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questions re child minders

(10 Posts)
wheresthelight Thu 08-Jan-15 16:47:04

hi folks

apologies of i am asking stupidly obvious questions here but I am looking to go back to work and nursery costs are more than we can afford so looking into child minders but not sure how things work.

1) when childminder takes holiday donkey arrange for cover or do I have to find alternative arrangements?

2) do they usually charge for their holiday time (I expect to have to pay for any I take)

3) all my friends use nurseries or Family so how do I know if they are a good child minder?


OutragedFromLeeds Thu 08-Jan-15 19:22:48

1) Childminders won't generally arrange for someone to take over their business while they're away, but they may have childminder friends with spaces who can offer you some cover. You'll need to talk to individual childminders to find out what they can offer.

2) It depends. Some charge for their holidays, but have a lower hourly rate. Some don't charge for holidays, but are more expensive in other areas etc. You'll need to work out the total cost including hourly rate, what they charge when you/they are on holiday, what is included (food/nappies/activities etc.) to work out who is best value for money.

3) Childminders are inspected by Oftsed and they should be able to show you their report (unless they're newly qualified and don't have one yet). Don't go solely on the Ofsted report though. Ask for references from current/past parents. You can meet the childminder, ask any questions you have, see how they interact with the children in their care etc. Trust your gut feeling.

wheresthelight Thu 08-Jan-15 19:28:55

thank you!!

totally new to all this and don't wanna be one of "those" mum's but I need to know my little one is in the best hands iyswim

Littlef00t Thu 08-Jan-15 19:35:09

My cm takes 20 days holiday paid per year. We just started this week and she confirmed the dates for the rest of the year to give us plenty of chance to rope in parents and al from work.

wheresthelight Thu 08-Jan-15 19:43:12

My problem is I don't have anyone who can help so I will have to hope to be able to get annual leave or find someone who can do just a couple of weeks.

kathryng90 Thu 08-Jan-15 20:19:22

I am a childminder and take upto 4 weeks unpaid holiday per year. I live in a city so have a network of other childminders I use who I trust, kids know and parents can visit. If you on me your email address I can send you by list of questions and answers that I send prospective parents as a starter to give you some ideas?

kathryng90 Thu 08-Jan-15 20:20:40

Should say pm me your email!

Lucylouby Thu 08-Jan-15 22:06:47

I don't guarantee cover for my holidays but can give out numbers of other childminders who might be able to help while I am on holiday. I've given out my holiday dates for the year already so parents have time to arrange cover.
I don't charge for any days I am unavailable for. My holidays/sickness days are free as you will probably have to pay someone else or take unpaid leave yourself to cover for me and I think it's unfair for you to be charged twice for childcare.
Get a list of your local family information service with all the local childminders on it. Phone a few up to see who has vacancies and go and visit them. See what you think. You will probably get a gut feeling about them, some will be brilliant, some you won't click with. Ask questions about (in no particular order and they might not all be important to you) outings, discipline, food, toilet training, holiday cover, illness, activities, pets, number of children, cultural issues you may have, tv. I can't think of anything else of the top of my head but the list could be endless.

BackforGood Thu 08-Jan-15 22:15:05

What Outraged said.
You often hear people on here complaining about CMs or Nurseries charging for days their dc aren't there, but you have to look at the overall cost for the year - those that don'tcharge for their holiday, will be making up the money by charging more per hour, or for things like meals. Not everyone charges in the same way so you need to think about what you are paying in total, if that's a concern to you.
More important, if you can't take AL when you want, from your work, is how much notice they will give you, and things like if it will be in the chool holidays or not.
Som as a teacher, it would be no use if CM took their AL in term time, but in some other jobs you might not be able to get 2 weeks AL in August, so would prefer it if the CM took her holidays in the middle of May or June. Same with things like closing for a week at Christmas or not, etc. etc.

Starlightbright1 Thu 08-Jan-15 22:23:21

I am a childminder and can say for different parents it has been different..I have had from a complete grilling to a five minute play with child before parents are happy.

Trust your instinct..Go and visit more than one it will give you a feel.

It is ok to go with a list of questions.

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