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Can I ask a quick question of you childminders, to help me with my work?(17 Posts)
As well as being a long-term MNetter, I'm a market researcher, and I'm writing a proposal for a client. I can't tell you who they are or what the proposal is about, otherwise I would have to kill you!
But I need to know how much latitude/opportunity you have to take your mindees out to venues such as soft play centres or 'bigger' attractions, such as Legoland/Thorpe Park/Longleat, etc.
When my DC were little I had a nanny, so I have no experience of childminders and what kind of flexibility/autonomy you would have - or even if such trips would be practical, given how many mindees you might care for.
If anyone can give me any insight into this I would be pathetically grateful!
trips to attractions are made easier if the place offers their own risk assessment (they are sposed to but sometimes hard to obtain)
A dedicated page on their website with downloadable risk assessment is a CMs dream
Accessibility is another thing - baby changing facilities are so often in the accessible loo, not nice for the children to wait in as you deal with the pooey nappy, the children can't wait outside obv
Is this the kind of thing you are after ?
x x x
That's helpful, and it also suggests that you can do these trips. I wasn't sure how much you ended up being tied to the home given the number of mindees you have/might have.
I hadn't thought at all about the risk assessment angle, so that's really helpful
oh, yes, my own RAs for trips all state that I adhere to numbers I am registered for
I don't do the 'bigger' ones merely because of location (rural, miles from sodding anywhere fgs) but we go to local(ish) Zoo, WWT Bird Place, Butterfly House.
If I lived near to say Legoland/Gullivers/Thorpe Park I would prolly go
another thing - at the outset of a contract with parents I get permissions for heaps of stuff incl trips and outings
the CM also needs policies and procedures to cover emergencies whilst out and about eg:
ANy help BIWI?
wrt soft play - I take the children to SP prolly no more than once a term mostly because I live in a socking great wood with plenty of outdoor play areas as standard and I don't let the weather stop us - RA'd natch
(babbling on now, tell me to stop, please !)
Very. Thank you so much. If I win it I will let you know! (And won't have to kill you afterwards)
... and you don't go to soft play because it is a sordid, wee-smelling manifestation of Hell.
Well, that would be my argument anyway.
brill, off to do stuff (not working this week) with my own DCs, laters x x x
As long as we have permission (written) from parents to take the kids on trips, and the necessary car and personal insurance as a CM, plus have a risk assessment done/given.... outings are easily done. As long as we fit them around all the children's needs... meals, sleep, double/triple? buggy etc. Grab the first aid box, nappies, wipes, snacks, water et al and off we go!
I have permission from all the parents for outings, including travel on public transport, so in theory I could go anywhere anytime with the mindees. If we are going somewhere that is particularly far, or a 'bigger' outing than normal, I do inform the parents, but that's more to make sure the children all turn up on time in appropriate clothing, more than anything else.
I know some CMs have parents who want to know more about the day to day activities of their children in advance, so I am lucky that I am able to make on the spot decisions, based on the weather, special offers, group outings, etc.
I have no problems taking children out, all the parents love it if I can take them. This week during half term we have gone to local parks, walks, Jimmy's Farm, Swimming - I was going to the seaside, but I felt with a wide variety of ages and needs it would be really hard work, rather than fun in the sun (5 children + picnic + swimming bits + sun lotion + multiple runs to toilets) which is why I suppose risk assessing is sometimes useful. Love going out and doing different things, I feel its one of the major advantages of being a childminder.
Thank you everybody - this has been really helpful.
My biggest problem is although living in a tourist area I can't get discounts for multiple visits or for visits with different adults
I work in a setting with up to 9 adults but season tickets are named; I've suggested giving them photos of staff members or only admit in uniform; but it's all individual so I can't buy a setting entry
So on Monday A & B could go but on Thursday it would be C & D and that isn't allowed
I would not take children to places such as Thorpe Park/Alton Towers as I would not like the responsibility of a 9 year old going on roller coasters and big rides and the expense of admission and food.
I prefer to take them to places such as local museums where it is easy to get to by public transport or if it is warm we take a picnic to the park. I simply do not get paid enough to pay for big days out and the parents never offer any extra.
I wouldn't do a "big" outing to somewhere like Thorpe Park, Alton Towers etc either, there are just too many risks and they're too far away from us.
We do more outings to National Trust places (that have their own RA's - really helpful), our local zoo, parks and wildlife walks, the library, toddler groups, swimming, the museum, the seaside, local events and fun days.
Haven't done the big theme parks with minded children, but it could potentially be great fun to be able to do so.
Minded children should be within sight/sound of the childminder at all times and with the wide age & height ranges we care for it would be difficult to find rides that the whole party can go on together & ensure our insurance isn't invalidated by the children being technically out of our care & supervision while on a ride without the carer, for example.
Risk assessments downloadable from the website would be excellent. My son nearly fell off a rollercoaster at Legoland several years ago. Although he was above the height stipulated for that ride, the bar restraint wasn't sufficient for his size IMO. So I would not rely on any park's own risk assessment alone and I have my own fears and anxieties to deal with.
Financially, I can't offer such trips as part of my normal childminding service and would have to ask parents to pay for the cost of their child's ticket at least. The cost of my own ticket, petrol, parking, refreshments etc makes it unattractive from a business point of view. Substantial discounts would be essential to enable regular trips. And could prove cost effective from the park's point of view - I don't think I've ever taken my mindees anywhere they haven't later gone to with their own parents. And all the photographs and observations we make are free adverts too!
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