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What questions to ask??

(23 Posts)
lachey Mon 27-Feb-06 13:36:21

Hi,
I am going to see a childminder tonight as I am thinking of taking my DS out of nursery and getting a childminder instead. I was just wondering though, what sort of questions should I be asking? Would appreciate any advice.
Thanks
x

lunavix Mon 27-Feb-06 13:38:50

There's an alibubbles list of questions floating around hopefully someone will post.

Ask to see certificates (training, registration, first aid etc) if they're well organised they should be in a file given to you with policies etc. Ask to see latest report (pay attention to this as any complaints will be recorded in it) and ask for references.

Ask how the child will be settled in, and what the daily routine involves, and can this be adjusted to suit your child.

Umm... is your ds under three?

lachey Mon 27-Feb-06 13:46:51

No, DS is 3 and a half.
Should I be asking how many other children she looks after and their ages? And about food? She would have him until 6 so would he get his tea there?
I didn't really think about this until today, just aswell mumsnet is here to ask!!

lunavix Mon 27-Feb-06 13:48:40

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

nzshar Mon 27-Feb-06 13:56:45

This is Ali's list I think


How long have you been working with children?

What training have you had? Any qualifications? Are you part of a network, achieved a quality assurance qualification, look at registration certificate, insurance details, business use for car. First aid must be no more than 3 years old, food hygiene certificate, Certificate in Childminding practice or NVQ 3, Contracts and record forms

Do you enjoy being with children and why?

Can I look around, see the rooms and outside play space? If there is no outside play space - how will you make sure my child gets the chance to play outside?

Where will my child rest?

What kind of food and drink will you give? Can I see a menu?

What will my child do all day?

How do you encourage good behaviour?

Will my child be with a regular group of children? How old are they? How will their timetable fit in with my child?

How will you make sure I know how my child is getting on?

What hours is she open?

How much does she charge?

What about when my child is sick, holidays, days off

What do you do in an emergency?

When was her last Ofsted, can you see the report?

Top 10 Quality Pointers

When you visit possible childcare options, look for these Quality Pointers:

Are the children calm, safe, happy and busy?

Do children play and talk together?

Is the childminder listening to the children and answering them carefully?

Is the childminder friendly and proud of her work?

lachey Mon 27-Feb-06 13:59:12

I think DS will have the last vacancy.
Should the house be totally child friendly as well? I just have no clue really!! Should I bring up holidays, and payment as well, or should I wait to see if we do decide on her for DS?

lunavix Mon 27-Feb-06 14:04:09

I'd just ask about the kiddie stuff first - I always feel if the CM or parent talks about money and holidays and stuff too soon that's what their basing it on... I like to focus on the kids first, then contract later.

But the contracty things you need to ask - how long is settling in period (ie the first few weeks where you can cancel without giving notice) price obviously, whether this includes food etc, how she takes holidays, what happens for your holidays, what happens if shes sick or needs a random day off, what happens if your LO is sick or needs a random day off, bank holidays....

If it helps:

I take 4 weeks holiday at half pay. I give a lot of notice and hope parents can fit it in around me (if I only have one or two parents I try to fit it around them) any holiday they take outside of this is at full pay.

Any random days off I take, or if I'm sick I don't charge, and I'd try to help find cover. Any random days off/sick days for the LO are at full pay.

I charge for bank holidays, but don't work them. If I was really needed, I'd charge double.

My settling in period is 2 - 4 weeks depending on age of child, during this period either side (parent or CM) can cancel at any time if it doesn't seem to be working. After this, notice period is 4 weeks.

lachey Mon 27-Feb-06 14:10:43

Thanks all .
Does the Ofsted report apply to Scotland?? Or is there something similar but has a different name (this is the last question, i promise!!!).

nzshar Mon 27-Feb-06 14:11:55

Think its the care comission in Scotland or something. Not too sure though so wouldnt take that as gospel Good luck

nzshar Mon 27-Feb-06 14:16:27

Try this hopefully it will help

Katymac Mon 27-Feb-06 14:17:38

Alibubbles list

How long have you been working with children?

