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Childminder - when to look and starting back at work

(5 Posts)
ObviouslyOblivious Sat 06-Aug-11 22:18:32

I don't even want to think about this yet, but I go back to work in late January 2012. I will have lots of holiday to use before April so am considering going back one day a week or some half day combinations for a while then building up to three days <prays that flexible working is accepted>

When should I start looking for a childminder (I'm in London)?

And when I go back at first will I need to pay for all three days to keep my place even if I'm not using them? Should I use those weeks to acclimatise DS to the change and send him for half days? What do people normally do to get DCs used to a childminder?

Sorry for all the questions; I'm sure they've all been asked and answered many times before.

NickNacks Sun 07-Aug-11 08:23:34

I would start looking now. I have just filled my January vacancy. My own child turns 8 so I knew I'd have an upcoming space.

And with regard to the other days I would say you would probably be expected to pay or risk the days not being available when you need them. I personally couldn't afford to hold a space 2 days a wk for 3/4 months. I think it would be a very good idea to use the days to sette your son as one day a week is not very good for (I assume) a baby around 12 months as they forget after not being there for 6 days.

Good luck.

ObviouslyOblivious Sun 07-Aug-11 21:09:04

Thank you NickNacks

girliefriend Sun 07-Aug-11 21:18:22

I would start looking now as Jan will come round frighteningly quickly (sorry!) Childminders differ in how flexable they are/ can be, and they normally will have a policy of a settling in period and what they recommend.

I would advise seeing at least 3 different childminders, trust instincts, read their ofsted reports and take a list of questions to ask!!!

mamamaisie Sun 07-Aug-11 22:47:10

I agree, start looking now but be prepared for some childminder to be unwilling to take a booking this early. Most of my enquiries are about 1-2 months before the start date. Tomorrow I am meeting a mum who is going back to work at the end of February 2012. Normally I don't take bookings this early but this just happens to suit me really well. I have a place opening up soon but have two lots of relatives coming to visit from abroad so I have decide not to fill the place until after they have been. I would have preferred an enquiry for early January but this one for late February came along so I am happy to go with it smile.

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