, you'll get a gut feeling.

HSMMaCM Thu 21-Apr-16 21:12:35

As others have said, gut instinct is your friend. If you want some ideas for questions, you can look at the FAQs on my website. www.3mxchildcare.co.uk

Tatiana11235 Thu 21-Apr-16 22:46:43

Thank you!

PhoebeMcPeePee Fri 22-Apr-16 11:04:43

As it's an older child after school I'd want to know:
How many / ages of other children will she have on your days? Don't be alarmed to hear there will be 5 or 6 other children a good cm should manage this perfectly well but you know your child & whether she'll be best with lots of bigger ones or enjoy a mix of babies, toddlers & schoolies for example.
What does she do with the children after school ? Go to the park, arts & crafts? Does she allow tv/gaming etc?
Snack/ meal arrangements? Will she feed your child if so what & when?
Check holiday arrangements & Inset days.
Otherwise it's just a case of finding someone you like & get a good feeling about. You should be able to get parent references or ask around in the playground - all my business is word of mouth through school/nursery.

HSMMaCM Fri 22-Apr-16 14:27:14

Good points Phoebe. Most of my FAQs are geared towards younger children.

SpaghettiMeatballs Tue 26-Apr-16 20:25:26

I feel exactly the same Tatiana. DD has been at a lovely nursery for 4 years and I had foreseen her starting at breakfast club / after school club in September but we didn't get our choice of school and the school we have doesn't offer the hours we need.

I'm seeing a childminder this week. She sounds nice on the phone and she can do the before school hours we need so I'm reading the suggested questions with interest.

I can't find an ofstead report online. Is this right? I got her details from the council and via an acquaintance who recommends her. I can't seem to work out how one checks a childminder is on the Ofstead register??

HSMMaCM Tue 26-Apr-16 22:12:11

Childminders should have their registration on display, or easily available to see.

starry0ne Tue 26-Apr-16 22:20:47

Spaghetti - Childminder may of not been registered long enough to have been inspected. It is also a legal requirement to display public liability insurance of Ofsted registration certificate..

SpaghettiMeatballs Tue 26-Apr-16 22:37:53

I think she's been around for a long time because the friend of a friend's daughter is in year 6 and has been with her all the way through.

I will ask her about it when I meet her. I had thought that it would be possible to view an entry on the register but it appears that isn't the case reading old threads on here.

I think my criteria is different to what it was when I was looking for all day care for my babies but I still want someone with the appropriate checks, registration and insurance who DD and DS like.

Tanith Wed 27-Apr-16 00:53:22

Although some childminders don't have their details displayed on the Ofsted website, it's possible to guess which is their report by entering their postcode when searching inspection reports: it should display the nearest childminder first.

HSMMaCM Wed 27-Apr-16 06:55:41

I agree with Tanith. If input in my postcode on the Ofsted site, my report comes up first.

SpaghettiMeatballs Wed 27-Apr-16 22:34:40

Hmmm, nothing is coming up when I enter the post code. I can't believe she would be on council website and recommended by a friend of a friend who is a teacher if she isn't registered.

I will check this out.

I guess I need to check that as a first priority and then what a typical morning looks like and how many other children are looked after at the same time.

I know the children are walked to school by her. I'd like to know the little ones are taken exactly where they need to be for the start of school.

Can anyone think of anything else I should be thinking about?

SpaghettiMeatballs Wed 27-Apr-16 22:50:38

Scrap that. I've searched by distance from my house and found what I am certain is her report.

PhoebeMcPeePee Wed 27-Apr-16 22:53:13

If she now only looks after over 8's she may not be registered or just be on the voluntary register. She would need to amend her registration/re-register if she were to care for under 8's for more than 2 (or is it 3?) hours a day and/or you want to use childcare vouchers or claim working tax credits.

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