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When and how do I find a childminder?

(14 Posts)
Clueless79 Mon 15-Nov-10 20:13:42

I'm only just pregnant at the moment with baby due in May but it's crazy how many things get on your mind. I'm wondering when you need to find a childminder if i'm planning to return to work when he/she is a year and how to go about finding a good one in our area?

Ripeberry Mon 15-Nov-10 20:21:05

Have a look on the site on the right hand side of your page smile
Then make a shortlist and visit them just to get an idea of what it's like there.
None of them would take a deposit until nearer the time that you would need them and you may have to go on a waiting list.

girliefriend Mon 15-Nov-10 20:25:54

If you go on the ofsted website you can type in your postcode and they will give you a list of all the reg childminders in a close radius. Def visit a few and do by guided by what ofsted say as they normally give a fairly good verdict in my experience! Good ones do get very booked up so its not mad to start thinking about it now!

marriednotdead Mon 15-Nov-10 20:34:42

My wonderful former childminder has an average 12-18 month waiting list so definitely start researching soon.

I got lucky but that was 11 years ago. She had DS for 9 happy years and he regarded her as a second mum. <nostalgic emoticon>

wingandprayer Mon 15-Nov-10 20:37:00

I think it's very sensible to be looking now actually. Like everyone has said, good ones are always busy so get in that queue now!

nannynick Mon 15-Nov-10 20:51:11

"If you go on the ofsted website you can type in your postcode and they will give you a list of all the reg childminders in a close radius."

No it does not do that. If you go to the right section of the site, it will list provider URNs but gives no way of actually contacting them.

For a definitive list of Registered Childminders, contact your local Families Information Service (usually provided by your County or local council).

To find a good childminder... word of mouth is useful but tricky as the working parents you want to contact are working during the day. Try asking around though at child related groups... NCT for example.

Clueless79 Tue 16-Nov-10 19:22:35

Thanks people, unfortunately there are no lisings on this site for my area - Newcastle - but will try Ofsted and NCT.

Clueless79 Tue 16-Nov-10 19:23:11

Is it usual to go and visit a few before deciding or does visiting indicate you're pretty certain?

nannynick Tue 16-Nov-10 20:52:40

Newcastle Families Information Service
0191 277 4133 or e-mail

Contact them to get a full list of childminders in your area. Then contact those on your route to work, asking if they have a suitable vacancy. Then visit them. See several - they won't mind.

nanny7 Tue 16-Nov-10 22:01:35

nannynick you are so informed about everything,you are always on here giving us the info we need or have no idea how to find.,feel that we are selfish in our daily needs to keep you from finding the lady of your dreams! shes out there, you just need some time to find her. x

nannynick Tue 16-Nov-10 22:40:38

No, I think I'm a classic case of needing an arranged marriage smile

Google is my friend - Altavista in the past was my friend grin I don't want to go back to non-computer search engine days. The key is knowing where and how to look for information... I have a logical mind, thus lends itself well to information lookup. Alas not so good at relationships, recognising people, or holding a conversation.

cinpin Tue 16-Nov-10 22:45:22

You talk to people on here ok Nick. I am sure you could hold a conversation.

BikeRunSki Tue 16-Nov-10 22:52:52

Once you have a list of childminders and havefoudn one you are happy with, book one ASAP, although if you are not going bck to work full time you will need to agree which days you are going to work with your employer first (I think I did this when my baby was 6 months old or so, but I had booked him into nursery when he was 3 weeks old).

In some urban areas (eg Leeds) I know people who have booked childcare when newly pregnant - some have changed it after baby born. I booked my son into nursery (rural area) at 3 weeks, but changed my days about a month before I went back to work. Nursery happy to do that as he was already booked, but I would have had low priority for new days if I was a completely new client.

nanny7 Wed 17-Nov-10 21:27:31

Lol nick... as much as I admire your computer skills, I DO believe that the more that you are not with your computer the better chance you have of finding your lady!!!x ps google is the best!!! x

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