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Looking for even more advice(11 Posts)
Thank you so much to everyone who has already offered me advice and opinions on here, it's so good to have some knowledgeable virtual friends. I have now met 8 childminders and realised how important it is to see as many as possible as the first three would have been a recipe for me giving up work before I'd given it a chance! I would now like opinions on the best course of action in my shortlist of options - I know only I can decide but any views you may have very much appreciated!
Option 1: really lovely, kind childminder would have three pre-schoolers and a max of 6 in total after school run. Fantastic record keeping, well-planned activities, glowing refs. More expensive and I would have to pay retainer in hols (I am a teacher). No space on one day but her friend, (I met her, v similar) could do that day.
Option 2: newly reregistered minder, did it for six years when her children were young and now returning to it after 10 years. Dd would be only one as it stands and she has no intention of taking more than 2 in total as she is doing it because she wants to and not for the money and is not interested in doing school runs. No Ofsted due to new registration but seems v v efficient, showed me all planning and tracking sheets, gave me cd with all policies and docs to look at at home. Lots of ideas re outdoor activities and seems really caring. I like that dd would not have to fit in round school run. No holiday payments, cheaper rates.
Please share your thoughts as I am really struggling to make up my mind!
I prefer the sound of option 2. Wouldn't like 6 children, sounds very business like rather than caring plus having her friend cover 1 day might cause confusion for your little one.
Thanks Bobbie, round here six seems to be a low number, several told me dd would be one of eight after the school run. Does anyone else have a view on the two options?
I am a childminder myself and 6 children after the school run is pretty normal but I wouldn't let that put you off, my little ones love playing with the older ones when they get in from school, my older ones are fantastic and they have a lovely time together.
The friend covering for one day can be a pro if your CM is ever ill or on holiday, means your dd could possibly go there so less chance of having to take time off work... but on down side, might take your dd a while to settle with it just being the one day per week.
sorry pressed button too soon.
2nd option - nice that she will only have 2 but although she says now she only going to have them we do sometimes taking on more because friends recommend us etc so i would say dont choose her because of small numbers, she may change her mind.
You need to choose whoever you feel able to communicate with, thats .
Don't know how old your little one is as I haven't read your other threads, but for me number 2 not being interested in school runs would put me off. My son started with our CM at 7.5months and has just started 3hrs per day at nursery (his funded hours) which she takes him to on her days with him, in 16 months he will be starting school and assuming nothing changes and we are still with her, she will do school runs for him.
The time has whizzed by so fast, I'm really pleased that she will be able to do nursery & school runs as otherwise we would have had to move him. When we started looking at CMs, nursery & school runs didnt even enter my head as he was just a baby, but they really do grow up so fast. Don't know if this makes sense?
Also, I was put off at first when my DS had to go on school runs etc, but he actually loves it, has no fear of the 'big school' and he loves the older ones when they come home.
Having a back up CM is always a good idea, I now have one and its a godsend, my DS is with the back up CM today as regular CMs daughter is ill - means I don't have to phone in sick at work/beg for a day off.
I'm a teacher too though and would want to have to pay a retainer in the holidays - I am very lucky that I don't have to. Having said that, I do send DS sometimes during school hols, but not for his regular 2 days per week, normally 1 day per week unless we are away ourselves.
Overall I think I would go with option 1!
I personally wanted my DD to be in a setting with lots of kids. She was around 10 months when she started. CM only has 2 or 3 during the day, but before and after school there are loads of them (maybe 8 or more) - she works with an assistant. I too was put off initially thinking my DD would have to fit into school runs and go out in all weather.
In actual fact, the older children adore her and she loves them. School runs means fresh air and bonding time with children for her (I've had photos of DD in buggy with 2 older kids either side of her holding her hands on the way to school). They always walk to and from school and often stop off at the park on the way back.
More children means loads of socialisation and a confident child I think. I would be put off by CM1 not wanting to do school runs. Time goes so quickly and I have to start thinking about pre schools soon. And wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to unsettle your baby only a couple of years after she starts. And possibly staying in the same place through school time.
Good luck whatever you decide though.
Our CM has 4 under 3 that are all p/t, so only 3 at any one time. Then there are 4 younger school-age kids and her own three who are between 7 and 13, so they do the school run twice every day. The house is manic sometimes! But on the other side of the coin, she was a very new CM when we chose her and so didn't have any reports to show us.
DD (15m) absolutely adores having the older kids around and they play with her so nicely, in a way that adults and kids her own age can't do. She loves the school run too, all these other kids to watch. It provides some real structure to the day.
As others have mentioned, I do like the idea that maybe we could use the CM for the next 10 years if we get DD in to that school.
I think with a decision like this you really have to go with your gut. They both have their pros and cons, so you need to sit and think about which one you can imagine your DC spending the day with.
haven't read your previous posts so don't know anything about other cms you saw, age of child etc....
would not go with number 1. 6 children after school is a fair old number, and also her friend doing 1 day is not good - that's 2 different carers for your dd to get used to.
I would go for number 2, sounds like she is doing the job for the right reasons.
You may find that if you take too long making up your mind, you no longer have both options open to you - what parents often fail to realise is we are normally choosing them as much as they are choosing us - so one may decide not to take you on anyway, in which case she decision is made for you either way - but if you leave it too long to get back to them they may have already taken on someone else.
So, what I'm saying is, you've seen an awful lot of cms - and if this is the 2 you have come down to, then I would contact the one you prefer asap and see if she still has the space available
Thank you everyone. It's good to see a range of views and we will make a decision this evening. Dd is 8mo so will be just one in September when she starts with cm. Unfortunately we live in a tiny village with no cms of its own and so will be taking dd 4 or 5 miles for cm - none of them serves the village school so that will be another headache further down the line. I keep suggesting to village based friends that they become cms in the hope that there will be someone registered in three years time!
With regards to your second option I began Childminding to look after friends child. I became registered and then word got round and I suddenly was inundated with other children. She may only want two kiddies now, pbut she may well take more on in the future.
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