What training have you had? Any qualifications? Are you part of a network, achieved a quality assurance qualification, look at registration certificate, insurance details, business use for car. First aid must be no more than 3 years old, food hygiene certificate, Certificate in Childminding practice or NVQ 3, Contracts and record forms

Do you enjoy being with children and why?

Can I look around, see the rooms and outside play space? If there is no outside play space - how will you make sure my child gets the chance to play outside?

Where will my child rest?

What kind of food and drink will you give? Can I see a menu?

What will my child do all day?

How do you encourage good behaviour?

Will my child be with a regular group of children? How old are they? How will their timetable fit in with my child?

How will you make sure I know how my child is getting on?

What hours is she open?

How much does she charge?

What about when my child is sick, holidays, days off

What do you do in an emergency?

When was her last Ofsted, can you see the report?

Top 10 Quality Pointers

When you visit possible childcare options, look for these Quality Pointers:

Are the children calm, safe, happy and busy?

Do children play and talk together?

Is the childminder listening to the children and answering them carefully?

Is the childminder friendly and proud of her work?

Is she joining in joining in with what the children are doing?

Are there lots of fun activities planned to help children learn and play? Can children plan some of these activities themselves?

Are there plenty of clean toys and equipment for children to use?

Is the premises clean, well kept and safe for children with a fun outside play area (or will the child go to parks and other places regularly)?

Do parents have plenty of chances to say what they want for their children?

If there are other things you want to know, don't be afraid to ask. Good childminders expect you to ask questions and will be happy to answer them.

Always take up references. You could ask for names of other parents to talk to about the service

Listen to your child and find out more if he/she is unhappy
Always trust your own feelings about your childcare - you know your child best

Lots of luck

nzshar Mon 27-Feb-06 14:20:29

Katymac is my post not showing?????

nzshar Mon 27-Feb-06 14:21:58

opps just saw that i hadnt copied the whole document LOL

lachey Mon 27-Feb-06 14:29:36

Thank you all, I have noted this all down so feel prepared for tonight now.

Katymac Mon 27-Feb-06 14:35:59

I thought a bit was missing?

gemmamay Mon 27-Feb-06 18:37:57

i am in a similar situation as I am too thinking of taking my DD out of nursery.
I didn't ask to see an OFSTED report-can I look them up on line like you can with a school?

Katymac Mon 27-Feb-06 19:44:05

Yes Gemmamay

They are here you just put in your postcode

But remember not all minder will have had a new style inspection - and there won't be any old style ones on-line

It will take about 3 yrs for all minders to have an inspection on-line

lachey Tue 28-Feb-06 14:10:26

Hi,
Well, everything went great last night, she was really nice and I just about remembered everythink I had to ask!!! So I am ready to go with her, she feels the same and I am taking DS to meet her for a couple of hours next week.
But one more question to ask - do you recommend handing notice to DS's nursery now, or wait to see how the first meeting goes with DS and childminder??? I am ready to hand in notice today, but would like other peoples opinions before I go for it.
Thanks

lachey Tue 28-Feb-06 14:18:50

bump

Katymac Tue 28-Feb-06 16:32:05

I personally would not give notice until you have a contract signed..but if you are confident of the C/Mer you might take the chance?

nannynick Tue 28-Feb-06 21:27:35

Thought of something, think it applies in Scotland (though you may need to check).

A 3.5 yr old will get nursery education funding, so could attend pre-school a few mornings a week. Did you discuss anything about pre-school education with the childminder? If not, may be worth doing so, as the childminder will probably know good local pre-schools and may take another child they care for. This can increase your costs as you may need to pay a top-up for pre-school fees (as the grant does not always cover the full cost) and you would be paying the childminder at the same time. However, your DS would be interacting with children of his own age within a learning though play environment.

lachey Wed 01-Mar-06 14:11:30

Thanks all.
DS will be going to a local Pre School in September, as there are no places available at the moment, and have discussed it with the childminder.
Have already handed in Ds's notice to nursery and is having a couple of hours with CM next week. (Was maybe a bit hasty putting his notice in now, but they really pi$$ed me off yesterday, so have took the plunge - he has to do a 6 week notice anyway, and have sorted all details with CM.)
Thank you all for your help

LoveMyGirls Mon 05-Jun-06 12:39:32

bump

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