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A few questions about childminders...

(30 Posts)
Doobiedoobedoobie Tue 30-Apr-13 21:09:03

Argh I'm in a right pickle sad

Having so many problems finding a CM for my DC (4 years and 16 months) basically there's a choice of one childminder who I went to see today that's able to do pick ups/ drop offs at the school DC1 will be going to in Sept.

She's nice. It wasn't exactly like we clicked but I didn't dislike her either iyswim. I have the option of a nursery I suppose but I'm not madly keen on the one I've looked around tbh. Maybe I need to branch out.

My main question is regarding ratios. She has 2 children of her own (a 4yo DD and a 6 mo too), how many other children is she allowed to take on? She mentioned another sibling group today go on the days I'm thinking about using (3 full days), 6 children seems like an awful lot!

AudreyParker Tue 30-Apr-13 21:12:14

Notwithstanding any variations, 6 under 8 is the limit (and the norm), only three can be preschoolers and only one under one.

AudreyParker Tue 30-Apr-13 21:12:35

That includes any of the cms own children, by the way.

Doobiedoobedoobie Tue 30-Apr-13 21:13:45

Sorry, posted too soon.

My other question is more of a looking for reassurance one!

I've never left either of my DC and I'm dreading it, but particularly so knowing that there's a small baby on the equation also. Can any of you CM say how you cope with that? I just think DC2 is still so tiny sad and he needs so much attention and is hard to get to sleep etc, I can't imagine how this will work as she has a 6 month old already and surely it'd only be natural for her to prioritise her own DS? sad

Sorry for the rambling, I'm thinking aloud on paper really, I just hate the thought of leaving them, my littlest one in particular and just want a nice simple home from home environment for them where they'd be cared for and looked after and feel loved.

Doobiedoobedoobie Tue 30-Apr-13 21:15:15

Thank you, Audrey.

So, is that 3 preschoolers plus one baby, or 3 altogether including the baby? If the latter, surely she can't take us on anyway can she (or at least technically not till Sept)? confused

doughnut44 Tue 30-Apr-13 21:27:49

it's quite common for a cm to have a toddler and a baby. I currently mind a 2 year old, 13 month old and 9 month old. not going to say it's a breeze but it's definitely workable. I have only just managed to take the younger one on as the 2yr old is only now a competent walker. I couldn't have had 2 none walkers plus one who didn't want to walk much.
as for favouring own child -I reckon most childminders will agree that we tend to favour the minded children and our own kids have their noses pushed out a little x
most important thing to do is talk to the cm and ask how she will manage x

mamamaisie Tue 30-Apr-13 21:30:04

She is allowed to have three children under five (the baby is included in these three). Once children start school fulltime they are counted as being five year olds, even if they are still aged 4. In addition, she can have another 3 children aged between 5-8. She can also have further children over the age of 8 (there is no limit on the number of over 8s).

Has her 4 year old already started school? When do you need her to start? You say that your 4 year old hasn't started school yet, so if her's hasn't either then she wouldn't be allowed to take both of your children until September.

mamamaisie Tue 30-Apr-13 21:35:24

Just to add, I agree with doughnut that an experienced childminder will cope just fine with a baby and a toddler. I have previously looked two one year olds, a baby and a reception year child all at once. It was hard work but quite manageable once I got a good routine going. We went out and about almost every day and all three got individual cuddles and attention.smile

Doobiedoobedoobie Tue 30-Apr-13 21:56:57

Thank you for your replies smile

I'm pleased that it can all work out okay, I think I just prefer the idea of my DS being the youngest, for obvious reasons, but I hope it'd work out well anyway. Her DS seemed very chilled where my DS isn't so maybe it'd even out grin

Although, numbers wise it wouldn't work out as her DS isn't at school yet either. Plus I think one of the other mindees she has is also a preschooler (not sure of age though or whether s/he is also starting in sept) so that'd be 5 not at school.

Doobiedoobedoobie Tue 30-Apr-13 21:57:36

I think she's only been registered very recently too, though has experience working in nurseries etc.

doughnut44 Tue 30-Apr-13 22:06:10

why would you prefer your little one to be the youngest? it's lovely to see how the older children (who were once the youngest) learn to care for the younger ones - it brings out a lovely side to children.

Bobbie5 Tue 30-Apr-13 22:08:29

Have you looked into a nanny or a nanny share? As you have 2 little ones it might be surprisingly affordable for you. The care would be in your home and on your terms.
I've had a really tough time with a childminder for various reasons, but I hope I was just unlucky.
Be really and ask her to confirm in your contract the maximum number of children can be her care at one time. My CM told me 4 was the most she could mind but minded children over 8 as well, including her own brought the number of children to 6 (3 toddlers, 4 year and 2 x 9 years old) plus another toddler once a week. During school holidays these were all full time too. Although during school term, they spent a huge amount of time in the car doing picks ups and drop offs for all the children so there was little time for activities she said she did and even in practical terms no time for naps or feeding schedules.
Sorry to be so grumpy about CMs, some are wonderful, but be careful and certain before you agree! Agree a trial period too.

NickNacks Tue 30-Apr-13 22:11:50

Just to add, at 16 months its likely he wouldn't be the youngest at most CMs.

Doobiedoobedoobie Tue 30-Apr-13 22:15:25

doughnut I think just because he still seems so young tbh. I think it'd be rare to have a 16 month old plus another much younger baby in nature and I worry he won't get the 1 on 1 attention he needs at the moment. I may be worrying unnecessarily but that's my concern. He is still tiny and needs rocking to sleep etc. I know I woukd struggle massively with him plus another baby, let alone throwing a couple of other preschoolers into the mix... Though of course that explain why I'm not a CM! ;)

Bobbie I haven't properly tbh. I had a brief think about it but I thought the cost looked a bit prohibitive, ESP with DC1 starting school in a few months. Maybe I should look into it again :s Where do you look for nannies? I worry the tax/ NI/ sock pay thing woud be really complicated <bag>

Doobiedoobedoobie Tue 30-Apr-13 22:15:38

Sick pay that should say!

