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Childminders: How long-term do you view your career?

(16 Posts)
Gillian76 Sat 20-Aug-05 11:03:39

I am considering starting out as a childminder now that I have one of my children at school and another at nursery. Just DS at home full time.

I am thinking about going back to uni in 3 or 4 years and would have to stop minding at that point. Is this too short-term to be thinking about childminding?

Any thoughts/advice please?

Gillian76 Sat 20-Aug-05 13:36:41

Actually, if I'm being completely honest, it would be more like 2-3 years.

From a selfish point of view, I wonder if it's worth all the long process of registration - is it as bad as I've heard?? And from the point of view of clients, they might be looking for someone for a longer period. What do you think?

HellyBelly Sat 20-Aug-05 14:19:23

If I'm to be completely honest, I personally think it would be a little unfair to 'plan' to be so short term as a child could get settled with you and then have to move on. It took me around 5 months in total to get registered from first enquiring but I think it depends on what area you are in. The Ofsted process takes up to 12 weeks.

I've been very lucky to get a few children in place almost straight after registering but I know lots of people who are without work for 6 months or so (again, depends on your area and how much demand there is)

Sorry to sound negative but I wanted to give you my honest opinion.

PeachyClair Sat 20-Aug-05 14:26:00

Would you have to stop minding when you go to Uni? just a thought, but I go in two weeks and the in Uni time is quite small, so you could easily do after schools or a few days a week, and keep earning too.

Twiglett Sat 20-Aug-05 14:40:03

I did it for 6 months and then gave up

Twiglett Sat 20-Aug-05 14:40:53

I also think 2 - 3 years is a decent time because you can take children from baby to pre-school / or toddler to school age .. sounds fair enough to me

Gillian76 Sat 20-Aug-05 15:18:18

Hmm, not sure PeachyClair. Never thought of that

kama Sat 20-Aug-05 15:22:42

Message withdrawn

HellyBelly Sat 20-Aug-05 15:48:10

I agree with Kama actually, as long as you tell people then I think that's fine. I was more thinking about the parents who I have met who have been let down due to people doing it short term but they planned for long term. TBH, no-one knows what may happen in the future and sometimes people just have to stop. As long as you're honest then you should be fine!

Gillian76 Sat 20-Aug-05 19:24:19

Thanks for your opinions girls. I tihnk I might start making enquiries then. I am in Scotland - does anyone have experience of dealing with the Scottish Childminding Association?

HellyBelly Sun 21-Aug-05 07:19:30

Good luck Gillian76 and sorry to sound negative before - didn't mean that it was a no no!

I don't know about Scotland but in case you don't know details of your local childrens information service, have a look at this website and find your area. Once you've chosen your area it should come up with some contact details. You'll also get to see a list of minders so you can work out how many there are, what they charge, offer etc! This may not be what you were looking for but it's all the help I can give you at this stage.

ThePrisoner Sun 21-Aug-05 18:30:00

I know quite a few minders who have only worked whilst their own children were at home full time. Parents who have used "this type" (sounds bad, sorrrrry!!) of minder can end up being very disappointed if they were hoping for longer-term care. This sounds SO rude, I really don't mean it to be!!

I've got several children who I've had since they were babies, and have seen them through nursery and on to school, and have still got them. I'm able to use this as a "selling feature" to parents, who might not want multiple carers. I can't promise parents that I will continue doing this forever and ever, because you just don't know what might be round the corner, but can tell them that I have no plans to retire just yet. And, of course, parents can't commit to long-term either, and may move house, decide to use full-time nursery, change jobs etc.

If you are able to honest and upfront to parents, I think that this would be fairer, although it may mean that you miss out on certain work.

Gillian76 Mon 22-Aug-05 01:30:57

Thanks for all your opinions thus far.

Anyone else? RTKangaMummy?

HellyBelly Mon 22-Aug-05 08:19:54

Theprisoner - well put as usual! That's what I was trying to say but I sometimes rush my replies and it doesn't come across right

allieballie Mon 22-Aug-05 16:05:34

Hi Gillian76, I'm newly registered in Scotland and the process took me 5 months from the start. You need to get in touch with the Care Commission (Scottish Commision for the regulation of Care), their number is in the phone book. They'll send you an information pack about the registration process.
If you still want to go ahead once you've read through this get in touch with them again and a Care Commission officer will come to your house to see if its suitable/ give advice on what would need doing and to give advice on the whole registration process. (quite informal)
Then you have to fill in an application/get references/enhanced disclosurechecks for anyone over 16 in your house/medical references/£25 application fee. The Care Commision then puts these in a dark cupboard for a few weeks and you have to continually phone them to see whats going on. Finally they send someone round to do a final check and your basically registered.

Its well worth getting in touch with the SCMA. They do a preregistration course over 6 evenings which gives basic advice.

My advice would be if you are thinking about it to start registering sooner rather than later as it takes time and you can always drop out if you decide its not for you.

By the way, could you study through the OU? I did a diploma a couple of years ago and it was hard work fitting it in but was cheaper than an ordinary uni and the people in my tutor group were more my own age!
Sorry this is so long but then so is registration.
Good luck

goosey Mon 22-Aug-05 16:10:37

There is a lot of demand in my area for occasional care and for respite care for children with special needs. If you are able to offer this type of care or even weekend and overnight care and market yourself well you have no problem in building up a good client base without the problem of letting down people loking for longer term contracts. This is the type of care I provide and it has been very sucessful and has fitted in well with my other work commitments.

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