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Questions from a potential childminder to parents

(29 Posts)
rattieofcarcassone Thu 16-Mar-17 15:59:30

I've been a nanny for 6 years, had my own daughter in November and am planning to start childminding later this year. However there are a few things I'm concerned about.

Would any of this be a concern to you (as a parent looking for a childminder):
Our back garden is quite small, we're planning to put a sand pit in it and I'll be buying a tuff tray for other outdoor activities, however we do have a larger front garden (fully fenced in, I will make sure that the gate is lockable) which I plan to use for more active outdoor play when we are at home.

DH and I have pet rats. They will be kept in the kitchen where the children would only be allowed in when supervised, but just in case we'll also be buying a room divider and putting that up around the rats during the day, as much to stop our own DD putting her fingers in the cage (when she's bigger) as any mindees! Their cage is not one that can be moved during the day and there is nowhere upstairs that it could go (it's a big cage).

We have a small living room/playspace indoors. I would try to be out and about as much as possible but obviously we will spend some time indoors doing activities so I'm concerned that this may be an issue to some.

I wouldn't intend to have too many children as I feel like it'd end up being overcrowded, I would tell prospective parents this. Is there anything you'd want to know/see that would make you feel reassured if any of the above is a concern?

highinthesky Thu 16-Mar-17 16:02:00

I probably wouldn't be overly enamoured by the rats.

All other things being equal, I'd choose a CM with no rats over one with rats.

Snap8TheCat Thu 16-Mar-17 16:03:23

You'll have to move the rats out of the kitchen.

Have a read of safer food business for childminders which we have to use.

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Thu 16-Mar-17 16:03:53

Rats are fab! Wouldn't be a problem for me!! I know cm with nasty yappy dogs which would def put me off!!

rattieofcarcassone Thu 16-Mar-17 16:14:03

Ah fuck, I never thought about the food hygiene side of things. The kitchen is more a kitchen/diner large room and they'd be on the other side so it never even occurred to me. We haven't actually moved in yet, just bought the place so we're still trying to work out practicalities. Back to the drawing board on that one. We'll be putting in a loft conversion and moving the living room upstairs (which is where the rats will go and the living room will become exclusively a playroom) in 18 months maximum so in the kitchen was a temporary fix.

If I were looking for a childminder caged pets wouldn't concern me personally but I know that rats have a reputation, which is why I thought I'd ask!

jannier Thu 16-Mar-17 16:19:30

The number of children you can have is legally limited by your floor space the maximum under 5 including your own is 3 but if your rooms are really small you may not be able to have this many anyway.
As a cm you have to be registered as a food business if you are providing and storing food so rats in a kitchen may as already mentioned be an issue you could seek advice from environmental health.
Parents have a differing opinion on what they are looking for so none of the things would be a no to everyone.

greeeen Thu 16-Mar-17 16:35:47

Nothing you have mentioned would be a problem for me and the rats would be a plus.

rattieofcarcassone Thu 16-Mar-17 16:49:24

jannier I know it's limited, but it's not limited for above 8's. A lot of childminders round where I am at the moment have the maximum they can under 8 and then have after school children as well, which is why I'll be telling parents that I intend to keep the business small and more family-like. Round here a lot of the childminders run more like small nurseries with assistants as well. I have no interest in running a setting like that. I'd be perfectly happy with one other child tbh, though would consider taking on a second child once DD is nearing 3yo. The rates around here are high enough that it is still financially viable to take on just one or two other children.

I will find somewhere else for the rats, the kitchen was a compromise anyway but we have a couple of other ideas as to where they could go. We've not been getting more and our oldies are all reaching the ends of their lives anyway and we think that there is a way that we can have them in the living room, without being accessible to the children, in a smaller cage (their current cage is huge and too big for the living room but it suited the number we had back in September!)

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 16-Mar-17 16:52:21

Also when the living room is moved upstairs will there be an issue with children left unattended upstairs while you go to the kitchen, down to answer the door etc? Or is that an extra living room and the childminding will take place all downstairs?

NotCitrus Thu 16-Mar-17 16:55:27

Sounds fine and I wouldn't mind rats in a cage, but might sound you out on opinions like if you thought rat infestations should never be treated. Front garden fine if you were out there too (not just inside).

