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Visiting some childminders next week - what to ask/ look out for?

(4 Posts)
stereo Fri 07-Jan-11 22:34:08

Hi all, I'm going to start visiting some childminders next week for our DS and would really like to know what I should be asking and looking out for.

What are the top five questions I should be asking? Don't want to conduct the Spanish Inquisition but do want to make sure I cover everything I need to to make an informed decision.

Any other advice regarding choosing a CM much appreciated! Thanks!

pippin26 Fri 07-Jan-11 22:46:39

I think before you ask the questions you need to have a good idea of what you want from the minder?

Do you want a minder who is experienced or fairly new. a youngish or older minder.
minder with or without pets. do you want a minder who has several children on roll or a less busy minder. a minder who is out and about lots or one who isn't.

what's your expectations of a minder?
what do you know about minders?

its always good to go in with these sorts of things in mind.

Things to look for:
ask to see their certificate of registration and any others - training inclusive of first aid and insurance.

How well the minder interacts with you and more particuarly your child

There should be a good range of (acessable) toys and equipment - alhtough this is not an indicator as they may have stuff stored away or to get if they do not have that age group currently.

is the Setting clean and safe. not necessarily tidy but safe tidy

Things i would ask:

What will my child be doing in a day/week with you?

What sort of places will you be taking my child to?

What are their views on behaviour management/ tv/meals/time-snacks/

Ask to see the policies and procedures, Ofsted report, references, can you come back during workiing hours

I would want clarification of fees - bank and public holidays, their holidays and time off, clarification of fees for unintended late pick ups

so much of it goes on the 'feel' and gut instinct. Don't be afraid to ask if you want to know more or don't understand. A good minder should be open, honest, give you enough info.

andrea315 Fri 07-Jan-11 22:51:57

I am a childminder and all i would say is go with your feeling and just ask questions about food, outings like does she go to playgroups / parks does she mix with other childminders ask about ofsted report but to be honest this doesnt always mean a lot as its only one day they do this report on. All my parents said they picked me on feeling so i think you will know.A good childminder should have answered your questions before you even ask them !!
Good luck !!

cece Fri 07-Jan-11 22:59:26

I agree, you will get a good feeling about the one for you. They can all be good in their own way (and some perhaps not so) but some will suit you r family better than others.

I also agree - you need to decide what you want from your cm. Lots of activities, indoors, outdoors, toddler groups, soft play? Ask what a typical day/week might be like.

Practical considerations; hourly rate, arrangements for holidays (ours and theirs), does that include food? anything else? will you pay extra for trips or are they included - that sort of thing

Where will your baby be sleeping?

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