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What would you consider to be a GOOD Childminder?

(19 Posts)
MUM2BLESS Thu 11-Apr-13 10:14:56

I am a childminder myself.

I have noticed that someone was looking for a childminder and another person was looking for a good childminder.

I would like to know what is the criteria for a good childminder. Not being picky but would like to measure myself against what it means grin

Would like to hear from parents and cms.

Thank you.

Runoutofideas Thu 11-Apr-13 10:51:04

I think a lot of it is down to being a good fit for a particular family. I, for example, would be a good childminder for a family who like their children to go to lots of groups/visit lots of places and who like their children to be encouraged to play independently and create their own games rather than being directed all the time. I give the children occasional treat food and let them watch tv occasionally.

In this respect I would not be a good childminder for a family who like to control everything very closely, whether that be food or activities. Nor would I be a good childminder for parents who believe in never reprimanding their child or discouraging unacceptable behaviour. I am not hugely strict, but I do think that rough play or unkind behaviour should be stopped.

I think the initial conversations with a family are very important to check whether their ethos and parenting are in line with yours, as if not, there could potentially be friction further down the line.

MUM2BLESS Thu 11-Apr-13 11:46:09

Love your reply Runoutofideas. Very interesting comments.

If someone choose me I would

- provide lots of books for children (love to visit the library)
- make every day things a learning opportunity (through the five senses)
- Give lots of praises for good behaviour, correct unacceptable behaviour ie biting etc.
- i work with my parents to continue the care of their children, keep them imformed (through newsletters etc)
-attend school special events (my youngest in the same class/year as some of the children I mind).
- flexible hours between 07.30- 18.00

- Do special theme days with the kids

Any more comments? Thanks in advance

MUM2BLESS Thu 11-Apr-13 11:48:28

I must be doing something right as I have never been without children. I know tha ratio of kids you can have is now flexible but I will not take on lots of kids if I felt I could not manage them.

I aim to give quality care.

nannynick Thu 11-Apr-13 12:59:33

Wonder if anyone would ever advertise saying they wanted a Bad childminder?

WouldBeHarrietVane Thu 11-Apr-13 13:06:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mamadoc Thu 11-Apr-13 15:16:04

I think it is quite personal but I think I have a good CM (and have in the past, for older dd had one good and one ok Cm)

Things that make my current CM good for my family are:

Really knows my DS and his interests well, genuinely cares for him and welcomes him into her family. Her dh and her ds are also really lovely with him when they're around.
Does lots of fun outings and a good range of toys and activities
Loving but firm and fair
Very flexible about my occasional lateness (hard to avoid in my job and discussed up front) and will even have Dd odd days in school hols if she's able to help.
She's quite organised about invoices and policies etc which I think is good as you know where you are.

If I was a more strict routine kind of person it wouldn't work as he does have to nap in pushchair and fit around others a bit but fortunately I'm not bothered about that.

My less good CM in the past was kind and loving but she didn't do much in the way of outings or activities and she was very disorganised which didn't fill you with confidence.

doughnut44 Thu 11-Apr-13 19:26:12

One who puts the childrens needs first and foremost

lechatnoir Thu 11-Apr-13 21:22:28

I'd say I'm a good cm because:
I treat all the children in my care as I do my own - lots of kisses & cuddles, I chat to them, listen to them, get involved & play with them, I do a good range of activities & outings, we sit together at the table for meals & chat, I'm a stickler for good manners & have a zero tolerance approach to swearing/fighting etc, I feed them decent food 90% of the time but do allow the odd treat, we only have TV on once a week (or never for some unless they're here for Friday movie with popcorngrin), I rarely have more than 1 under 3 as I prefer to give younger ones more 1:2:1 care plus my husband is around quite a bit and the kids love playing with him, my invoicing & policies etc are all very wouldn't like me if you prefer a more structured approach or if planning, observations, EYFS & meeting developmental milestones are important because I do what I must to satisfy Ofsted but it really is the bear minimum. Oh & I'm more expensive than most local CM's smile

Mutley77 Fri 12-Apr-13 11:53:32

I'm a mum who has used a childminder and my main criteria for a childminder being good is that they "love" my child (I know love is strange word for that kind of relationship but kind of at least act like they do and give them lots of affection and care about them).

If I can't be looking after them myself I want to feel confident that whoever is will put their needs first as I would - in terms of their happiness and safety probably most of all.

I couldn't give a monkeys about what they eat, what they do, etc!

MUM2BLESS Fri 12-Apr-13 13:38:30

Nice one everyone.

I have such a better understanding of the word "good childminder".

Wonder if anyone would ever advertise saying they wanted a Bad childminder? I started this thread as I saw the word good childminer in someones post. It makes me know that parents dont just want any cm to look after their gems.

