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interviewing childminders

(38 Posts)
nothingbyhalves Mon 22-Oct-12 18:39:50

I interviewed a childminder today for the first time, Granted i really didn't know what to expect, but the childminder didn't offer to show me around her home where she will be looking after DC. I did ask where they would nap, if they need one (they will be only just 3 when they go to her and do occaisonly still sleep in the day) and she said her other children sleep on a bean bag or in the pram. I just thought she would show me around a little, like the kitchen, outside where the children play etc. Or was I expecting too much?

forevergreek Mon 22-Oct-12 18:45:57

I would expect to be shown around fully, with details of daily activities including naptimes.

whatsinthebagangelos Mon 22-Oct-12 18:49:25

It would have been nice if she had shown you around however it's important to remember you don't interview a childminder. A first meeting is for both sides to see whether a potential working relationship can be formed. Childminders are self employed so are free to make these choices and are not being employed by the parent. Did you ask her to show you her setting? How did she seem in general? You need to go with how you felt she would be with your child, and often that is a gut instinct. smile

SamSmalaidh Mon 22-Oct-12 18:49:57

I saw one childminder who was like this - didn't show me around, didn't really offer any information about her setting/meals etc Needless to say I didn't go with her! I saw others who had all their policies to hand, could show me menus, example routines, copies of their Ofsted report.

minderjinx Mon 22-Oct-12 20:32:11

She doesn't sound very keen, but remember you are not really interviewing her any more than she is interviewing you. Is it possible something you said made her think your family/dc wasn't going to be a good match for her vacancy so she was just going through the motions?

nothingbyhalves Mon 22-Oct-12 21:05:17

I did try to point out that she may not want to look after DC, but she said it was not an issue. DC are twins so I do realise that not everyone wants to take on twins. She did ask if they got on.

thebody Mon 22-Oct-12 21:52:09

She sounds like she has allready decided she didn't want to take your children.

Cms interview parents as they are self employed.

I wouldn't have acted like this as a cm as its rude but I definatly made up my mind I couldn't work with certain parents at the first contact.

poopnscoop Mon 22-Oct-12 21:59:14

As a CM I am well aware I am being interviewed as much as a parent is... in as much as we are both trying to find out as much as we can about each other irt meeting the child in question's care needs... behaviour management/health and nutrition et al.

I give prospective parents a house tour, show them plenty of documents (statutory docs, children's art work and creative activities, as well as my own policies/menus etc.) and have a good natter and question time... which can go on for a while... blush

It seems to do the trick - I'd say at least 80%-90% of the parents come back to me asking for a place grin (Bearing in mind I only arrange an interview with those who I feel will be a likely match - via their initial email/s).

MaryPoppinsBag Tue 23-Oct-12 07:25:17

Try another one!

Parents see my house because the playroom is at the back. And you have to walk through the hall to the kitchen / diner to get to it.
Most just look through the window at the garden.
They don't always look in my living (although I do host in there sometimes) and nobody has looked at the bathroom upstairs.

Where did you conduct your 'interview'? Surely you went into the house. Most parents just take you on face value and think well if the playroom and kitchen are ok the rest must be.

The 3 year old I look after naps in his pushchair on way to school or may fall asleep on the sofa during quiet time. Not sure what the issue is there, as most 3 yo don't need to be put down like babies they just fall asleep if they need to.

I would, however, put a smaller toddler/ baby to nap in my living room, in a travel cot.

forevergreek Tue 23-Oct-12 07:32:49

I would wanted a cot/ bed/ somewhere quiet for a child to sleep tbh, so would want to see the arrangements. Almost 3 year old here hasn't been in a buggy for a year so unlikely to just nap in it every day.

MaryPoppinsBag Tue 23-Oct-12 07:56:54

My setting is quiet at 'quiet time' currently just one mindee and my DS.
If a parent if a child asked for a cot for a child of that age, I would endeavour to provide smile

I lift the child out of his pushchair if he's fallen asleep on way to afternoon school run and lay him on a sofa in my living room. (because it's busier then)
But usually he'd wake on me doing that.

I do not have a spare room upstairs, and I refuse to use one of my DC's as quite frankly they share enough.

HSMM Tue 23-Oct-12 08:23:27

My little ones sleep in a cot in a quiet room. The older ones can go on the bed in there if they like, but they seem to prefer to make themselves a snuggly place to snooze in the play room, so they can just get up and get on with it when they wake.

