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What do you expect your childminders house to be like?

(14 Posts)
Squishywis Fri 15-Jan-16 13:05:49

Hi all smile I have been considering going into childminding since I had my first child but as we were living in rented accommodation, it wasn't really an option. However, we have moved into our own place in the last year and now that my maternity leave from my second baby is coming to an end, I am seriously considering not going back to work and maybe taking on one or two kids to mind, along with my own 2. We are in Ireland, so I would be able to take up to 4 under 4s (including my own) before needing to apply for inspection from authorities. I have read up all of the things I need to do/take into consideration and I feel that it is something I would really enjoy doing, although I know it will be hard work.

The only thing I am wondering about is whether my house is suitable. It is a bog standard 900sq ft 3 bed semi. The downstairs is fairly open plan, there is an open double doorway between the sittingroom and kitchen diner that we have a stairgate on. Obviously, having a toddler and a baby, we already have all the equipment/babyproofing/toys.

I keep the house clean and tidy. We keep a lot of toys in the sittingroom as that is where the kids play most of the time when indoors. Upstairs, the babys room is the boxroom so it's only really used for her to sleep in. The toddlers room is a decent size and has a lot of toys in it but like I already said, the kids prefer to play in the sittingroom.

The one thing I am worried about is our garden. It is enclosed and private but is small and at the moment, not really suitable for kids to play in. We are hoping in the summer to level it and put a swingset etc in, but at the moment there is a mountain of topsoil in the corner and the ground is very uneven. However, there is a large park and green area a 1 minute walk from my house, where I take my kids every morning to play.

I am worried that the lack of usable garden will put prospective parents off but on the other hand, if the shoe was on the other foot, it wouldn't worry me with the park so close.

Would you be happy to leave your kids in a house like mine? Tia smile

sandylion Fri 15-Jan-16 13:07:23

Yes absolutely especially if they were taken out for a walk or to the park daily.

Duckdeamon Fri 15-Jan-16 13:08:53

House sounds good! Assuming you don't have a dog! But I wouldn't be happy with the garden being unusable for the DC, and wouldn't want a baby or toddler DC in open green space / local playground too frequently if you had 4 under 4 to keep an eye on!

dontcryitsonlyajoke Fri 15-Jan-16 13:17:44

My CM has an unusable garden, lots of rubble that they just haven't had chance to use. They go for lots of walks and to the park etc. It doesn't bother me at all.

So long as the house is clean, safe and tidy and you are warm and welcoming to my child that would be fine in my book.

HSMMaCM Fri 15-Jan-16 15:07:26

Clean house and friendly adults are a big plus. The garden might put some people off initially, but not everyone.

Trips to the park are great for toddlers and older children, but not so much for little ones, unless you can give them your full attention on swings etc. You could do the park while baby sleeps in a pram though.

You will probably work out sleep space depending on ages and temperaments of children as you go along.

Squishywis Fri 15-Jan-16 15:32:18

Brilliant thanks everyone. The park nearby doesn't have a playground, it's more of a big green area with walkways across it and trees. It's a lovely quiet area. There is also a toddler playgroup that we go to twice a week that is held in the community centre which is also a short walk. We don't have a dog.

Our garden was a little more usable when we moved in first and I found that we were still going to the park and out and about walking rather than staying in the garden. I prefer to be out on the move interacting with the world as the toddler seems more entertained by it smile Thanks for the replies smile

Ultimately, we are hoping to be able to build an extension in the next few years and add a room which will be used as a play room and a downstairs loo but it's good to know that my house is pretty much ok to go as it is smile

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 15-Jan-16 16:51:22

Why is Ireland different - ie you can have 4 under 5 where in uk you can't?

Personally the garden would bother me - as in I would want my child to be able to play outside easily rather then go to a park every day (sorry)

maryann1975 Fri 15-Jan-16 18:42:19

I'm a cm and think what you describe would be fine. In England as long as you can demonstrate to ofsted how you ensure children have access to the outside each day it's fine. Some parents are not bothered about the children being outside each day, some like their dc to be outside all day, every day. The same as some parents want their children to be able to write their name and recognise all their letters by the time they are three, it's just different parenting styles. There will be parents out there looking for good quality childcare and if you can offer this, and parents like you, they would maybe compromise on the lack of garden and be happy to use your services.

Alicewasinwonderland Fri 15-Jan-16 22:55:57

The lack of garden wouldn't bother me at all provided you take the kids to the park (nearly) everyday . I would rather them run around in a park than being kept in a tiny garden anyway.

vez123 Fri 15-Jan-16 23:07:35

We have used CMs in the past and I ruled out all CMs who didn't have a garden. I think it's important that the kids can just pop out and play in an enclosed environment. One of our CMs had sand and water play and rideons, the subsequent CM had a sandpit, AstroTurf and was growing veg. What somebody else said upthread I also wouldn't be too happy if you had 4 under 4 on your own to look after in the park.
Your house sounds fine otherwise but could you look into getting the garden developed?

HSMMaCM Sat 16-Jan-16 08:17:19

Also ... Just a comment on the swing set. I ended up getting rid of mine because it was the biggest cause of arguments and accidents. Swings at the park and space at home for bikes etc.

PennyHasNoSurname Sat 16-Jan-16 08:23:14

My CM doesnt have any real useable outside space. Enough room to fit a small sandpit/paddling pool in the summer. Like you she is a short walk to the park and other activities and she goes out once in the.morning and once in the afternoon so plenty of fresh air. She also does school drop.offs/pick ups on foot so my kids get lots of time outside which they love.

The house itself seems totally fine, my only concern would be whether the kids were in sight while you were cooking/clearing the kitchen.

4 under 4 seems quite a lot, but if you can handle it?

eastmidswarwicknightnanny Sat 16-Jan-16 20:17:39

Our childminder had a relatively small house lounge with under stairs cupboard where all toys were stored and kitchen with small dining table a small conservatory and small garden had slide and room for tent and a little ride on. She did lots at home and went out most days to a tota group or park, she only had a toilet upstairs but kept a potty in conservatory at end of the day house was safe and she was amazing, don't think she had thought about potty training 3 at the same time (I jest it was prob easier altogether) hence potty in conservatory. Ds1 is now 5 been in school just over a year and still talks about it, sadly she didn't have space for ds2 and we couldn't find another childminder we liked (despite big houses and lots toys!!!) So he is in nursery

Squishywis Sun 17-Jan-16 23:53:22

Great thanks everyone smile Was discussing it with dh this evening and we are going to try and at least get rid of the topsoil and even out the ground in the next few months. I won't be starting childminding for 3 months at least. With the ground level, the garden will at least be safe for kids to access. Ultimately, we would like to lay some sort of astroturf and have a playhouse/outdoor toys etc.

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