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How did you choose childminder?

(15 Posts)
WhereTheCrawdadsSing Sat 15-Aug-20 13:26:29

I am currently looking for a childminder for my toddler. I am obviously looking at the Ofsted reports and asking other local parents, but just wondered if anyone has any tips for finding the right one for my DC please.

OP’s posts: |
turtledovelove Sat 15-Aug-20 13:40:38

I am due to go back to work in a few weeks so have also been looking for a childminder.

I likened it to OLD....i.e. when you know you know. I visited a few but came away with slight reservations. The one we have chosen I instantly clicked with. She is exactly what we are looking for.

So although I can't offer my expertise as it's also a new concept to me, what I would suggest is keep in mind what your priorities are when choosing a childminder.

Do they offer home cooked meals? Is this a deal breaker for you?
Do they have dogs/animals? Would this be a concern for you?
Do they have to head out twice a day to do school runs?
How many other children are in their care at any one time?
Do they offer flexible hours?

I didn't realise how much there was to consider until I started the search smile

WhereTheCrawdadsSing Sat 15-Aug-20 13:45:08

Thank you - that's really useful!

There does seem to be a lot to consider. And they seem to be like gold dust around where I live, so the minute they have availability I feel as if I have ti pounce!

I think I would be dreadful at OLD wink.

OP’s posts: |
Rainallnight Sat 15-Aug-20 13:46:37

I kept seeing one around the place - parks and so on - with her mindees and thought she was amazing. Stalked her till she took DD grin

WhereTheCrawdadsSing Sat 15-Aug-20 13:48:41

grin @Rainallnight. Yes, there is one I see at play groups all the time and she is really good. I'm going to see her next week so 🤞.

OP’s posts: |
Rainallnight Sat 15-Aug-20 13:53:36

Good luck!

I always think it’s great just seeing what they’re like with kids. And also the fact that they’re out and about in the first place is a really good sign, in my opinion.

SandieCheeks Sat 15-Aug-20 13:57:17

Ultimately I think it comes down to whether you like them and they have a similar parenting style to you.

Then think about practical issues - do their hours fit, are they close to you/easy to get to etc.

WhereTheCrawdadsSing Wed 19-Aug-20 20:01:23

UPDATE: I think we've found one smile. Really happy with the one who I've seen around at playgroups.

Thanks for all your advice flowers.

OP’s posts: |
Rainallnight Wed 19-Aug-20 20:16:37

Oh brilliant. Does she have a place?

WhereTheCrawdadsSing Wed 19-Aug-20 20:19:13

Yes, she does! Not FT, but we don't need FT, so that's great for us.

OP’s posts: |
Rainallnight Wed 19-Aug-20 20:28:41

Great news. Hope it goes well.

ivfdreaming Wed 19-Aug-20 20:47:25

Having had a childminder previously for my first child I'm more clued up on what I'm looking for now

- tax free childcare is a MUST
- what is the position on holidays and especially bank holidays - do they expect paying in full
- are they a member of Pacey
- how much screen time do they allow the kids
- who else comes to the house - found out from DD when she was old enough to speak all sorts used to be at the house popping in for coffee with the childminder - none of them DBS
- do they intend on taking them out in the car - DD childminder supposedly didnt drive so told it wasn't an issue but also found out from DD that on occasion on the school run she sat on the Childminder's knee in the car whilst the husband drove!!
- covid shutdown/lockdown clear policy

I've just been arranging a childminder for my unborn twins but started looking early and agree it is a bit like dating - when you know you "know". BUT you can easily be taken in by a shiny clean house and friendly face

WhereTheCrawdadsSing Wed 19-Aug-20 20:59:04

Thanks, yes to Pacey. She has a written policy in screen time and also we have to sign a form to allow dc to travel in her car with age appropriate seats. She is employed by the council as well as private, so never closed for covid. A few nice mums at school use her for their dcs and they all seem really happy. Think it's the one, definitely. Really pleased, as I was humming and hahing about nursery, but as soon as we started talking I definitely knew I would be happy to leave my dc with this childminder.

OP’s posts: |
aureliacecilia Wed 19-Aug-20 21:04:33

My DS has been with his childminder for 3 years and I have found it a very positive experience. To be honest we chose her as she lived very close to us and she seemed like a nice person. I had also seen her at play groups and felt she had a positive relationship with her mindees.

reluctantbrit Wed 19-Aug-20 21:09:43

We looked twice, when DD was a baby to start when she was 1 and later when she started school for wrap-around care.

First time - we moved fast from childminder to nursery (the CM set up just didn't work for us). Things we learned about CMs are:
- school run means this dictates routines for younger ones (it would meant we had issues with sleep times)
- they take holidays during school holidays, we didn't want that prior to DD starting school
- what do they do with the toddler during the day, do they go out, stay at home? What do they have for toys and how do they safe keep the under-3 ones for the small toys like Lego, craft items, Playmobil?
- if they have older ones during the school holidays what do they do during this time? Days out? How much is suitable for small ones or are they just sitting in a pram?
- What happens when they turn 2.5/3? Do they also support pre-school runs? What are the costs then?

Other things to consider are: (she because most are female)
- Does she have a cover if they are ill?
- How many children on her own does she have and what happens if the children are ill? Do the CM closes then as well?
- What about other family members? Husband working from home? Older children having friends over? Regular visits from relatives?
- What is she offering for activities? Is she asking for additonal money for entry fees?
- Pets?
- Food?
- how is she discipling her chargees? For what "offences" is she putting children on a naughty step for example? How is she with supporting your at home behaviour discipline?
- how is she supporting routines like sleep times? What is her set up for naps? How is she supporting potty training if you are at that age?

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