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How to choose between two childminders? Have already agreed in principle to go with one, not sure it's the right one!

(13 Posts)
missrose Sat 06-Aug-11 19:40:44

I found a childminder who lives very close, will have my dd and another little girl whose family we know and like, and one other child. She's very nice, with a very clean house. The children are mainly in the kitchen as the living room seems far too pristine for children to be in there other than to watch a bit of telly. She's fairly strict about pick up times and days - we would have to pick up at 5.30, 5.45 at the latest. She takes them out every day in the buggy to local playgroups and the two children she had when we visited were very happy little kids.

She was the first childminder I saw and as we have similar parenting styles to the other family I know, it seemed like a very good idea.

However, since agreeing verbally that I would go with her, I've met another childminder. She is far more flexible than the first one with days and hours, which would really suit my husband as he is freelance and often things change for him at short notice. I am only allowed to have Mondays off but as I work to deadline every day I could easily run over my finish time.

She would pick up and drop off my dd every day, and does this with the other two mindees she has as we are all in the same area. One of them is a school pick up so is only around after 4pm. She splits her time between her house and the houses of her mindees - she has keys for all of them. I really like the idea of my dd being at home sometimes and we have plenty of space for them all. I do worry about how much time would be spent in the car every day. Again, the childminder takes them out every day and I think goes to places slightly further as she drives and the first one doesn't.

A drawback to the second on is that she wears perfume. I quite often react badly to scents and get headaches and sore thoats. I don't know if it's acceptable for me to ask her not to.

Both of them have excellent references. I'm very concerned about letting the first one down. I know she had someone else enquire who was very keen and I don't doubt that she could fill her vacancy easily but I do think if I have promised I shouldn't be unreliable. I return to work in November.

Would be interested to know what others thought? TIA

An0therName Sat 06-Aug-11 19:57:49

I would be prefer the first - I think young children are better in one place - I think it could be unsettling - and I would feel a bit odd about her coming to my place; and you wouldn't get to see the other houses which I also wouldn't like

HavePatience Sat 06-Aug-11 20:27:28

How strange that she goes to other mindees houses confused
I wouldn't be comfortable with that. And expenses would add up for me that way, too. surely a cm works from their own home?

I like the first cm. They might play in her living room. Mine is absolutely pristine and DS gets up to paint, play doh, train sets dinosaurs, colouring, craft, cars, tents...etc in there throughout the day when we are at home on holiday and weekends. I just clean up after him and whenever I have a visitor it always looks clean. It doesn't mean I'm spending less time with ds. We spend loads of time together. He helps me clean up, too since about 15 months (2 yo now).

Do what feels right to you. No one can make that decision for you smile best of luck!

apotomak Sat 06-Aug-11 20:48:10

The second one sounds a bit odd. Is she a childminder or a nanny? Splitting time between the houses would worry me. Why would she need to do this? Is there something wrong with her place? Also all this driving she does with the extra pick ups and drop offs would add up. I would therefore go with the first one. As to being flexible I would ask the first one about it ... if it's only occasional she may be able to accommodate you.

missrose Sat 06-Aug-11 21:26:06

To clarify, the second one calls herself a nanny rather than a childminder and as she would have two children all day - my dd and another, she considers it a nanny share.

However, she is self-employed so I would just pay her a day rate rather than employing her as a nanny. I guess this is why I was considering her to be more of a childminder than nanny.

So, as a nanny she spends time at my house and the other family's. She also spends some time in her own house, which is close, and is very happy for us to see it.

Would moving around so much be unsettling for a child? I did originally want to do a nanny share that involved spending time at our house but couldn't afford it and also didn't want to take on the responsibility of being an employer. I think the other full time child and the after school child may be siblings.

It did seem to make sense when she explained it to me but as I've never done this before it's good to know how common this is.

HavePatience Sat 06-Aug-11 21:34:59

As a nanny share that sounds perfect. I'd go for it, then. Especially as only your and one other dc. I'm sure someone will come along and say it's illegal for her to be SE and a nanny...etc. But it sounds like a good arrangement (if you trust her) to me. smile

pollywollyhadadollycalledmolly Sat 06-Aug-11 22:05:11

The first one sounds much better, as a cm i dont have keys to any of my mindees houses, how strange for a cm to have that lol

nannynick Sat 06-Aug-11 22:07:26

You would need to clarify the employment status of the second one.
It does not sound right from what you are putting... why would she take children to her home, that could be a problem if it happens often and for more than 2 hours a time - may not be classed as a nanny then under Childcare Act 2006.

Nicadooby Sun 07-Aug-11 07:04:03

Sorry but I have to agree with nannynick as a nanny self employeed or not she would not be allowed the children at her house for mire than 2 hours a day, Plus if it is a nanny share then shouldn't you really be looking at where your dd would be cared for. Who would provide your dd food? Would this nanny have insurance? How much time would your dd be in the car?

If you want a nanny share then why don't you try and find a proper one with another family?

If it were me I'd go with the childminder, nanny sounds a bit odd to me, if it's any help I have worked as a nanny for 16 years who is now a childminder. I've taken the kids to my house on occasions but not like you are explaining

RitaMorgan Sun 07-Aug-11 07:31:16

The nanny share sounds very odd to me too. I would definitely double check her employment status as generally nannies are employed - and if you should be her employer then it is you that could face a big fine if you haven't been deducting tax and NI.

Would you have all the children at your house? Do you have insurance for this? Have you been to the other children's houses and met their parents?

exoticfruits Sun 07-Aug-11 08:09:35

I would go with the first. The nanny share sounds very odd to me and I wouldn't be at all keen on them being in different houses. The first may be inflexible, but you know exactly what you are getting. The second would be a constant worry to me.

nannyl Sun 07-Aug-11 09:42:38

the "Nanny situation" sounds very odd

bear in mind that unless she has specific house insurance stating she uses her house for buisness then your children are likely to be uninsured while at her house...

The self employment thing is also odd, although if SHE (not you) chooses her hours, and they are typically different each week, and she works in different places (which as you describe COULD be true) then unlikely to fit SE criteria. Self employed people can normally send someone else of they are not avaliable too, and i doubt she can.
And as Rita says, if she should be employed (as most nannies should be) then YOU will be fined £3k for not paying your employERS NI contributions, as well as being billed for what ever contributions you have evaded.

Equally if childminding / nannying (whatever) is going on in your home then YOU need extra home insurance too

missrose Sun 07-Aug-11 11:22:15

Thanks so much for the comments. You've brought up lots of issues that I didn't know about and hadn't considered. So glad I posted on here otherwise I may have gone ahead with the second one with no idea about the legal implications.

I'll have another chat with the second and ask her about these points as she may have it all sorted and I've misunderstood but I'm not going to take it any further with her. I do want to have a formal, legal arrangement with my childcarer and this is too complicated.

Thanks again for your help MNers, I've learnt a lot from this post!

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