And I'd want to know exactly how many children when, how long a preschooler might be in a buggy/car each day (if you walk 30 min to and from a school twice daily, that's 2 hours), and whether your partner or anyone else might be there.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 16-Mar-17 16:57:35

I think all OK if I liked and trusted you.

rattieofcarcassone Thu 16-Mar-17 17:00:51

all no as the room that is currently a living room will become the playroom smile so that would be the main room we'd use when at home. Sorry I didn't really make that clear!

laurzj82 Thu 16-Mar-17 17:10:02

Rats wouldn't bother me. For me it's more about how cm and DD get on, if I felt I could trust her etc. What about allergies/ asthma etc? Can you be allergic to Rats?? That's the only issue I can think of along with the kitchen hygiene thing mentioned above.

rattieofcarcassone Thu 16-Mar-17 17:22:41

The rats would be in a cage at all times unless pre-arranged with the parents. Even then it would not be a regular thing and I would have to feel 100% confident that my charges/DD would be sensible. I do feel that pets provide a lovely learning opportunity, but they are my pets and I can't risk them or my charges/DD coming to harm for the sake of a learning opportunity. RE rat infestations, I'd not be happy to have one in my garden and would intend on sorting it whichever way possible!

Never thought about the buggy times, though I don't like DD being in hers for long periods so I think I'd be trying to stay quite local anyway. I'd like to avoid have a school-aged child being honest, the school runs are not something I miss from nannying!

Maryann1975 Fri 17-Mar-17 21:41:43

I'm a cm. I've only had one family not come back because of my pet cat. Most parents I've come across, even if they don't like pets for their own families don't mind their children having access to them. It's just about being sensible with them, no unsupervised access, keeping them clean and healthy/vaccinated/de-flead/wormed etc. I wouldn't personally want rats but I would have no problem using a cm who did have them.
When I first started nannying, ofsted restricted my numbers due to the size of my house. I could have three under 5s and one older one, which was fine as I only wanted little ones at that point anyway.
We've only got a small garden now, but big enough for what we need. We are local to a park and are our most days so it's no bother. What you do with the space is far important than how much space there is. You can go to the sports field for big games if that's what you want to do.

Eastie77 Sat 18-Mar-17 21:38:56

The small garden and indoor space wouldn't bother me. Our CM was in a flat without a garden when she first began looking after DD (she subsequently moved to a large house). She was out and about every day and we are surrounded by several parks where she took DD all the time so if you are out a lot I don't think many parents would be concerned.

I would not choose a CM who kept rats as pets but that's entirely due to my own personal feelings - I am terrified of them and would also worry about the hygiene aspect. However it seems from the thread so far that I'm definitely in the minority so I wouldn't worry. Best of luck!

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 18-Mar-17 23:02:09

As others said you would only be able to have 2 other children under 5

Def no rats in kitchen /food area

Starting up as a cm takes time as well as money

You will be self employed and doing eyes paperwork

Why don't you stay being a nanny and take your child with you ?

Prob be more financial

shirleycartersaidso Sat 18-Mar-17 23:04:38

The rats would bother me. Sorry.

Lindy2 Sat 18-Mar-17 23:13:17

Have you had your Ofsted inspection yet? They will set the maximum number of children you can have if your space is limited. It may be less than the normal ratio if you don't have sufficient floor space.
Saying that however, if your home is nice and welcoming being small wouldn't usually be a problem with most parents.
I can't however see Ofsted being happy with rats in a kitchen. Even less so Environmental Health who will also visit to approve your premises for serving food. I think you are going to have to find a location for your rats that is well away from where you store and prepare food. Sorry.

lorelairoryemily Sat 18-Mar-17 23:15:06

You lost me at pet rats, No way would I leave my child there

Lindy2 Sat 18-Mar-17 23:20:18

Also, if floor space is limited the number of children aged 8+ will also be limited. They fall outside of the age restriction numbers but not floor space numbers.

rattieofcarcassone Sun 19-Mar-17 11:25:06

As I said in later posts, it's a large kitchen/diner so I didn't think about the rats in kitchen issue and will find somewhere else for them. It was a compromise anyway.
And I don't intend to have many charges, one other preferably until DD is a bit older, then I'll look at taking on a second. This is just financially viable as the rates around here are quite high.

I know it takes a while to get through the registration, already done it as a nanny a few years ago. I'm not looking to return to work until the end of the year really so plenty of time to get organised and set up. DD will be 1 or coming up to 1 by the time I intend to start. I plan to start the application process between June and August with a view to staying work by the end of the year.

Blondes I relocated at the start of my mat leave, there are no nanny jobs around my new area but childminders are massively needed.

Maryann1975 Sun 19-Mar-17 19:48:55

I was a nanny and now childmind. Although nannying is financially more profitable, I enjoy childminding as much and there are as many perks as a nanny has, they are just different. especially now I have 3dc (I don't think Nannys with 3dc are in particularly high demand?).
I really enjoy being self employed tbh.

PoisonousSmurf Tue 21-Mar-17 21:09:05

Can't you take the cage apart and move it upstairs?

Datingbarb Tue 21-Mar-17 21:16:37

The garden issue wouldn't bother me in the slightest as long as it's safe/secure then I would be happy!

I'm really not a animal person in the slightest but the rat thing wouldn't bother me, my cm has 2 dogs and a bird, my dd actually did put her finger in the cage and got bite... she only done it once and it was just a nip

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