Im having some issues finding childcare for my 1 yr old. I'm not sure about nursery's so I'm branching into childminders.
I'm seeing one soon who sounds lovely on the phone, and I read the ofsted report on her which all sounds positive. The only worry is it says someone made a complaint about her relating to her being mentally or physically unable to look after children. This sounds a bit scary but I guess there could be nothing in it- she is still registered and everything so there can't have been too much wrong. I want to ask about it but I feel a bit awkward about it. Would I offend her by asking? I don't want to start the relationship off on the wrong foot!
I have a couple of meetings set up, but I have no idea what to look for or ask when I visit them so some advice would be great.
One thing that's come up several times on the board is that a complaint stays on your record even if it was investigated and found to have no basis in fact, even if it was been made by someone with a specific grudge against you, and even if it turns out (as was the case for one MNetter who childminds) that it was a case of mistaken identity and they meant to complain about a completely different childminder!
You're going to need to feel comfortable discussing all sorts of (possibly sensitive) things with your childminder, so you ought to be able to ask her about it politely. If it was something like one of those cases it gives her a chance to set the record straight.
You def need to ask about the complaint. It works both ways - just because there was a complaint doesn't mean she did anything wrong, but just because she is still registered doesn't mean that she didn't. You need to hear her side of the story and make your own mind up.
In terms of what to look for, IMO there are two main things
1) how does she interact with her current mindees 2) are her views on parenting roughly similar to yours.
IMO if there is too big a difference in your views on how children should be treated then it is not going to work. Try and get her to talk as much as possible about how she treats her mindees without saying too much about how you do things. Try to get a feel for her opinions on whatever is important to you food, sleep, tv etc.