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How do I decide which childminder is right for my for my (pfb) twin babies?

(14 Posts)
PazzaPlusTwo Thu 04-Sep-08 00:16:18

Hello I have 4-month old twins and would like some childcare for 1-2 days a week, but the local nurseries all have long waiting lists.

I have seen one registered childminder, she seems fine and has references, has had twins before, seemed good with the girls when we met. But I just don't know whether she's right - I know I'm being a paranoid first-time parent about it, but I do worry ... who else is in the house, what happens if she has her 18-month old grandson around and she needs the loo (just been on holiday with 18-month old nephew who is adorable bless him but I wouldn't leave him alone with DTs for a second) ... also she can't give me the number of the parents of the twins she minded earlier this year as she says they are now in France - she's probably not lying, but I'm not 100% sure.

Should I meet with several? It's been really hard to find one nearby with a vacancy. Or should I wait till I find someone recommended by someone I know, which might put my mind more at rest?

Be honest with me, am I being ridiculously paranoid? Should I just count my blessings I've found this woman so easily, and grab her while I can?!

thx a lot for any advice

bloomingfedup Thu 04-Sep-08 00:46:08

I find it a bit suss that you can't follow the refs up.hmm If you have any doubts - look for alternative childcare.

AnotherFineMess Thu 04-Sep-08 01:09:10

Trust your instincts...if you trust her, use her.

Do your local council hold a list of all registered childminders in your area? Mine do and it is run by the largest libraray in our area. I googled 'childminders in (my area)' and got the number, then spoke to someone and told them what postcode I was looking for, and they sent me a huge list.

I ended up going with the first childminder I saw (after pondering the list for weeks) and have never regretted it. There are lots of things that half-worried me to begin with (lively dog, lots of older cdildren, small & cramped house) but overall I liked her and trusted it would be OK, and it has been.

Good luck.

PazzaPlusTwo Thu 04-Sep-08 03:05:03

I got her number off the list. She seems dead sensible and has all her Ofsted stuff in order and done extra first aid courses, she's an older woman who misses having kids around, hers are all grown up...

I think the real sticking point may be that it's a bit too early for me to feel comfortable leaving them with a relative stranger. I have anxiety dreams about leaving one on a bus etc. Seems like it's all gone by in such a whirlwind like I only had them yesterday.

Q for childminders ... how do you deal with anxious first-time parents??! hmm

imananny Thu 04-Sep-08 10:21:52

i didnt think CM could have twin babies - as they are not allowed 2children under 1 - or do they get special permission?

I would trust your instints if you like/trust her BUT would also find it suss that she cant give you refs either hmm

as the care is only 1-2 days a week, and as CM charge per child, have you considered having a nanny for 2 days - nannies charge an hourly rate not a child rate like CM do

cost might be a little bit more( on a nanny you have to be their employer and pay the nannies tax and NI)

they will come to your home, so makes getting out of house to work easier for you in mornings as you onlyneed to get yourself readyand obv would only care for you 2 babies on those days?

badgerhead Thu 04-Sep-08 10:30:18

Childminders can have permission for two children under one, I have, it is usually given to more experienced childminders & you have to show(prove) how you would manage two young children, e.g. feeding, out & about, emergency evacuation etc.
As to dealing with first time anxious parents I invite them to come & see me working with children, reassure them lots that everything will work out & if there are any problems or queries please do not hesitate to ask & I would also contact the parent for any reason like that as well. I invite the parent to contact me during the day either by phone or email for reassurance that everything is going well. I would also suggest several settling in visits with the children & gradually with the parent leaving them with me for longer periods of time if it seems that there are going to be bad separation anxiety problems,(more from the children than the parent though).

imananny Thu 04-Sep-08 10:37:15

as i said on previous thread, I dont understand why CM have to have permission to have 2 under 1, yet nannies can have as many ad they like ( think MM say 7 children for insurance)

if a nanny can cope with feeding/changing 2 babies/under 1;s then why cant a CM?

we are both people doing the same job just with a different name imo

navyeyelasH Thu 04-Sep-08 18:44:42

To be fair I think whether your a CM/Nanny 2 under 1's is hard bloody work. If you had 7 under ones (using your insurance number) what would you do if they all had to be fed at the same time. Imagine that 7 bawling bundles of joy wink.

I think the reason it to do with the types of people nannies and CM's work with/for. Nannies work for families and normally you don't get 2 under 1's in the same family (unless twins/very quick 2nd pregnancy) where as CM's work with loads of different families. So the likelihood of a CM being approached by 7 under 1's is quite high and for a nanny very very low.

lindseyfox Thu 04-Sep-08 19:59:34

have you considered a nanny as sometimes more cost effective when have twins and a nanny would do child related tasks such as childs washing and ironing and could prepare meals for the children and perhaps freeze left overs for the days you have them.

some nannnies only want 2 days work a week.

PazzaPlusTwo Tue 09-Sep-08 11:55:23

Thx foxy! I'd thought of a nanny but the whole tax/NI thing sounds like a nightmare... can the nanny help me sort that out, as presumably they've been thru it b4?

nannynick Tue 09-Sep-08 12:30:37

The tax/ni thing really isn't that hard. HRMC provide you with a CD-ROM which works on a Windows based PC. A lot can now be done online, though there are some paper based things you need to do. You can always pay a payroll company (such as PAYE For Nannies) who will produce payslips for you and tell you how much to pay HMRC and when to pay.

You agree a Gross Salary with your nanny then from that you deduct Tax and NI on behalf of your nanny (which you send to HMRC every quarter). You pay on top of that Employers NI.

lindseyfox Tue 09-Sep-08 17:12:15

think nick got in there before me but tax and NI cant really be that difficult as many families do it and a payroll company can sort it for you, there is an amount a nanny can earn before being taxable so for 2 days you may find you dont have to pay any.

most nannies work on a net wage so take this into account and work out what the gross cost will be to you.

for twins for an experienced and qualified nanny you would be looking at £6-£10 net an hr depending on area and nannies quals and exp.

PazzaPlusTwo Tue 09-Sep-08 18:20:28

thx nick & lindsey!

shellchildminder Thu 11-Sep-08 09:56:57

Hi im a registered childminder and would have spaces to care for your twins, what area are you in?
Like you said you need to feel comfortable with the childminder and want to be sure your babies are fine and safe and well looked after its understandable , as someone else has said i would when a child starts new with me i advise for the parent and child to come round to my house a couple of weeks before they actually start and stay for a few hours a day so the child gets used to the new surroundings.

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