I have been a Registered CM for nearly a year now. When I first was registered I had work for about 6 months then I lost the little girl I was minding in december 2005, I have had no work since, I have to sign on every week at the moment and it is driving me crazy, I feel like giving up as I have done everything I can think of for advertising. My colleagues say that its my dog that is putting people off but he is very pleasant around the children, if they would only give him a chance they would see this. I would really be greatfull if I could have some help, getting fed up
Blimey, I wouldn't worry about a dog in the house.
People are surely aware that you wouldn't want your dog to bite their children, it's bad for business. So a childminder isn't going to have the sort of dog that does that.
Are people coming to see you, then choosing not to use you, or are you just not getting any interest at all?
If people are coming to see you, then going elsewhere, why not ask one or two of them why they have chosen someone else? Ask them to be totally honest, and be prepared to take their answers seriously. Maybe ask a couple of friends to come round and look at your house, then tell you if they think anything is a problem.
If the dog does prowl about when people visit, maybe put him elsewhere once people have met him, just so he doesn't seem to take over the house?
I have a dog (a mental collie!) and it has NEVER EVER put people off! One friends little girl is scared of him, so when she comes around he gets put outside in his run (he has a kennel / run outside and sleeps there)
One parent sends there little girl as my house is full of pets and they can't have any!
The dog has his bed under the stairs in the hallway and i have recently put the stairgate from the bottom of the stairs on the living room door. The dog will go in his bed if need be and he also has a training collar which i put on. I can see where some people are coming from. If I have minded children in the house the dog is never left with them, he follows me everywhere, now that it is spring/summer he loves to be outside on his part of the garden(garden is split in to two by a fence).
Maybe it's you (I am kidding!!)
Just out of curiosity, do you apologise for the dog, sorry about him here, sorry about him there kind of thing? That would put me right off as I would think you were apologising for having the dog and maybe something to hide? How do you introduce your dog?
(I have a dog, but I would have reservations about leaving DS with a childminder with a dog - it would depend how the childminder came over in respect to the dog IYSWIM)
I recently found a CM for DS, the one we chose does have a dog, a jack russell, who was friendly and also kept out of the way with a room divider. I did however visit one lady who had 3 dogs, large ones, which did put me off. But what put me off most was her being late for the appointment at her house and then sitting down, and saying 'allreght?' and nothing else.
My CM impressed me because she had a fab portfolio with every area covered, which she talked us through. She showed us all her certificates voluntarily, gave us a tour of the house, and encouraged us to ask questions. Also DS gave her a big hug before we left which sold us! HTH you.
As most dogs do when the door bell is rang he barks which i am trying to make him stop, I think that may put people off straight away. when I invite them in the dog has to stay in his bed then when they are seated I will say do you mind if I let the dog in to meet you.
When chatting about what I offer I have a portfolio which has all my policies and proceedures,certificatesand all copys of contracts and forms that need to have parental permission as I think this is very important
I think the main problem has got to be the dog. You have probably halved (at least!) your prospective clientele (there are many many people who would never leave their child with a dog, whatever you are like/the dog is like). If you can accept that and find a positive spin for the dog to those who are ok with the idea (such as you are able to teach children how to behave responsibly around animals for example) might help.
When I needed a childminder I phoned my local council and they sent me a list of childminders in my area with vacancies. Are you part of something like that? You could also try advertising in Post Offices/supermarkets etc.
Hope work picks up for you soon!