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childminder adopting.

(17 Posts)
happydazed Fri 05-Jul-13 01:04:44

I approached my local council and they where very negative about me being a childminder. they said it would be necessary to stop childminding for about a year to allow the adopted child to settle.
I understand where they are coming from but financially it would be impossible. we need my income. she said she is not telling me to give up work and be a sahm, I could work out of the home and put the child in childcare. this seems totally illogical to me, its taken years to build up my business and I have staff working for me, I would close only for max 6 weeks and then continue but with an additional full time member of staff to effectively replace me and allow me to spend lots of time with the new child.its the same as what I would do if I gave birth. I plan to try different councils and agencies. just wondered if any one has any experience of this.

cedar12 Fri 05-Jul-13 02:27:56

I was a childminder before we adopted but i also had another job aswell. I got adoption leave through this job. I don't think you get paid adoption leave if you are self employed which is really unfair.
I was really lucky and took 10th months off work. I decided not to go back to the childminding as he had settled so well i didn't want to risk upsetting him. But i was lucky i could choose between the two jobs.
Ds is relatively straight forward with out any major issues at the moment, but i could see how childminding could be very hard with a child with complex issues. Looking back at the first few months now ds very much needed one to one and thats with a child with no major issues.
Most la will want you to have at least 6 months off. Maybe it might work if you got staff to cover you but lots of children may not deal well with a busy home.
I do know someone else who was self employed that adopted but i think they got an allowance for extra needs. She went back to work very part time after 3months but had family who could do childcare.
Sorry if i sound negative, but its so unfair that you can get mat pay if you are self employed but not adoption pay.

Lilka Fri 05-Jul-13 12:33:40


I do agree that the adoption pay rules are not good, and it IS very unfair. It can make it much harder if you are self employed

However, taking 6-12 months off work is the rule for every single agency in the country. In a very few cases some people start working again after say 3-4 months but they are really in the minority and they tend to have jobs that they go to while their child is in school or they do some work at home, but the kind of work you can fit around your child more g. marking exam papers. And in those cases, SS will only have supported them after they had visited the home and reviewed how the placement was going.

Honestly, if you can't take at least 6 months off work, then you won't be accepted to adopt with anyone. Quite a lot of agencies say 12 months, but I think there are enough who have 6 that you should be able to find one (I think)

I am a single mum without a lot of money so I do understand the financial worries and the need to be earning money. If money is tight, you have to find ways to squirrel away as much as possible to ease the months off work.

However there is a very good reason why adoptive parents mostly need to be off work for 6-12 months at least. So I do support the off-work rule with exceptions in a few cases where the child has settles very well.

A child placed for adoption has suffered enormous instability, and many have suffered neglect/abuse. The move to an adoptive parent means ripping them away from everything they know for at least the second time. It's frankly terrifying and confusing, and many children grieve and regress and a whole host of other things. Adopting is not like having a birth child and adoptive parents have to adjust their plans and expectations accordingly. In the first months to a year, the child is usually very insecure, and they really really need their parent focussing on them in a pretty low key evironment. They need lots of time 1:1 to start feeling more secure. The majority of waiting children just would never cope if you tried to work again after only 6 weeks, you would wind up with them regressing and seriously struggling.

Childminding will be very hard on a child who is feeling insecure - other children create noise, mess, they need attention. It's the kind of environmnent that tends to heighten anxieties and insecurites.

After 6-12 months you have to reasses the situation based on how your child is doing and your financial situation. Most adoptive parents who want or need to work return after a year, but some dont (like me) because the children still obviously cannot cope with anything less than the full attention of a non-working parent

Moomoomie Fri 05-Jul-13 19:35:10

I totally concur with the very wise lilka
To be perfectly honest I think childminding would be very difficult whilst trying to settle an adopted child into their new home.
If there is any way you can start saving as much money as possible to be able to have at least nine months off, that is a very good start.
Even then, an adopted child may not like to " share" their mother with other children.
Sorry to sound so negative, but even now my 6 year old dd would not cope with me working, in any capacity.
Fortunately I was able to stop working, although we have had to make many sacrifices for that to happen.

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 05-Jul-13 19:41:46

I agree with the others. I also think it would be potentially problematic for your mindees - my DS' childminder has a DD who has hurt him (biting, scratching) on a few occasions and she is a normally adjusted, NT child with no history of abuse or neglect. (I think she struggles with sharing her mum too) - adopted children are likely to have been through a lot and may have behavioural issues as a result of this, especially for the first year while they are settling in to your family.

Italiangreyhound Sun 07-Jul-13 00:38:42

Hi happydazed I just wanted to wish you well on your journey. I am sorry if it has been a blow hearing from social workers that you will need to take this length of time off work.

I am not yet an adopter. We have a birth child aged 8 and we are hoping to go to panel soon to be approved as adopters. Certainly the loss of income is an issue and it is something we are having to make allowances for.

I am just wondering if you could structure your work life now around the prospect of adopting? If you are employing staff could you run your business with these staff and take a paid job yourself, either in child care or in any other job available? The whole process of adoption can take a while, we had our initial open day about a year ago and so for us it was a year from enquiry to panel and then for the next bit, who knows! So if you are only at the initial stage you could have over a year to find an alternative job that would pay adoption leave. If you worked in child care such as a nursery you would continue to build on your existing skills for parenting and possibly for your own business in the future.

