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Any childminders given up the school run?(28 Posts)
I'm seriously thinking about giving up the school runs & just focusing on the early years group and wondered if anybody has changed to this and how you found it?
The main thing holding me back is worried the days will seem very long if I'm indoors on my own with 3 little ones all day ￼. Normally we have breakfast, walk to school then head out for the morning either on our own or if we meet a friend at school, come back for lunch, afternoon activity/naps before school run again so bit hectic but the day goes really quickly. Plus, even if we decide not to go out we get to interact with other adults and children on the school run which I may miss.
I'm not too bothered about the income side of things as I've not changed my fees for years and am well below the market rate so could probably up each of my early years by nearly £/hr and still be competitive. Appreciate I won't be able to put that much of an increase on my current children but anyone new coming and I have 1 space in the NY. I do think for anybody that doesn't have school children, it could be a selling point having a cm not doing the school run but want to be realistic.
As a parent part of the reason I choose a childminder over a nursery is that she did the school run for one school. Now with Covid she doesn't take them to the supermarket - her husband does it - and to groups, so the only normal thing she can still do is the school run.
Depends on demand in your area for childcare.
It'll put off parents with more than one child as then they'll need to sort alternative care for the older one and drop off/pick up from two places.
Also people often choose a childminder because they can stick with them from early years right up through primary school. Parents with dc with you then moving up to school will now need to look for alternative care and this might put families off choosing you.
Exactly what pp said - my daughter has been with the same childminder from nursery and is now in Y6
I have never offered school runs or pre school etc runs and never had any problems getting clients in fact they love the fact there children are not in and out if the car all day in all weathers collecting other peoples children.
Depends on clientele. What massively put us off childminders was the experience of DS being lugged around numerous times in all weathers form baby age to drop off and pick up other people’s kids. Now DD goes to a nursery and DS to morning and after school club and all is absolutely cool. The question though isn’t whether some parents like us are put off by the school runs. The question really is whether You will have enough clientele to make money in the area you live in if you stop offering these services.
@RedRumTheHorse put together a group of over-tired school children with over-excited little ones and it is seriously noisy, hard work and I feel like a constant battle to stop squabbling, climbing on furniture, watching babies and then having to disappear off to cook or even just serve tea is a struggle.
Most coming after school stay for tea which is a whole other minefield if faddy eaters and an increasing amount of allergies
lifestyle choices. Added to which my own children love the little ones but find the constant demands from the school children to play or join in (usual hero worship of older children) tiring the minute they walk in the door from school so end up retreating to their rooms until I finish. And I've done 12 years of school runs with my own children and now they are all at secondary school I suddenly feel like an outsider rather than a parent.
I did think about just finishing at 5pm and not including tea but I'd probably end losing my current mindees anyway and if I'm picking up at 3:15 and only stay until 5pm I can't exactly charge much.
I'm talking myself into it I think .
Don't get me wrong I do care for some lovely children and some of that I've had since they were babies so I'm very fond of them but the dynamic definitely changes when they move up to school and I think something I need to reconsider. Thanks for everyone for the feedback it's been really helpful and given me lots to think about
OP I think you have too many children for you. Is there a way to cut down the number of school run children?
I think there will be a second lockdown of some sort soon and you should use it to jettison the children of difficult parents. Also if you pick up for more than one school choose one of the schools you could feasibly walk to as the only school you do drop off/pickups from. My CM and her network only each do one school.
If you limit yourself to 5pm you may find replacement parents for your under 4s don't choose you as they think your hours are inflexible. Part of the reason I choose my CM is before lockdown, I knew if I got stuck in motorway traffic she would keep my DD until 6.30pm. I was actually in the process of arranging backup with elderly friends so she could phone them to pick up my LO if I hadn't got to her and she wanted to finish but lockdown happened.
I know exactly where you are coming from! I’m doing the school run and have 3 dc each day and on some days a forth. I turn down all new after school children, even though I have space for them as I jut find it really stressful. I’ve decided I will see these ones through till the end of primary and that will be it.
I do worry about the long day, but we can always go out for a walk to break it up, I mean, I managed 6 months with no school runs, so could do it again. I end up dreading it in the real cold winter months anyway, it feels such a chore to get everyone dressed up and out of the door.