HSMM Tue 23-Oct-12 08:24:34

I do show parents around the house. I don't show them the family bedrooms unless they insist (they are registered , but rarely used).

MrAnchovy Tue 23-Oct-12 17:02:17

Why is everyone getting hung up on the word "interview"?

You don't "interview" an estate agent either, but you do expect them to show you round the house!

So what word would you childminders prefer? View? That does sound like you are buying the house. Meet? Sounds like you bumped into each other in the street. Conducted an initial dialogue with a view to potentially entering into an agreement for childcare services???

Italiana Tue 23-Oct-12 19:05:59

Agree we must drop the word is a meeting where you get to know each others needs and practice
I do show parents around and let them ask as many questions as they like...some really are very grateful to be informed

If someone is keen on ther job then a tour of the house surely is part of the whole parents always come back or ring for fedback...this c/m was not too keen on selling her services....visit another and compare
Good luck

nothingbyhalves Tue 23-Oct-12 19:44:34

Think she was possibly shy and a quiet person. Which would not suit our boys really anyway, so have decided on that alone she isn't the childminder for us. Have bben given a couple of other recommendations which we are looking into, but I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks smile

Akasa Tue 23-Oct-12 21:05:04

Yes I agree that "interview" is an awkward word but I am not sure what other word to use. As others have said, it is a 50/50 meeting and is as much for the C/M to find out about the prospective mindee and their parents as for them to find out about me. A few years ago, I started asking to meet mindees in their own home after the initial meeting at my house. What an eye-opener that turned out to be and as hungry as I may be for new business, I have over the past three years rejected a number of would-be mindees following my visit to their house.

I agree that the parent must feel totally at ease in leaving their child with you and must have no concerns but the C/M must also feel entirely comfortable with whoever they are allowing into their home (both child and adult). I want to know that any new mindee joining my setting will not alter the dynamic that currently exists between the various mindees and the home-visits are a very good way of seeing the "other side of the coin". I know it takes time but I strongly recommend it.

Flisspaps Tue 23-Oct-12 21:12:36

I prefer 'meet'. I am not interviewed. Interview gives the impression that it's very much the parent making the decision and it isn't. It's the same as people saying they 'sacked' their childminder. You can't sack a childminder because we're self employed.

I don't give guided tours of my house either, unless parents specifically ask to have a look around.

isislondon Wed 24-Oct-12 08:45:17

Mine was like Marypoppins one, showed me round the house & all her certificates , where they sleep eat, the kitchen , everywhere well childproofed & clean. If you feel wary go with your gut instinct there are a lot of good registered childminder in all areas which charge the same or v close to non registered & you can see their ofsted score online.

isislondon Wed 24-Oct-12 08:48:08

Frankly I'd feel a right to see all the areas of the house that my child would be using, & ofsted inspected. Ofsted don't visit every month so you need to see present conditions which can occasionally slip

AlphaBeta82 Wed 24-Oct-12 08:49:11

Try another one, my childminder showed me round her house, discussed in length the specific needs for my dc, talked to me for ages and engaged with dc. I kept it really informal, it was a 'meet' not 'interview', but best move I ever made. DC has been with her now for 18mths and couldn't be happier.

But I do think it is a gut feeling thing as well, I do believe you just know when it is right for your child.

Tanith Wed 24-Oct-12 09:51:11

I call them "visits", Mr. Anchovy: less to type, too smile

I don't show people round. I've found, in the past, that dragging them round the house on a guided tour and shoving my policies in their faces can be very offputting.

I do give a copy of my policies for them to take home, plus have a hard-bound copy available. I do tell them to go where they want and to ask any questions they like, too. I tell them they're welcome to come back for however many visits they like.
I also do the home visits.

JustFabulous Wed 24-Oct-12 10:04:09

All you CMs who say you are self emplyed, do you expect the parents to pay you holiday pay? There are so many threads about this issue on here and it seems that some CMs want it both ways.

TheHamish Wed 24-Oct-12 10:44:07

I don't expect holiday pay. I set aside an amount from my earnings to pay myself when I am on holiday.

Flisspaps Wed 24-Oct-12 13:13:35

If people ask to have a look, that's fine - I used to offer a tour but was declined am each time so now leave it to the parent to ask.

Holidays - I take 4 weeks off unpaid. I've not factored in any sort of charge to parents to cover my holiday weeks. The onus is on me to save the money I need to live on then!

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