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Honest opinions please....male childminders

(29 Posts)
duckdodgers Fri 24-Jun-11 21:45:22

AIBU to worry about peoples reactions to this? My DH is a fantastic Dad to our 3 boys, aged 3, 9 and 18. Hes been looking after them, especially the youngest 2 since I went back to work full time after having DS3 over 2 years ago. Loves doing it and very hands on obviously, and is so much better at housework than me to. He then works as a Support worker on a Saturday when Im off work.

Hes been talking for a while about doing childminding through the week and now hes decided to go for it. Im fully supportive and want to help, but cant help but worry that all reactions arent going to be entirely positive and after all his hard work, months of checks, all the work and expense he wont get any children.

Some local Mums know him because he took DS3 to toddler groups (hated it but did it for DS!). Some have been really supportive but 1 has pointed out that he might have a job getting children because hes a man.

I know that if people met DH they would be won over by his amazing personality just like me grin but Im biased!! But amongst a lot of local female childminders will parents give him the chance? My feelings arent helped by a thread I read here recently of a Mum furious that a male member of nursery staff had changed her babies nappy. I know in theory males shouldnt be treated any different from females but reality is often a different kettle of fish.....

So a little bit of MN market research - do you think he will face any problems?? Would you use a male childminder??

EricNorthmansMistress Fri 24-Jun-11 21:48:57

YABU smile
I don't use a CM because I like the nursery but it would not put me off if I was looking for one. The paedo nappy woman was generally considered to be bonkers IIRC.

SocialButterfly Fri 24-Jun-11 21:49:49

I personally would be happy with a male childminder as long as he has had all the relevent checks and is properly registered, however we have 2 girls and I can see my narrowminded DH having a problem with it.

TittyBojangles Fri 24-Jun-11 21:53:05

Yes I would use a male childminder, but unfortunately I do think it is likely he'll have more difficulty than a female cm in filling spaces. But then again, it might depend on your area and what is already available? It's not like he's going to be looking for 20 extra children or whatever, so he only needs to find a couple of like-minded ppl and he's sorted. Plus if he does a great job for them then it'll be word-of-mouth and he'll be booked up forever.

ninja Fri 24-Jun-11 21:56:46

I might worry that he didn't like toddler groups as my daughter loves them and it's great for her to mix with other kids. I also like that my childminder is part of a network of CMs who can help out in case of CM being away/illness and again give a bigger circle of friends for DD so I might question if he had that.

hester Fri 24-Jun-11 22:04:45

Yes I would have a male childminder. I think many mums WOULD have a problem with it, but they may be outweighed by those who would actively welcome it: I would think mothers of boys might particularly like it as an option?

dementedma Fri 24-Jun-11 22:08:17

we had a male au pair to look after DS, and it worked really well but agree you might get some loonies who are wary of DH.

duckdodgers Fri 24-Jun-11 22:09:13

Thanks everyone for your thoughts so far. smile I know most people disagreed with paedo nappy woman but I cant help but worry.

I do think he may have more difficulty but as you said titty I was thinking that word of mouth would help. He will be properly registered and inspected, me and DS1 have to have criminal checks to because we are all in the house.

ninja - thanks for that, I think initially he hated the toddler group because he didnt know anyone but come to think of it now he has left he has most of the local Mums there on his FB page so keeps in contact with a lot of them.

Our old CM who was DS2s CM is a neighbour and we are friends now still. She is well known locally so this could help him to I guess build up a business.

redwineformethanks Fri 24-Jun-11 22:10:44

Seems terrible to say this, after women fought for so many years to have some semblance of equality in the workplace..........but yes I can see that in some families there may be a bit of resistance to a male childminder.

Having said that, I agree with earlier posters that (1) you only need a couple of kids to make it work and (2) if he is good, word of mouth recommendation is more important than his gender. I wonder if for some single Mums, a male role model in their child's life would be a bonus?

duckdodgers Fri 24-Jun-11 22:14:32

redwine - I know what you mean becasue I feel the same (saying it) but yes I cant help think it will be - but shouldnt be a probelm. Its funny what you said about male role models as I asked by boss at work today whos a Consultant Psychiatrist and she said something roughly the same.