Just to echo a previous post - I chose a nursery for my dc after watching the local childminder drag all the little ones out up to 4 times some days (2 x school runs / 2 x pre school runs). That totally put me off but otherwise I would have opted for a childminder over nursery. Now they're school age I do use a childminder and hope they don't cause her too much stress!
Try dropping tea before dropping the school run.
I actually quite like the school run, we walk it and it breaks up the afternoon.
The problem was the rush once we were back of snack/nappies/activity/cooking tea/feeding everyone before pick ups. And then having to clear everything up.
I stopped doing tea - they just have a big snack like milk, toast and fruit after school and go home at 5.30pm. Then we have an hour or so to do a nice activity, tidy up and watch some TV before home time so everyone is nice and calm.
Honestly it made such a difference.
I’m not a childminder but my kids go to one. Pre lockdown my child was just stopping the buggy and the days with school run I hated how tired they were. It was awful getting home. I was secretly so pleased when the childminder said this year no school run was being done. Childminder does take and pick my kids and another to a 3 hour pre school each day. now has the other child’s sibling instead of school run. But I would hate collecting at 530 and having to get my kids dinner at home. That’s ok if it’s 5pm pick up but if I couldn’t get there til 530 that’s off putting.
Could you only do school run if it is the sibling of a younger child at your setting? Less chaos, fewer pick ups?
I did also worry a bit about dropping tea that parents wouldn't be happy when it came to it a couple of existing ones moaned but it wasn't enough for them to disrupt their childcare arrangements.
It also doesn't seem to have stopped me getting new families and I currently have a waiting list.
Of course to an extent that will depend on childcare supply/demand in your area!
We chose a childminder for the continuity of care in a home environment and were lucky to find an amazing one. She didn't do any food apart from a fruit snack in the morning and maybe some toast or similar straight after school, so they had to take a packed lunch and we picked them up in time for dinner. It never bothered me because that was the deal from the start.
DD childminder did school runs and did feel sorry that DD was constantly dragged on some school run or another no matter the weather. But childminder didn't do evening meals even though kids there until 6pm.
Twins on the way and have chosen a new childminder for them who doesn't do school runs.
I don't mind about the school run bit as I think it's good for a child to have a change once they start a new school and go to a different childcare setting but not working past 5 is incredibly inflexible - don't know any working parents who would be able to sign up to that
I have up school runs when my daughter started secondary school. No more waking children from naps and getting in and out of the car in the rain. New parents love that their children don't have to go out on school runs.
I also gave up school runs last year. I just do early years and our afternoons are so calm now! No more cold, wet school runs, no more hyper older children changing the dynamic. We are so much happier!
My set up is similar to @DrMadelineMaxwell's. My childminder provides toast and light snacks but it is up to us as parents to provide a packed lunch during the holidays and food for after school. We wanted to use a childminder for continuity of care. He has been there since 10 months old and is now 4 and at school.
Dont do tea for older but maybe give a snack
If you do cut out the school children you can always go for a walk round the block /to park if nice
And If raining then enjoy staying at home in the dry
Lots of local childminders don't do after-school care, and have no issues filling their places. Parents of little ones like that they aren't dragged around in all weather, or even worse, driven around. The choice is yours, but I wouldn't worry about losing clients: it's very unlikely your current ones would leave, if they are happy
I would love it if I had pre school kids with you, but not if I had school age ones!
We chose our childminder for our first child because she didn’t do the school run. She’d decided a couple of years ago that it was all too much and as a result she had a really calm and quiet setting that didn’t have loads of older kids added to it from the afternoon. And it also meant that our kids weren’t getting dragged around to pick up and drop off other children. We really appreciated that, and our dd was our only child at the time. So you just have to be confident that there are enough potential clients like that versus clients who would be looking for school runs. I don’t know what your area is like but in mine it would be quite hard to know which primary school you’d get into, so people aren’t necessarily choosing a childminder for younger kids on the basis of what school runs they do anyway.
The bulk of my business is the school run... Really struggling to find enough business with just early years to stay afloat, especially since the 30 hrs funding doesn't cover the fees.
I know loads of childminders who only do EYFS. Where we live, it's likely the children you look after when younger would end up going to a different school you collect from anyway
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