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Childminder with assistant and more children, will it suit my child?

(7 Posts)
underthebaobabtree Sun 19-Jul-15 07:50:03

I've seen a childminder who is generally very good, but I'm unsure whether the 'childminder with assistant and more children' model will suit my daughter, and as she is my first child I'm not sure how her interests will change over time. I'd appreciate any advice.

The childminder is planning on taking on an assistant and having six under 3s, and no after school children, except her own child who will be in preschool. Currently she only has one child as she is starting up, but she will fill soon as there is a shortage of childminders in our area.

She has a proposed schedule with lots of crafts and messy play, playing outdoors, singing, activities. However they will be spending their days in her home. She has a living room full of good interactive toys, a corner designated for messy play, a single bedroom for sleeping and reading, and a garden with ride on toys etc.

My 13 month old enjoys messy play and playing outdoors so I think she will find lots of this fun. We live in a flat with no garden so she doesn't have much opportunity for this.

However she is used to being out and about all the time. We go to playgroups twice a day. Granted our flat is much smaller, but she gets frustrated about an hour after waking up and starts banging on the front door to go out! When we go to playgroups she always wants to meet new adults and children. When we invite friends over she is happier at home, but still wants to go out, although that might be a desire to be outside rather than somewhere new. So I'm worried that in the same place each day with the same people she will get bored. Or whether with the other children there and lots of activities she will be happy and much more entertained than being at home with me.

I'm not sure how her interests will change as she gets older. Maybe she will be more interested in activities such as crafts and singing rather than just being in different environments?

The childminder is starting up and said she would like to take excursions on foot to nearby places, but I think with six under 3s this will be a real mission, and with two adults how would they transport them all, so I am not confident this will be a regular thing. She did say she'd be happy to take my daughter to her usual playgroups as she settles in as there is only one other child at the moment, but obviously once they get busier she will have to create her own schedule based around all the children.

I was ideally looking for a childminder with just the usual three children who would be out and about a lot, but also have a garden, but the only one I found like this was full. The other smaller childminders didn't have a full schedule of activities and outings and lived in flats smaller than ours with no garden so I thoguht she would get frustrated there.

What do you think?

Starlightbright1 Sun 19-Jul-15 09:46:07

I think you have to trust your own instincts when it comes to childcare...However...I would like to point out..You are not employing a nanny so don't get to dictate how the days are run.

I can say if she is starting out she will have an idea of how she thinks things will be but it will change and adapt depending on the children you have. if you have babies you are much more tied to routines than 3 year olds.

I have had children that love craft and happily spend a good hour on the same activity and others who give it a fleeting glance.

Can I also add while at 13 months old the chances of building friendships is more likely with a childminder than at playgroup. At 13 months old you are aiming for side by side play they are not actually playing together yet.

jendot2 Sun 19-Jul-15 13:34:21

Two playgroups a day sounds exhausting!!!

I would say that she will adapt to whatever your cm does. She is used to going out twice a day so that's what she currently expects. If the cm does differently that's what she will expect at the cm's.
I am a cm who works with an assistant. We can have up to 6 children under 5. We still go out every day to the park, soft play, baby gym or toddler groups. We spend most afternoons here, we have lots of different activities and opportunities.. Children are certainly not bored. Having an assistant is a definite plus, it means I have more time to plan, prepare activities and an extra supervising pair of hands. All round children get far more attention, for example if I am cooking supper my assistant might be reading stories or playing ball games (where as without the assistant the children would be free playing while I cooked).
I think you need to look more at the childminder, her attitude, parenting style and setting rather than worrying too much about how often she will go out.

BackforGood Sun 19-Jul-15 13:46:25

I'm a great believer in instinct / gut feeling - call it what you like.

If you are concerned, then ask them about where they go in an average week. What I LOVED about the CMs that looked after my dc over the years, was the fact they did go out, every day. They all did school runs and it meant that they were out and about early on, then would usually call either to the park or pop to the post office or a shop or a bank or something - all the kind of normal things you would do if you were at home with them. Stopping to watch a digger in the road or wave to the binmen or jump in some puddles or make a daisy chain or whatever.
I find so many baby rooms in Nurseries quite depressing through dint of the fact the child is just in the same room all day long. The only CM + Asst I looked at, it was a teenager sitting on the floor of the CM's garage, which they'd knocked a door through to the kitchen and put some carpet down. It didn't inspire me. However, I'm sure there are lots of lovely CM+Assts out there that are working well ~ its' just we are all influenced by our own experiences.

hooker29 Sun 19-Jul-15 16:37:02

As your child grows, your CM should plan for her interests and include activities that she likes. She is less likely to be bored and want to go out all the time as she will have other children to play with, and lots of different activities.
I do school runs every day, so we're out and about a lot, as well as visiting other minder friends and going on outings.However, we do spend a lot of time at home,but, because I have a lot of resources, and a good sized garden, we don't need to go out all the time.

underthebaobabtree Sun 19-Jul-15 19:43:17

Thanks for the advice.

I went back to visit today and do feel confident now.

She is just setting up so she doesn't have a schedule set up yet. The other children are a bit older than mine, so I think there will be enough going on to keep her entertained. Also she said that her son was similarly full of endless energy, so she understands that some children need lots of activity and exercise.

hooker29 Sun 19-Jul-15 20:49:02

Most childminders have a settling in period-some are 2 weeks, some are 4 etc- so if you feel during this time that her setting isn't for you then you should be able to give immediate notice.Ask her about it.

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