Doobiedoobedoobie Tue 30-Apr-13 22:18:04

nicknacks True, I think I feel more uneasy that the younger one is her own, as bad as that sounds. As I said, there's a very good reason I'm not a CM! But I would've found it hard to devote attention to a very young toddler if my own tiny baby was crying. Easy peasy if I was looking after 2 friends children of the same ages with no emotional attachment to either iyswim.

nannynick Tue 30-Apr-13 22:18:57

If in England, you can find out the exact date of registration via the Ofsted website. Look at inspection reports, filter by distance from home and enter the childminders postcode. Select their registration number, then on the next page it will give a date of registration.

Doobiedoobedoobie Tue 30-Apr-13 22:20:45

How do I know her registration number? I've looked on the site and some are listed by name but she isn't ad I'm not sure of her number.

nannynick Tue 30-Apr-13 22:22:27

My sister and I are 13 months apart in age, so does that make us rare? There are families with twins, triplets, I've come across one with quads.
I think at 16 months old, you will find that they won't be the youngest, or won't remain the youngest for long. Childcare providers of various kinds will often care for a baby (under1) plus toddlers/pre-schoolers.

nannynick Tue 30-Apr-13 22:24:05

Usually the first entry, as is in distance from the postcode. However if there are lots of providers in the area, then it may not be the first entry.
Did you see the registration certificate when you visited?

NickNacks Tue 30-Apr-13 22:24:59

What site have you looked on?

Doobiedoobedoobie Tue 30-Apr-13 22:28:00

nannynick I think it is rare, isn't it? Well maybe not rare but it's not the norm and not biologically natural child spacing iyswim. I understand that he is unlikely to be the youngest at least not for long, but as I said I think I'd feel more comfortable if the younger one was also a mindee, like they were on a more even keel. I don't know, maybe I'm being too harsh :s I'm sure she's more than capable but equally from my pov I'm worried about it. He's high needs tbh, esp when it comes to sleeping. We've made a rod for our own backs in a way ;) and he's used to being rocked/ held etc and I don't know how he will cope out of that environment.

nannynick Tue 30-Apr-13 22:28:26

With regard to nannies, you can contract out the payroll to companies like PAYEforNannies, who produce the payslips, P60 and any other forms needed, and remind you when to pay HMRC.

However a nanny can be 3 times the cost of a childminder, so even with 2 children it is likely to cost quite a bit more. We can do you a cost estimate, if we know the hours involved.

Doobiedoobedoobie Tue 30-Apr-13 22:29:55

Sorry, lots of x posts!

I've looked on childcare.com plus our council site. I hadn't thought to type her postcode in, I typed ours in so will do it with hers! We do seem to have a lot of CM here, but all seem to pick up from the same schools, or only provide pre and after school care.

nannynick Tue 30-Apr-13 22:32:16

Any chance there will be more childminders in your area willing to consider doing collection from the school come Sept?
Can you visit local toddler group and ask around to see if anyone there is a childminder and if they know of anyone who may collect from that school?

Doobiedoobedoobie Tue 30-Apr-13 22:36:07

I could consider asking on gumtree but I've rung so many and all are either after school care or can't do pick ups and drop offs. I do have a couple of friends that have offered to have my eldest before ad after school but I didn't realise you had to be registered pre 8 years old, I thought it was just pre school age so that idea's out. Argh. Thanks for sounding this out with me btw, I have so much swimming round my head!

nannynick Tue 30-Apr-13 22:36:43

Type the school postcode in as well, see if that gives you names of anyone local to the school (it may not, as you say not all childminders have opted to have their name details available). Then contact them (cross match details with the council list) see if they can collect from the school.

Have you spoken or emailed childminders on the council list to ask about collecting from the school. I know some lists say which schools someone collects from but that info is not always uptodate.

nannynick Tue 30-Apr-13 22:38:21

X-posted... See you have rung them already.

Friends could do it for free but not for payment/reward due to being more than 2 hours. Any after school club?

Bobbie5 Tue 30-Apr-13 22:44:42

Try nannyshare.co.uk and childcare.co.uk: nannies have so many advantages, they can mind your little ones when they're ill, where CMs and nurseries won't. They can do house work, cook what you want them to, teach what you want, do the activities you want too etc. we're paying about 7 ph including NI, taxes etc. and that is sharing with another family for our 3 year old. Check out nannymatters for payroll info. It is really easy. Good luck

Fightlikeagirl Wed 01-May-13 06:49:08

Does the school have an after school club at all? Then you could look around at the other cm's in your area for your youngest one?

Would you need more than 2 hours for your school aged child? Your friend would be fine to not be registered if its for less than 2 hours a day,

Or I could you even have them in different cm's? This lady for your eldest child and a different cm for your youngest?

I'm a childminder, my own dc are now 8 and 6 but I have been minding since my eldest was 6 months and so over the years have had my own dc be the youngest and the oldest and its all worked out fine.
No decent cm is going to ignore your child just because her baby is crying. It's all about spreading your time and attention. A good cm is able to do this well and as someone else said toddlers can gain a lot from interacting with babies.
But if you're really not comfortable with the idea then I don't think you should use this cm really. You do need to be happy with your choice and not just settle because she is the only one who can pick up from your chosen school.

Good luck with it all.

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