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Childminding with own children(12 Posts)
Hiya - I'm looking into becoming a childminder as I love to be able to work from home. I currently have 2 children and would love to be able to still have the flexibility to attend special things for them such as nativity's, sports days etc, I was wondering how other childminders go about this sort of thing? Thanks in advance.
Unfortunately the reality of childminding is very different to the idea!!!!!!!
I don't get to go plays or sports days. Doctors appointments etc are harder when you have other children with you and generally your evenings are spent doing paperwork etc.
I love my job and have been childminding for over 10 years and I love that I can collect my children from school but it's a job that takes over your home and doesn't allow for the luxury of the above.
Completely disagree with the last post.
I was a childminder for 8 years and the children always came with me to Nativities, sports days etc. That's one of the reasons I became a child minder, so I could always be around.
I'm not saying it will be easy, and you may have particularly demanding mindee's whom may not suit sitting in a sweaty school hall for an hour without screaming the house down, but I generally looked after children who adapted to our family and things we used to do so luckily it always worked for us.
The parents loved that they had the experiences, as it almost prepared them for school too!
My children didn't always come first, but mummy was always there!
My kids have both enjoyed going to special events at their minders kids schools. They've also been taken on special days out when the minder only had them and one other. The overriding factor for me was my childminders reliability. She hasn't had a day off sick in the 4 years I've been using her, but she has always had a 'b' plan in place (registered assistants, close links with another childminder etc). She had to have a medical appointment in work time, so let me know that the child would be in sole care of the assistant for a couple of hours, was that ok, I kind of snorted coz my kids have known him for years and think he's great. Worth considering a b plan, it is reassuring for parents even if you don't need to use it.
Bear in mind your own children's temperaments tho. One of my kids and one of my cms kids were quite close, but went through a phase when my kid got on her kids nerves (my kid looked up to hers a lot) - they got over it, but it was a tough month for the cm I think. Also, some people aren't suited to having others in their space all the time.
Our childminder takes the children to nativites, summer fayers, shows etc... with her, I love that DS gets to attend these things and am often really touched that he gets to be an extended member of the family. I understand this isn't always possible and if she really needs to attend an event and it isn't possible to take the children she is caring for then she lets the parents know well in advance and we will make alternative arrangements. This is a very rare occurance, in fact in the past 18 months it has only happened once when CMs daughter had a dance competition early on a Saturday morning in a location a good 7hour drive away, we knew 3months in advance and I booked the afternoon off work and collected DS at lunch time to allow them drive down earlier in the day.
I love our childminder!! My two DDs are there full time and they adore her. She's so flexible, starts an hour early or finishes an hour later if we need her to as me and DH are both shift workers. Her children have grown up but my DDs have been to her grandchildrens school plays etc. They even get invited to birthday parties now because they see eachother so much I think it's lovely
I think it all depends on the children & families you work with. I always invite my little ones to school plays & sports days, but it's not always easy with 3 under 3's & I do get a little envious of the parents who can go alone & really watch!
Some parents who have routines in place wouldn't like their child to be taken out for an afternoon play if it's normally their time to nap too. So you have to be mindful of what the parents want.
I'm lucky to have parents who like the fact I take the children along. But there's always some that would rather you stuck to routine.
Agree with dr appointments too. It's a nightmare trying to take 4 little ones into the dr's. Again like a pp has mentioned I have another childminder that I can leave them with whilst I nip to the dr's (with parents permission of course).
Also as a pp has mentioned I've not had a sick day yet! I really don't have time to get ill & if I feel like rubbish I feel too guilty to take a day off because I hate messing my families about. I also only take 2 weeks holiday a year.
Lately my youngest has been teething & not sleeping & if I didn't do this job I would let him nap in the mornings so he has a better afternoon, but because of work I drag him to groups & at the moment I feel guilty because my own son just wonders around crying & exhausted but I do it because that's what the parents pay me for. To give their children a fun & lovely day.
My boys have grown up with me childminding, so are used to it. But I imagine it can be tough when starting for them to share you. They often get pushed to the back of the queue ime. But my boys love having others to play with in the house & im sure my youngest one gets bored on the weekends without the others here.
It does take over your house & it can be frustrating when you get parents who take the mick by picking up late & dropping off early & there is a lot of paperwork but...
It is a rewarding job & you do make some wonderful relationships. And I can always get my son to & from school.
Thank you all for your comments I really appreciate it.
It is my sister I have been speaking to about it, she has recently had a baby and has asked if I would be her childminder when she returns to work. By this time my eldest will be staying reception, so I would have my youngest who will be approx 18 months, my niece who will be 8/9 months, so I realise I would only have space for one other cause of rules on numbers etc.
So I would hope to have another little one similar age (somewhere between 9 months and 2 maybe) that I could offer the sort of "extended family" kind of minding to. But obviously would have to see nearer the time.
Glad that some parents like when their childminders take the little ones to shows etc!
I was thinking that when I get the dates at the beginning of school year I could let any mindees know straight away.
And hadnt thought of the back up plan for appts etc so will definitely look into that - thank you all!
If you're going to do it, get started with the registration process ASAP, as it can take ages.
I did miss several of DD's school events, but also managed to go to others with the mindees. It depends on the children you're caring for and what sort of care their parents want.
Set up your arrangement with your sister in a very business like way, with contracts, invoices, etc, so it doesn't cause arguments.
I have been a childminder since my eldest was a baby, she is now 10. Some school events I can take my three childminder children with me, but some I can't. Dd had a school lunch this week, no way I could manage a 3 year old, 2 year old and mobile baby sitting in a school canteen for 45 minutes, so I didn't get to go. Ds had his school play this week, I had a childminder friend come and sit with the children so I could go, there is no way 3 small children would sit nicely for an hour while I concentrated on the show. But I did take them to the school fayre and bought them all a cake and let them have a go on a couple of games and I took two of them to the harvest festival which was fine. I was really relieved when sports day was rained off as it's really hard entertaining little ones on a school field. I find it different to Having my own children. I am being paid to care for these children and don't think it's good enough if they were running around on the other side of the yard like some other parents think is acceptable. It really depends on the event and how many childrenyou are looking after on the day and what kind of temperament they have. i do see far more of my own children because I'm a chdminder but I do miss out on a lot of stuff too.
Thank you all for sharing your experiences and advice x
it depends on the school ours doesn't allow any children in audiences. No pushchairs in buildings so unless they can walk you cant go in for open days or just to visit the medical room.
I also know of cm's who haven't been to family funerals because the parents objected to lack of notice.
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