WouldBeHarrietVane thanks for your kind words.
I am fussy over my own four kids 8-17 yrs. I would like to think I can offer a good service to anyone who uses me. To be honest I kinna know which cm I would use and which I would not.

There are somethings which are vital in what a parent might look for and some things ,as I have read, are their own preference.

Being a childminder has changed over the years. I started the same month and year that the Early Years Foundation Stage started (Sept 2008). Our role is not always as straight forward as it seems.

Its rewarding with challenges too.

Great to hear your views. I will look at these again and see what I can do to bring up the level of my care of the children.

More comments welcomed!!!

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 12-Apr-13 13:43:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MUM2BLESS Fri 12-Apr-13 14:17:01

Thanks for asking.

Start looking early, can stress you if you wait until the last moment
Ask anyone you know who uses a cm, would they recommend them?
Visit at least 3-4 cm
How was the cm with your own child? does the other kids look happy?
Is the cm home welcoming and clean?
What grading did they get when inspected
What package can they offer you


How long have you been cm, how many kids do you care for and their ages, how do you manage challenging behaviour, what training have you had, what hours do you provide, do you do school runs and which school are you attached to, where do the babies sleep, do you attend any groups, what educational activities do yo provide. You can also ask for any references from other parents.

You will know when you meet the right cm.

Hope that helps.

MUM2BLESS Fri 12-Apr-13 14:19:30

Me again

Check the package of the cm. For example some charge for Bank hols even when not worked. Some do not work and so not charge. Some only charged if worked, at a higher rate. Check the small print before you sign.

Some charge a retainer (hold your place until your ready, some do not do the retainer).

Akasa Fri 12-Apr-13 22:42:47

If it is a "word of mouth" recommendation then you will have an idea already (depending of course from whom the recommendation has come!!). You may have researched the minder's Ofsted reports so again will have some idea of what to expect.

Your own personal instincts will help you make your mind up as a recommendation as well as an Ofsted report are someone else's viewpoints.

If the Childminder offers lots of visits to groups, it may sound good but is that something you would do and would you want it for your own children. If there are school runs going on, are you happy for your child to go out twice a day to take and collect other peoples children at school. If the Childminder is caring for a number of children, are you happy that your child may be one of perhaps 6 children, all vying for attention etc.

Over the many years that I have been minding, I have found that everyone is looking for something different. Some parents are looking for a setting where their child is perhaps just one of two without lots of comings and goings and a very orderly "home from home" routine - others are seeking a busy home with quite a few children and lots of activity.

It really is very difficult to define good. Having said that, attention to safety and a caring nature must be over-riding characteristics of any good Childminder - some mothers will look to emulate themselves when seeking a Childminder and others will want to ensure that a prospective Childminder is distinctly different. What is good to one person may not necessarily be the same to someone else.

MUM2BLESS Wed 17-Apr-13 21:22:53

Thanks again. Akasa how many do you cm? how long have you been cm?

I look after eight kids in all. One of which, only comes during the hols, now and then. I deal with six families. I have to be flexible as they are not all the same.

This is my fifth year. Its been an experience, both rewarding and challenging. I must admit I have cried at times. I am wiser and stronger than when I first started. Its made me more cautious about who I take on.

I am about to say good bye to three of my cm kids (siblings) shortly. Moving away.

MUM2BLESS Wed 17-Apr-13 21:26:02

Being a cm is more than just a job.You get attached to the kids. I know I am NOT Mum and I do not aim to take Mums place. However you want the best for them. I have had my tug of war with some. I will continue to be the best cm I can be.

Schooldidi Wed 17-Apr-13 21:41:16

I have an excellent cm (although Ofsted think she's 'good') for dd2. I found her by word of mouth and she was the third cm I'd visited (and there was one I didn't bother even talking to because I knew I wouldn't want to use her). I had a recommendation from a friend from church who had seen our cm at toddlers every week for over a year before she realised she was a cm rather than the mother of the 3 children she was minding, then when I mentioned her name to our hv she told me how wonderful and experienced she is. I've used 2 cm previously for dd1, years ago, and I thought they were wonderful as well, both of them were found through knowing people as well.

My main priorities have been:
A good relationship with the children
Taking the children out (toddler groups, parks, meeting other cms, even just going shopping)
Welcoming atmosphere
Not too formal; it is supposed to be home away from home after all
NO strict routine for nap/meal times, a rough guide with flexibility built in suits us best.

Dd2 adores our cm and I have come to count her as a friend as well. Dd2 has been going full time for 2.5 years and I fully intend to keep her there for the next few years, even once she's at school and breakfast/after school clubs would work out cheaper. I value the stability and security that dd2 has with our cm and her family.

MUM2BLESS Mon 22-Apr-13 10:50:19


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