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Any childminders with 3 under 18 months?

(16 Posts)
RitaMorgan Tue 13-Sep-11 18:36:28

I'm looking for a childminder for my 13 month old, and have met two with a space - both already have a baby and a young toddler.

I'm a little concerned about how a childminder would cope with three such little ones - how they would get out of the house, to the park etc. Could anyone who looks after this age range let me know how you cope?

Also, any suggestions of things to ask these CMs to ensure they've thought things through/have everything in place would be much appreciated.

Northernlurker Tue 13-Sep-11 18:38:39

Not used a childminder but did feel moved to point out that there are plenty of parents out there with twins and a singleton under 18 months. A good childminder would cope like a parent does. Ask what sort of buggy/slings etc she uses.

RitaMorgan Tue 13-Sep-11 18:40:43

Well, equally I'm happy for a parent to tell me how they manage.

Northernlurker Tue 13-Sep-11 18:45:04

ah well - I had bigger gaps with mine but a friend had twins then a singleton. She used a double Mountain buggy with baby in a sling then put a buggy board on the back and had one on there and two in the buggy. She walked EVERYWHERE - certainly no problems getting out. For a while they all shared a room too.
I think in any two and one situation it's definately not three lots of work because the two who are closer in age do so much together.

Chica1912 Tue 13-Sep-11 19:03:57

Hi I'm a cm with a variation to look after 4 under 5's ( I also looked after a child in reception) so often had 5 under 6's. I have a triple buggy and sling and have carried out very detailed risk assessments to ensure the safety of all the children. I have systems in place when getting children in and out of cars i.e. the children wait behind a closed gate (they can see through it) and wait to be called to get in the car- the most mobile/tricky child gets in first out last. I put the little ones in the buggy first getting out of the car then the older ones stand either holding the buggy or against a wall/ railings etc as far from the road as possible. We are out and about every day, go to parks, playgroups, museums, the farm, zoo etc, do the school run and if im feeling particularly brave- soft play! It can be done as long as the cm is extremely organised. Why dont you ask the cms to give examples of how they'd keep the children safe while out and about then depending on their answers you can decide from there?

Flisspaps Tue 13-Sep-11 19:19:05

Yes - DD is 18mo and I have a 16mo mindee and a 9mo mindee two days a week.

To be honest, I don't tend to take the three of them out - but then I have an enormous garden so the park isn't really necessary and the napping of the youngest one means going anywhere would be difficult. Besides, there aren't many places of interest to little ones near me (other than perhaps Lidl!) I don't drive so anywhere we'd go would have to be on foot and I don't have a triple buggy. If I had a car it might be easier to go out and about.

In an emergency though I'd stick the two mindees in the double buggy and have DD on her reins so getting out wouldn't be an issue - that would certainly be something I'd suggest you bring up with the CM though, just to make sure she's considered it.

Mealtimes are fine, I have three highchairs that attach to the table so we all sit together, and they all take a morning nap at roughly the same time but there's some overlap so they all get a bit of one-to-one time too. It's not easy, but it's certainly manageable smile

gardenpixies32 Tue 13-Sep-11 19:57:18

Yes-I have a 15, 16 and 17 month old so pretty much like having triplets.

I have all three of them two days a week and it is hard work but I manage and all their parents are happy and think I do a good job. We used to only tend to go to the park, I have a double buggy and reins, it works well. It took me a while to get confident going out with all three. Now we occasionally go to toddler group (I have 3 car seats) and they love it. I have 3 high chairs and they all eat together. Afternoon nap times are luckily at the same time.
You have to be very organised and have piles of patience but it is possible.

What always surprises people is that I have no children of my own and had never changed a nappy before becoming a childminder and now I have three toddlers to look after!

looneytune Wed 14-Sep-11 10:17:09

I don't now but when ds2 came along, I returned to work with 4 aged 18 months and under (10 wks, 8 months, 17 months and 18 months). I was out and about loads, daily school runs, trips toddler groups, the park etc. Obviously I had all the correct car seats in my car so we weren't restricted in where we went. I also used a triple buggy and a sling. If you are concerned, ask her exactly what she plans to do and go with your gut feeling smile

glenthebattleostrich Wed 14-Sep-11 12:34:57

I look after a 14mth old, a 10 mth old and my 16 mth old 2 days a week. It's exhausting but they are my favorite days. I use a double buggy for 2 of them and my daughter goes on my back in her carrier (too heavy for her moby now).

We go to soft play, toddler groups and to the park. i don't drive so walk everywhere and find this helps sync up their nap times. If we don't walk at nap time we can have issues with them trying to wake each other up!

RitaMorgan Wed 14-Sep-11 12:44:18

I can imagine how it works going to and from somewhere contained like home or a toddler group. How about the park though? If you have a baby in the buggy/sling and two toddlers who dart off in opposite directions?

Chica1912 Wed 14-Sep-11 15:45:19

I don't know where you are or what the parks are like near you but I choose parks where this isn't likely to be a problem. Most good childminders should be able to manage these situations, I teach the children very early on that they can run ahead, within easy sight, until I say stop and that ignoring me/running too far off will result in them going in the buggy or having to hold my hand/ side of the buggy. The children understand these boundaries and to date I haven't had any issues. One of my mindees used to run away from his parents and they provided reins which I put on him but never had to actually use as he 'obeyed' my rules from day one. I choose enclosed playgrounds where they cant 'escape'. It does sound like you are very wary of this so even if the minders in question could explain what they do my hunch is that you would still worry so it's not worth it. For your own peace of mind it's probably time to re look at other childminders who have fewer little ones....

alibubbles Wed 14-Sep-11 15:51:09

I have 3 under 2 and a 2 year old ( all siblings of older ones I have had, variation in place)and go to various activities everyday including a music class and everyone comments on how well behaved they are. I have high expectations and as they have all been with me since tiny, they get used to safety routines very quickly and as chica says, you have a drill to follow when using the car.

They soon learn who is first and in which seat position is theirs. If one escapes tries to run off, I ask them if they would like to go on reins or walk properly beside me, they don't want to be on reins, they would prefer to be kicking leaves and jumping in puddles, so understand and respond accordingly. Children love to please, and they get constant praise for walking well, listening. looking at nature and making me happy.

I have all mine asleep together in the same room, for at least 2 hours after lunch, which they all eat seated at a nursery table and nursery chairs.

The more you have the easier it is, I love my little girls dearly, the only downside, is I will lose them all to school at the same time!

A minder wouldn't take them on if she couldn't realistically manage it, it is hard work, but very rewarding.

alibubbles Wed 14-Sep-11 15:52:06

that was supposed to be escapes (tongue in cheek!)

alibubbles Wed 14-Sep-11 15:53:00

chica you sound like me!

RitaMorgan Wed 14-Sep-11 16:03:47

Yes Chica, of course I am wary! I'm realistic that caring for an 11 month old, 13 month old and 14 month old for example will be very demanding, and I want to be sure any childminder has considered things carefully. One of the CMs I have seen is newly registered and has no prior/professional childcare experience beyond her own baby, so may not have as good a grasp of potential issues as you do.

looneytune Thu 15-Sep-11 08:05:11

Alibubbles, that's what's just happened to me sad My 4 under 18 months are now 3, nearly 4, 4 and 4! 2 are now at 'big school' and my ds2 who was 10 wks when I started back is now 3 and in nursery every afternoon! It's all very strange at the moment!

As for the OP, I agree with Chicca. I do understand that you're wary but agree that a good childminder wouldn't do this unless they were confident it would be ok. I do think that you would worry no matter what and therefore might feel better getting a CM with less children if possible.

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