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CM Club: Survey - Top 2 places parents find your details?

(22 Posts)
nannynick Wed 23-Jul-08 20:04:35

If you look through your client list, do you know how each of those parents found out about your childminding service?

Childcare Information Service I expect is a big source for many childminders - for this one, if possible please state if the enquiry came via the printed-list CIS sent to the parents, via a phone call to CIS, or via the parent looking at the online list (childcarelink.gov.uk/childcare.direct.gov)

I'll start the ball rolling by saying what my top 2 sources are:

1. Google search

2. NetMums

ThePrisoner Wed 23-Jul-08 20:34:48

1. Word-of-mouth (parents recommending me to work colleagues/friends, being seen out and about at groups, school playground, etc.)

2. The "immediate vacancies" list on the CIS website.

Being on the "immediate vacancies" list at the CIS has been far more use than the general list, and parents have only looked at the website (and not phoned the CIS).

ayla99 Wed 23-Jul-08 21:16:58

1. recommendation via existing/ex-parents
2. recommendation via other childminders
3. CIS usually from the website rather than printed list I think but I haven't recorded that.

KaySamuels Wed 23-Jul-08 21:52:21

1. word of mouth from me grin, parents, school secretary (love her)
2. Children's Information Service

JenniPenni Wed 23-Jul-08 22:48:50

1. Word of mouth
2. Children's Information Service (online)

Fadge Thu 24-Jul-08 19:48:24

Netmums and CIS

nannynick Fri 25-Jul-08 18:44:27

So far, looks like having a comprehensive CIS listing, flagged as having vacancies, and being published (childcarelink and childcare.direct.gov.uk) is taking no.1 ranking slot.

But not many of you lovely childminders have responded so far... so bumping for the Friday evening crowd.

mum2akebk Fri 25-Jul-08 19:07:56

Again

1. Children's Information Service-although I haven't asked I think most have looked at the online list;

2. Personal Recommendation.

southernbelle77 Fri 25-Jul-08 19:25:43

1. CIS
2. Word of mouth / personal recommendation
3. Netmums

Also has enquiry via mumsnet but was unable to help on that occasion.

nannynick Sat 26-Jul-08 11:40:37

Thanks. You may feel the answer to this is rather obvious. Certainly I expected that CIS would be the major source for the vast majority of childminders, with personal recommendation coming in at 2nd place.

So, I'm confused as to why childminders don't keep their CIS listing updated.

A local childminder near me has had a website up and running for a few weeks now, yet their CIS listing has not been updated since October 2007. I am pestering the childminder to update their listing (all they need to do is to e-mail, or complete an on-line form) and CIS will update the details, which Opportunity Links will then make available on-line.
The childminder concerned has decided that they will publish their fees on their website, yet their CIS listing does not include Cost details.

If CIS listing (be it online, or printed list) is a top source of enquiries... why not keep that information updated?
I don't understand... surely CIS will update that information whenever you request them to do so. They will also FLAG that you have vacancies (so parents can limit a search to providers who have vacancies).

Am I missing something... is there some reason why CIS listings can be many months out of date?

hellsbells76 Sat 26-Jul-08 11:58:38

I work for a CIS and it's really frustrating that so few CMs keep their details up to date with us! We send out monthly vacancy update cards (with a freepost return address) but we only get a small percentage of them back. I can understand why some CMs choose not to advertise through us (usually because they have plenty of work via local word-of-mouth) which is fine, but if you do have your details published, it looks pretty unprofessional if the 'last updated' date is months or even years ago. so a plea from me to please keep your listing up to date, it's all free after all!

nannynick Sat 26-Jul-08 12:21:27

hellsbells - any details about when iChIS will be able to list Home Childcarers? Opportunity Links when I asked them said there was some contract issue... any idea if that has been resolved?
How is your CIS giving out details to parents about Home Childcarers / vOCR? Is it only via phone, printed list... not online?

looneytune Sat 26-Jul-08 12:34:35

1) CIS
2) My website (sometimes via netmums or here but quite often just google searchs)

Haven't a clue why people don't update their CIS listing - I do for every little detail, in fact, when I do have a vacancy I LOOK for details to change purely to get me to the top of the list wink

looneytune Sat 26-Jul-08 12:55:31

I was going to say that word of mouth isn't AS good for me now as I moved to the next village but still go to groups and hang about with the childminders from the other village and so it's only every so often I get enquiries for my new area. Having said that, I've just got off the phone to a lady who wanted to speak to ME first because someone she got chatting to in the Bakers went on about how great I was, they didn't remember my name but knew my son's name and that's how she found out it was me - I'm just left wondering who it was now grin

dmo Sat 26-Jul-08 13:24:29

1)word of mouth
2)cis
3)business cards in pre-schools

ThePrisoner Sat 26-Jul-08 21:41:27

With regard to the CIS list, I don't get any phone calls at all from the comprehensive list, only ever if I am on the immediate vacancies list.

Poppychick Sun 27-Jul-08 18:22:55

Found my childminder by personal recommendation.

hellsbells76 Sun 27-Jul-08 20:46:44

Nick - no, still no idea it's some kind of data protection issue according to Ofsted. Until it's sorted out, we're not allowed to give out details of anyone on the v-ocr, in fact we don't even have access to it. Very annoying! We can only signpost parents to local nanny agencies if they want a home childcarer - not ideal really.

vInTaGeVioLeT Sun 27-Jul-08 20:54:45

1. word of mouth
2. local surestart childrens centre
3. disc{information for children and families in devon}

nannynick Sun 27-Jul-08 23:39:39

Thanks hellsbells. My local authority contacted me recently saying that they were looking to write to everyone on the list they get from Ofsted, asking if they can tell parents their contact details.
I think it may be some time before details get put on ChildcareLink.
For someone like me, I would like my local authority to be able to tell parents about the service I provide. But I can also see that a nanny working for one family, may not want their details public. Tricky, but could be possible via an opt-in (or opt-out) list.
I was told it was a DfES contract issue, so seems like that may have been overcome... or maybe not... maybe it's not DfES contract and data protection.

vInTa - Children's Centre... that is interesting as I have one opening near me in September. Wonder if they will keep some kind of list. Does the children centre give out your details, do they have a noticeboard on which you advertise, or what?

vInTaGeVioLeT Mon 28-Jul-08 00:31:38

hi nick - they have a childcare folder in the reception area, where c/m's etc are welcome to put their details.
my latest enquiry came from this.

i also have my card in the local pre-school and have noticed some c/m's put their card on a notice board in the library.

elkiedee Tue 29-Jul-08 17:25:50

I'm reading this as a nosy parent - I found my CM on the CIS list, think I looked at the printed list posted to me as it was more useful, too many online in the wrong borough or wrong area whereas the printed list was organised by postcode, and had addresses which weren't given online for understandable reasons, but I could see that two lived really really close to me.

The two I went to see had email addresses - while I wouldn't consider this essential, I was happy with the first (and it's turned out to be a luckily good decision) and impressed by the second.

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