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Silly questions about childcare

(5 Posts)
Imeg Tue 27-Jan-15 11:33:03

Apologies if the answers are really obvious...

I thought my employer was going to agree to a reduced contract but they have rejected it so I will be resigning.
This isn't the end of the world financially or otherwise but having got my head round going back and putting my very outgoing and sociable baby into nursery I am suddenly having to rethink. The possible options are:

1) SAHM, at least temporarily, in which case I am thinking of trying to get him into a childminder a few hours a week to get him used to childcare, and because I think he would get really bored at home with me all week. I would also need childcare for any job interviews.

or

2) I may be offered a zero hours term time only contract, but I don't know how far in advance this would be confirmed. However if I can't find suitable childcare I would decline this.

So to stop me looking really stupid when I contact local childminders...

- do childminders offer term time only care?

- are childminders likely to offer occasional childcare for job interviews? If not, how do I attend interviews? (I don't have local family).

- if I were to be offered a new job or new contract, do I accept it and then sort out childcare, or do I need to have provisional childcare arranged before accepting it?

- is it ok to contact childminders for a visit without knowing for sure what I would need, or is it better to wait until I know definite days/times?

Thank you very much for any advice smile

Maryann1975 Tue 27-Jan-15 12:01:39

I'm a childminder, so will try and answer your questions as to how I work. However as childminders are all self employed, we all opperate slightly differently so the only way to know is to ask local cms in your area.

Term time only care- yes, I would offer this if someone wanted it. I'm really busy with my own children in school holidays so to have one less little one would be no issue to me.
If I had a space one day and you needed a childminder on that day, I would be able to help you out while you went to a job interview. But, most of the week I am full so wouldn't be able to have an extra child.
It wouldn't hurt to phone round a few cms in your area to get an idea of vacancy levels, explain to the cm your plans and see how that fits with what they can offer. It's no good thinking about a cm if all of them in your area are full until September (traditionally this is when childcare spaces open up, when the older ones in our care start school). However childminders do have vacancies all year round, children move house, parents change/leave jobs, grandparents take over childcare arrangements etc.
give a few around you a ring and see what they say.

busyDays Tue 27-Jan-15 14:03:42

- Yes, some childminders offer term time only but a 50% retainer during the hols is pretty standard.

- Some childminders offer adhoc care for odd days here and there but won't guarantee to be available at all times. So you would probably need to schedule interviews for the days of the week when the childminder happens to have space. Or ask a friend?

- I don't invite parents for a visit until they have a definite start date and know what days and times they will need. So I'd say it is better to sort out the job first and then the childcare. Although you could always call around now just to get an idea of rates.

I really don't think your baby will get bored being at home, especially if you go out to some toddler groups. Children don't really need the type of social interaction that childcare offers until they are a bit older. smile

kathryng90 Tue 27-Jan-15 15:47:48

CM here. Yes I offer term time only contracts. Yes if u have a space I would do a one off for an interview. Yes I do have parents visit and look round before they know what they need but wouldn't 'hold' a place until hours agreed.

We are self employed so we all have different ways of working.

I would contact LEA or family information service for lists and have a ring round and suss out availability. In my area (busy city) there are plenty of CMs whereas more rurally less. Good luck.

Imeg Tue 27-Jan-15 16:04:14

Thank you all, that's really helpful advice smile I will have another chat to the manager at work and then contact local childminders.

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