Do you have any birth children? Have you experienced any of your child care children getting jealous of your time? My DD would be very jealous if I were to look after other people's children for any length of time. We walk other kids to school sometimes and she gets a bit jealous then! I think additional problem for an adopted child as well feeling jealous of others having your time and of sharing space and toys etc is simply that to begin with the child might be struggling to identify you as mum and your house as home. If there are other kids there who need your attention, especially little kids (I am assuming you childmind under 5s and would want to adopt an under 5) then that would be doubly confusing for the child. If you look after older children or were to adopt an older child that may be different. We were told to allow at least 2 or 3 years between our birth child and an adopted child but we have actually chosen to have at least a 4 year gap, possibly 5 or 6, because this makes a smoother and easier adoption process for the child and for our birth child, both children being at a different stage and to come degree needing different things etc.

Anyway, it is clear that your business is very important to you, and that is a good thing, but I do hope you will find a way to work around the difficulties and to adopt if you can.

All the best.

Italiangreyhound Sun 07-Jul-13 00:41:20

Sorry - both children being at a different stage and to some degree needing different things etc.

happydazed Sun 07-Jul-13 12:16:36

thanks for all your replies.

I have a 3.5 year old birth child. and sadly we can't have any more. he has thrived with the other children being here. we have a separate room for mindees, and we take them out every morning to various places. we have several staff and low ratios. I often take my own child out on his own or let him pick one or two others to take with him. he gets lots of one to one with me and gets friends to play with every day.

we are accredited and provide free childcare places and have put years of work and training into this. I have looked after children with various problems very successfully. my local council refers children to me for emergency care.

I also earn a good living from it. financially we could probably cope on one salary but to close down would put 5 people out of work. put my own child into nursery and uproot nearly 20 children who are happily settled here and many of them struggled in other settings.

its a shame I can't get one department to speak to another as I have a great relationship wit some people in my local council.

I have found another council who is happy to consider us, and I have a meeting next week, very exited! I am interviewing next week for my replacement so I can gradually handing over.I am going to propose should we be successfull. I would close for 4-6 weeks, I would then reopen but have no part in the business. its a big house and easy enough to keep separate. after 6 months or so depending on the age of the child, any problems, how the were settling etc I would start to gradually introduce them.
its just like a big family wit lots of help. while I know it won't suit everyone I really think this could be a great environment for another child.

I mind mainly under 5s but we have some school age. with having a 3.5 year old I expect they will suggested a 2 year old at the very oldest.

Italiangreyhound Sun 07-Jul-13 15:10:33

Really glad you are working it out. Hope it will be successful.

It's good that you have a big enough house for you to be separate while the child is settling in. If your birth child is now 3.5 it's possible they will be at school by the time your new child arrives and I expect that will make it easier for the child to settle in.

I am not sure how much you have read about children who are looked after, I can't really recommend any books, I am still working my way through the first one 2nd one I bought but I expect there will be some books that can help you prepare.

All best wishes.

Lilka Sun 07-Jul-13 17:05:40

I hope your meeting goes well smile

If you are planning to be with your child most of the time for the first 6 months and for the child not to be joining in with the other children in that time, then that seems fine, and the LA clearly don't see that as working

I agree that they will probably want a 0-2 age range, since with the new faster approval processes your DC will probably only be 4 to 4 and a quarter when you get approved and you need a 2 year age gap.

Do stick around here - we are all keen to see more adopters, we are a friendly lot and will to to answer any questions you have and generally be supportive. Have you seen the thread for poeple who are just starting the adoption process or going through homestudy? It's here smile

Italiangreyhound Sun 07-Jul-13 18:23:22

Yes, happydazed do stick around - we are very supportive.

cedar12 Mon 08-Jul-13 08:56:23

Sounds like really good set up. Good luck.

happydazed Tue 09-Jul-13 21:12:23

so meeting went really well! they seemed really happy with us and went as far as saying they have children in mind who would suit us! we have spoken to a council and an agency, both where great but we have decided to go with the agency. thanks so so much for advice everyone, I really want you to know how helpful you have been. all of the points mentioned above have been discussed and have helped massively to get us to where we are.

Italiangreyhound Tue 09-Jul-13 21:47:15

That's great news. Please keep us posted if you want to.

twinklemumtp Mon 05-Aug-13 10:35:40

HI I am also a childminder and adopted Mummy and currently trying to adopt again.
Unfortunately being a childminder does go against you with many LAs. We adopted son 7 years ago and then I became a childminder so I could stay at home with son as I felt I had already missed a year of his life.
We approached same LA 2 years later to adopt again and they said I would have to give up minding. This was not possible financially as I was earning more than hubby and not entitled to SAP as selfemployed. So put on hold.
Last year we decided to approach again and see if there was any change. We are both now childminders. We spoke to a lovely SW who suggested splitting our business and home. Not easy but we have done it we moved out mid way through assesments and now have a lovely home seperate to our business, we have an assistant who is currently part time but will be full time when placement happens and our son is loving his own space.

We are now waiting for placement we have everything ready and were approved in April. It feels strange going to work instead of just goimg downstairs. But I can understand how it will benefit future LO and we are looking forward to time off in our new home.

Happydazed i'm sure you will make great adopted mum as being a chilminder and looking after others children is so rewarding but having your own to love and care for is something special.

Wishing you lots of luck in your journey x

happydazed Fri 30-Aug-13 00:13:44

Just to update, got an email today to say we are through stage 1 and accepted on a prep course to start in 2 weeks! Starting to get exited and it all seems possible now.

I employed someone to take over from meat work and she is doing great, i am getting to take time off to spend with ds.

Have at social workers suggestion started explaining to ds that we may be able to have the sibling he keeps asking for but i won't be growing it in my tummy, going to have to find some suitable books i think, anyone have any suggestions of books for 3 year olds or ways to explain?

Lilka Fri 30-Aug-13 00:23:17

Fantastic news, Congratulations grin

Keep us updated!

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