EricNorthmansMistress Fri 24-Jun-11 22:15:35

I wouldn't choose a CM unless it was someone I knew personally outside of the CM role. So for me the gender would make no difference - if I knew and trusted them already it wouldn't matter if they were male or female. I'm sure your DH will find mindees easily enough and as someone else said, word of mouth is a brilliant recommendation.

freddy05 Fri 24-Jun-11 22:23:02

I would use a male childminder no bother, One of the issues women seem to have with childcare is that feeling that someone is stepping on their role as a mother. using a male carer means this is never going to be the case, dads might not like the idea of someone stepping on their role but they'll cope.

HSMM Fri 24-Jun-11 22:25:39

I work with my DH and we are both CMs. I know it is not the same, because I am home too, but parents who come to visit know that either of us could be changing nappies, giving cuddles, etc. We are also not always together - one of us might take the older children out while the little ones are sleeping with the other one at home.

It may just be coincidence, but .... we do have lots of boys on the books and only a couple of girls.

My DH freely admits that he would not have liked our DD to go to a male CM smile.

There is a well known male nanny on the CM board, who is very well respected.

WhoAteMySnickers Fri 24-Jun-11 22:29:44

I'm going to stick my neck out and say that if I had the choice of 2 childminders, similar qualifications, similar experience, liked both of them equally and my DS liked both of them equally, I'd choose the woman, can't really give a good explanation as to why, and I know it's silly.

< runs and hides >

cat64 Fri 24-Jun-11 22:42:07

Message withdrawn

duckdodgers Fri 24-Jun-11 22:45:35

Thats fair enough whoate and you are within your rights of course, but sadly thats what I feared some people may think.sad

eric - you have said what most people at work did when i asked them - trust is the main issue, regardless of gender, thanks.

Thats interesting hsmm

FionaJT Fri 24-Jun-11 22:48:00

My dd goes to a childminder who works with her partner as her assistant, so he is often doing the school run etc. I think there are more girls than boys there, and it doesn't seem to be a problem for any parents. Certainly not for me - as a single mum I think it's important that my dd experiences male role models in caring roles, and there are no male class teachers at her school.

kirsty12321 Fri 24-Jun-11 22:54:28

I think being a male CM could really benefit a lot of working single mothers looking for childcare, a lot of the single mothers I know all say they would like to have male role model on their children's lives so a male CM would be perfect in scenarios like that smile

duckdodgers Fri 24-Jun-11 22:57:23

Thank youfiona and kirsty thats good to hear smile

c0rn551Lk Fri 24-Jun-11 23:01:49

my ds's had a male childminder, it didn't cross my mind what other folk might think - your dh should just go for it. If idiots people object then that's their problem really.

sunshineandbooks Fri 24-Jun-11 23:03:02

I think he should go for it. I wouldn't have had a problem using a male CM. When I looked around for one though there were only 4 available and all 4 were women.

I think you probably will get a few hmm reactions sadly. It may be worth your DH preparing for this with a speil about what positive benefits a male CM can offer and that he's been thoroughly screened and vetted etc. TBH though, anyone that prejudiced is not really the sort of parent he'd be looking for in his mindees so he can consider it a lucky escape.

Good luck to him. smile

WillIEverBeASizeTen Fri 24-Jun-11 23:09:35

DD Many moons ago (about 15 years) my BIL who was a househusband, became a registered childminder. He was on the council list with all the relevant documentation you needed. He is BRILLIANT with kids, and I personally would have no problem with him minding my kids.

He NEVER had any response, not one. He was on the list for 3 years.

Most women I know wouldn't choose a male CM.

Cocoflower Fri 24-Jun-11 23:09:45

If my DH was a childminder I would 100% use him as he is fantastic with children they love him! I remember working on a summer camp back in my uni days and so many male employees were just great with the children and more popular among the children.

I can imagine a bit of resistance though- like if you had a male midwife etc its adapting to something outside the norm, so your Dh might have to go the extra mile to prove himself....

redexpat Fri 24-Jun-11 23:11:24

Male CMs are the same as female. The good ones are great and the crap ones are ... well crap. Are mannies still popular? Think he would be a hit among single mothers looking for a bit more man time for their kids.

Ineedacleaneriamalazyslattern Fri 24-Jun-11 23:11:29

I wouldn't have a problem at all with a male childminder and there is a time where I would have been delighted to find a good male childminder when I was a single parent and exdh was abroad for much of the year. DS1 could really have benefited from a male role model and for a time obviously craved on himself. I have known 2 dads over the years that would have been great childminders.

I think your dh should go for it and I really wish him the best of luck.

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