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Starting the training to become a Childminder, advice needed

(6 Posts)
SweetieXPie Tue 06-Jan-15 13:01:08

I am hoping some of you childminders can give me some advice.
I am in the process of starting a Home Childcare course. I have contacted the Local Authority who have sent me through lots an lots of information. I am hoping to start the course itself this week.
If you could helps with the following:-
1. How many weeks holiday do you request a year? If you only look after children in term time, do you still expect to be paid in the school holidays (or part paid)
2. I have three children, 6, 4 and 16 months, by the time I actually start childminding my two oldest will be at school during the day. Will I be really restricted with the amount of children I can look after.
3. For those of you with your own young children, do you find your own children misbehave when you have all of the children at home together.
4. I like to get my children out in all weathers, on their scooters, we have lots of good parks and walks near by, do you have some parents that are very fussy about their children going out (albeit appropriately dressed) in cold weather.
5. I know they have changed the rules with food and I am sure I will learn all about this on the course but how many people are still providing a dinner as I know a few childminders who have stopped providing dinners due to this change.

Sorry I know it is really long-winded, I would just like to be prepared as possible, so any great tips would be fab.
Thank you in advance x

busyDays Tue 06-Jan-15 13:32:18

1. I take 4 weeks of holiday a year, unpaid. I turn down any requests for term time only care as I need a full income all year round.

2. I've also got three children, two at school and a baby=) You are allowed to look after three children under school age, plus another three under 8s (assuming you are in England). So in addition to your own children you could have two little ones and one schoolie, plus some over 8s as well.

3. Yes and no. My own children have got on very well with some mindees, where they have become best friends and not had any jealousy issues, but there have been other mindees that they just didn't like/gel with and then I have had fighting/tantrums/tears. I find it is generally easier to look after children that are younger than my own as then mine don't seem to feel as threatened/jealous as they do with the older ones.

4. We go out in all weather and parents have been mostly fine with it but some just don't have a clue how to dress their children. They come in really thin coats or no coats and summer shoes. I have a stash of spare winter clothes and wet weather dungarees that I use when needed.

5. I supply a cooked lunch (heated left overs from my family meal the night before) and then they go home for dinner. I find it easier to have everybody eating the same. I'm quite strict on healthy eating for my own children and it has caused problems in the past when children have brought their own food including crisps, chocolates, fruit shoots, etc, that mine are not allowed. So I prefer to just provide everything.

kathryng90 Tue 06-Jan-15 14:14:14

Hi
1 I take upto 4 weeks holiday per year unpaid. I charge full fee for parents even for their holidays. Basically if I work I expect to be paid even if they are off/ill etc.
I offer term time only contracts because it suits me to have slightly less kids during holidays and usually fill up with last min requests!
2 Ofsted registered for 6 aged 8 and under to include 3 preschoolers with extra aged over 8.
3 my own kids have all grown up with my job and all enjoy it with me. Occasional squabbles over toys/my time as you would expect. Always had a rule that toys in lounge (separate playroom) are not for sharing and if they are left around anyone can play with them. Never had a major issue with behaviour either my kids or mindees.
4 I make it clear in portfolio that I am an active outdoor cminder and as such suitable clothing must be sent. It's in my contracts too. Would weedle out any fussy 'don't like kids getting mucky' parents at interview and not offer care. Also have spares (wellies coats hats etc) in car and at home.
5. Kids bring pack up. Either last nights tea to be warmed or sandwiches. Never had an issue with all kids eating different. Healthy eating and a 'suitable lunch' is covered at interview and contract stage. All the extra paperwork to do with food hygiene would stop me offering meals (check with your local council requirements) I just had to register. I offer snacks (fruit bread sticks toast etc) juice or milk included in fee.
It's a fab job I hope you enjoy it.

SweetieXPie Tue 06-Jan-15 17:53:30

Thank you so much for your responses ladies, I am a little nervous so good to have some info to look back at.
I would actually prefer to do term time only or possibly for a mum that only works part time as I assist my husband with the paperwork with his business some evenings, but obviously I will have to see which parents would like to use me first.
Don't think I can be majorly fussy considering I will be newly qualified.

HSMMaCM Wed 07-Jan-15 14:26:17

1. I tell parents I normally work 48 weeks per year. This is normally right. in 2014 I took 10 days (plus bank holidays) off. Parents knew this was going to happen, as I'm taking a long holiday (2.5 weeks) next Summer, which they already have dates for. If I work term time only, I still charge all year (and find the children come in the holidays more often than not). If I only wanted to work term time, I would not charge for holidays.
2. Other people have already given you the ratios.
3. I started when my daughter was a baby, so she was used to me childminding, but she did play up sometimes when she was jealous of other children getting my attention.
4. When you meet parents, just tell them you do a lot of outdoor activities and they can choose whether they like this kind of set up, or not. If not, then they are probably not a good match for you. All the parents I work with love that we are out and about getting muddy a lot.
5. I provide lunch, snacks and drinks, but I know other people who ask parents to provide food. What you provide will be reflected in your price. I had an inspection from Environmental Health (they were lovely) and have to be able to discuss allergens in food (which is not hard).

Lilbup Thu 08-Jan-15 17:00:15

1. I take up to 4 weeks holiday a year and tell parents this when they first come to visit. I work 4 days a week during term time but because I have a mixture of term time only children and year round children during school holidays I only work 3 days a week. Because of this I only ended up taking 3 weeks holiday last year. I don't get paid for any holiday I take and the term time only children don't pay during the holidays.

3. My children have coped pretty well with having other children around although one of the reasons I don't work 5 days a week and cut down during school holidays is so they don't have to share their home all of the time. The children I look after are not allowed in their bedrooms and we have a rule that any toys they don't want to share with other children are kept in their bedrooms so any that are out can be played with by anyone. I agree with busyDays that it seems to work better having children who are younger than my own. Whenever we've had children round to visit I've always asked my son (who's 5) if he thinks he will get on with them. There have been a couple who he's said no to and so I've not taken them on.

4. Parents have never complained about me taking their children outdoors. I do make sure that we have appropriate clothing though and again have a stash of spares.

5. I provide all food.

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