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thinking of starting up as a childminder- few questions

(16 Posts)
TheSkyIsAwake Tue 29-Mar-16 08:03:32

Hi all,

I'm thinking of starting up as a childminder. I've been working in childcare for 9 years, qualified etc but stress at work has got me looking for a new job.

I just had a couple of questions if someone could please help me.

1. What are your most used resources?

2. Do I need an entire specific room for naps or can it be travel cot in lounge/sleep mat?

3. Ratios: if I have 6 under 8 (3 of which would be my own children) can I have any over 8's too?

Tia.

PennyHasNoSurname Tue 29-Mar-16 08:07:52

My dm is a CM.

1- hers are a fab fancy dress box (with stuff from when I was a little kid and a book nook (big floor cushions and trays of books which she will read to them whenever they want)

2- you just need some way to facilitate naps. My dm (also my cm) uses the dining room to work from (its large), so naps are taken in childs own buggy in either the lounge or kitchen

3- you can have as many over 8s as you want

NickNacks Tue 29-Mar-16 08:09:42

1. Small table and chairs, tuff spot tray, water/sand tray, duplo/Lego, craft resources, role play. Toys wise it will depend on ages of children.

2. Will you be using the lounge for anything else at that time? Some of my children would struggle to sleep with others close by. Noise wise it's hard especially in the school holidays to keep it quiet enough for decent naps to happen.

3. Yes you can have over 8's too. Overall number will be dictated by your insurance provider. It must also not be at detriment to EYFS children.

TheSkyIsAwake Tue 29-Mar-16 08:40:54

I have a large playroom that I can use whilst lounge is a nap area or vice versa.

Thank you for the replies. I've just emailed the council to book on a pre-registration coursesmile

HSMMaCM Tue 29-Mar-16 10:30:21

1. Anything outside, dressing up, duplo, books

2. It's easier if they sleep in a separate room, but not essential.

3. As said above, over 8s cannot compromise the care of the younger children and may affect your insurance.

TheSkyIsAwake Tue 29-Mar-16 12:16:59

Do any of you use babysdays for record keeping etc? Not sure whether that would be easier for parents rather than paper records?

Kilmeny Tue 29-Mar-16 12:23:40

I use BabysDays and find it much easier than paper based. Parents get diaries and photos emailed to them etc. It's a pain to set up but brilliant once you get the hang of it. Most popular toys are (indoor) play tent, dinosaurs, jigsaws, action figures, books. Outdoor: bubble guns, swingball (foam ball), ride ons. Best tip I can give you is to have a minimum daily charge or you will be swamped with after school parents wanting to pay £4 for the odd hour.

SKYTVADDICT Tue 29-Mar-16 12:24:16

I use babysday. It is fab 😀. Lot less stress. I went on a traning course recently and it has helped a lot

SKYTVADDICT Tue 29-Mar-16 12:26:44

Most popular toy is happyland and although I do have a travel cot which I use upstairs with a baby monitor most of the little ones sleep in buggy (or car) on school or preschool run

Thurlow Tue 29-Mar-16 12:31:53

Just to give a parent perspective, the CMs we have used have put travel cots in the bedrooms for the younger children who needed a really decent, quiet nap. For the older kids they all crashed on the sofas after lunch or, if they weren't sleeping, still had some quiet time with books and lowered lighting for half an hour or so.

We've had paper based diaries, but I'd much have preferred an online system.

The ability to be outside loads was always a winner with the CMs we've used, I quickly lost count of the times the kids would be outside when we went to collect them, no matter what the weather. It's one thing I really miss about using a nursery now!

TheSkyIsAwake Tue 29-Mar-16 20:59:23

A couple more stupid questions blush

Will DP need to do a first aid course? I know he will need a new DBS but as he won't ever have sole care will he need the first aid?

Also- my living room curtains are quite long and bunch up a bit on the floor. Will I need them taken in? (Possibly a very stupid question!)

duckbilled Tue 29-Mar-16 21:05:05

Hi, you wouldn't necessarily need to take the curtains up but you would need to risk assess the dangers (doesn't have to be written, just need to explain it if required).
My advice don't buy lots of resources until you know what children you will have and their interests.
Also you can't have as many over 8's as your want, it is usually dependent on your insurance. smile

Maryann1975 Tue 29-Mar-16 22:03:24

I agree with everything that has a ready been said. Collect toys and resourse as you got long and see what your need. Eg, no point in having a high chair if your first three mindees are 2 and happy to sit at a low table.
All children seem to love the big box of Peppa pig stuff I got cheap from ebay though. I spend a lot of time out of the house though, some days, the children might only be here and playing for an hour, by the time we have done the school run and gone to a group/park, had lunch, nap, picked the older ones up, not much time for toys!
My little less ones nap in travel cots in my dc (who are normally at school) bedrooms. Preschool ones nap on the sofa. It works for us.

Maryann1975 Tue 29-Mar-16 22:05:12

Oh, I also meant to say, I think pacey insurance says you can have 12 children under 16 of which 6 under 8. But my home insurance limits this to 6 extras plus my own three, so worth checking this too.

TheSkyIsAwake Wed 30-Mar-16 12:21:01

All booked on for my intro course. Booking first aid tonight. Is it worth signing up to Pacey?

Thank you for all the replies. I'm really excited about this now.

Just another question- how do you advertise and how long did it take you to get your first mindee?

hookiewookie29 Sun 03-Apr-16 20:21:58

Hello Sky. I've been minding for 17 years.
I agree with everything the others have said!
My insurance is with Morton Michel....cheaper than Pacey but offers the same. Don't forget your house insurance....some companies won't insure you....others won't cover accidents by minded children.
My little ones sleep in pushchairs or on the sofa. I actually put them outside in pushchairs if it's not too damp ( they sleep better). I don't have space for travel cots. If not outside, they sleep at the far end of the living room ...Im' lucky enough to have a conservatory for childminding...but I find they soon adapt and sleep through anything!!
I get all my work by word of mouth....however, childminders are in demand in my area as there are only three of us and two schools plus a preschool. Your local council should have a Family Information Service that is free to advertise on. There is also childcare.co.uk which you can join and advertise on for free. Try to get to know other minders.....they can pass your number on if they're full.
My first mindee was waiting for me to register......it was a mum from school. However, I registered under social services just before Ofsted took over so it only took me three months to get registered. It takes longer now.
Don't be daunted by all the so called paperwork.......a lot of it isn't necessary. After 17 years, I do the minimum because I've realised that it's the care,happiness and safety of the children that matters to parents, not the paperwork.
Don't worry about the curtains....just risk assess if you need to.
And your hubby needs a DBS....which can take weeks to come through....but not first aid unless he's going to be your assistant and be left alone with them.
Good luck....hope you enjoy it as much as I do !

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