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Has anyone built an extension while working as a childminder? How did it work out?(14 Posts)
Just wondering how you would work around building an extension while childminding. We are planning a single story extension in the next year which will take 6-12 weeks to complete. We will be living in the house for the duration. The extension will be to the back of the house and our kitchen will probably be unusable for a period of time. However, we will still be able to use the front room and upstairs rooms. As it is now, I spend 2-3 hours out of the house with the kids everyday anyway.
Ultimately, the extension will mean that our front room (which is now our living room) will be used exclusively as a large playroom so it will benefit the childminding. Will I need to give up childminding for the duration of the build?
You will struggle without a kitchen! There's also the issue of builders not getting the importance of health and safety around small children, leaving doors open and tools lying about etc. Many builders use some pretty choice language which you won't want your little ones hearing.
Having had an extension recently, I know how stressful the whole thing can be. I stopped childminding for the duration. It was hard enough keeping my own children safe and entertained at that time!
Thanks forgiven I pretty much figured I might have to give it up for the duration Do you mind me asking how long your extension took? And if it was difficult to find cm work again once the work was done? I only started 6 months ago and was lucky to find work quickly. I've had the same 2 siblings since the beginning and will be sad to see them go
I think it's doable actually.
You just need a plan from the beginning.
1) move as much stuff from living room as possible upstairs to make living room main play area, and move dining table in there if space, if not get small kids play table and chairs.
2) make space in one bedroom upstairs for children to nap and nappies changed etc. Plus any extra toys/ books.
3) make plans for staying outside as much as possible those 2 months. Look up all local library and toddler groups, playgroups, plan to be in the park/ woods/ beach or wherever your near every day
4) plan work to be done in summer so it's easier to be outside most the day with children. Can then have lunch out as picnic most days.
5) make a small mini kitchen area somewhere in house with fridge, microwave etc. If you keep freezer plugged in somewhere you can batch cook most meals in advance and freeze and just microwave as needed.
I agree with Art (& there's no way I'd risk losing my regulars for building work!) if you do it in the summer, plan ahead and rearrange a bit inside you should be fine. You will need to do a RA and I'd keep parents in the loop but be positive and sell the longer term gain rather than dwell on shorter suffering (which the children won't notice because you're having so much fun being outdoors
I did it years ago. Mine was on the back of the house, so I could keep it away from the day to day running of childminding, apart from not being able to use the garden. We spent a LOT of time in local parks for fresh air. You need to risk assess everything and lay clear boundaries for the builders. I was lucky that they could access the back of the house without coming through the house and the knocking through to the house was done at a weekend. I kept parents informed all the way through the process.
Can you manage without a kitchen?
Despite what I wrote earlier, I agree that it is just about do - able. The plan from Art up above is a good one. You will need to risk assess constantly! and I agree about doing this during the summer months.
Our extension took over pretty much the whole house, and the builders were cheap part-timers - lovely blokes but they overran considerably, and left a lot to be desired when it came to turning up on time. If you are using a big reputable firm, you may have a better experience than I did.
The weeks with without a kitchen are really hard. If you invest in a small table top cooker and take your microwave and toaster etc upstairs, you might manage. Do your mindees bring packed lunches?
You'll probably want to tell ofsted about this? The last thing you'll want is an inspection right in the middle of it. ..
good luck whatever you decide.
We've just had the kitchen redone and I worked as a cm through out. Some of my friends thought I was mad to work through out but it was fine. I wasn't taking two weeks holiday while they did it. We set up a mini kitchen in half the dining room and put a camping cooker thing in there, moved the fridge through and it as fine. No problem. The children had a hot dinner every day through out. The biggest problem was washing up, but I just piled it up and did it at the end of the day.
My mum was a cm when I grew up and we had a massive extension and again she worked through out. I remember she took a few days off as they knocked through and we went away on holiday, but apart from that we just got on with it. I reckon it was probably hard work for her, but we as children loved watching what the builders were doing through the windows.
I always try to choose workmen carefully. Some are more child friendly than others. The bloke who did our kitchen had four young children himself and was really good with them (obviously never unsupervised, just in passing) and was never irritated by their questions or anything.
Ime the parents didn't mind, I explained how I was going to keep things going, how I would provide meals still and keep their children safe. Tbh I think I was more concerned about it all than the parents. One of my families has been going through building works for a couple of years so they know that in the real world these things happen. In the long term they will be getting a much better service from your plans.
Thanks everyone. I think I could just about do without the kitchen. I use my slow cooker a lot and also have an actifry and my microwave is a new fangled one that somehow has a built in oven (that I will have to learn how to use ) so I should definitell manage around the cooking. I think health and safety would be the priority. I suppose I'll just have to give plenty of forewarning to my minders parents and let them decide what they think is best.
My sil was under the impression she couldn't cm without a kitchen. When she get a new kitchen put in she took holiday.
I think you can't childmind with clean toilets and water supply and food. But it doesn't specify where. So as long as op has clean water elsewhere like the bathroom, and keeps temporary food prep hygienic it should be fine. You can just put it all in health risks and explain how you will get around each hurdle
If the only mindee's you have are siblings, have you thought about working from their home either as a nanny or just for a few hours each day/couple of days each week in particular for meals and sleep? Do you have any back up childminder's that you could go to once or twice a week?
As long as you do a risk assessment and complete the variation on your annual return afterwards you'll be fine. I've been Registered for 30 yrs and had a few journeys from gas leaks on the driveway, water bursts where kitchens have needed re building to moving home completely. The biggest let down has been the Inspecting Body. On moving house I completed all the variation paperwork, fire inspections, risk assessments, floor plans and gave Ofsted notice of my moving in date. I was working at full Registration at the time. Bare in mind I should have waited until they came and inspected before continuing work in the new house; it was July before they bothered. Had I waited it would have put me out of business so I wouldn't worry about it too much as long as you risk assess and do the right thing.
Work with your architect to build in penalty clauses for your builders so that they are incentivised to finish on time, maintain a safe site etc.
Talk to the parents - if you can schedule the start of the build around their holiday, or they can choose to take holiday then and demonstrate a plan for other times they may be more than willing rather than have to find new childcare.
As a parent I'd want to know how you are going to manage nap times with drills etc going on. What's your daily routine going to look like.
If you've only got two kids I'd definitely offer a hybrid option so you could pop in and out to keep an eye on the builders but perhaps give lunch/naps in their own clean quiet home.
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