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CM - when should I start looking for one?

(13 Posts)
likessleep Fri 12-Sep-08 13:36:08

Hi,
I am looking for next spring (March time). Am I starting too early? (Or have I left it too late?)
Also, how else other than Childcare Link can I find one?
Thanks in anticipation!

MascaraOHara Fri 12-Sep-08 13:38:05

Start looking but im(limited)e you can't win..

find one to early you have to pay a small fortune in retainers, leave it too late and it's hard to find anybody

likessleep Fri 12-Sep-08 13:44:21

thanks mascara.
i know, it seems to be so hard to find one!

MascaraOHara Fri 12-Sep-08 15:32:39

I think when people find a CM they are happy with they stick with them so it is hard to find one.

My CM is fantastic, I love her, dd has been there a couple of years now and will be staying there until eithe rmy CM stops working or dd is old enough to look after herself.. which ever happens first lol.

I found mine by asking at the local preschool.. they knew the lady that ran the local CM grouop.. that lady put me in touch with my CM as she knew she had spaces.. so good to ask around. I did pay a lot in retainers though.

elkiedee Fri 12-Sep-08 17:09:12

I obtained the printed list from the Childcare Information Service (much more complete than the online version, as people don't necessarily want to give out addresses and home numbers etc online to just anyone, whereas printed list more targeted) about this time last year, for ds to start at CM in March aged 10 months. I've heard of people sorting something out with less notice.

I went to see two and the one I liked best (the other seemed very nice) fortunately didn't need a retainer - just a deposit of the first week's fees, I couldn't have managed much more towards the end of my maternity leave.

littlestarschildminding Fri 12-Sep-08 18:49:04

As a cm I rarely know if I will have a vacancy more than about 1 mnth ahead...unless of course it is a september start and then I often have plenty of notice. If you were to ring me now you would get the, Im full at the moment but let me take your munber and if anything comes up I will let you know response.

If I had a vacnacy now I would want to fill it now and not in March....

likessleep Fri 12-Sep-08 22:37:11

thanks for your honesty littlestars, i totally understand. that is what is difficult, i want to find a good childminder (the ones I've been recommended are all booked up so far in advance), but some have just told me to call back next year.

Eddas Sat 13-Sep-08 08:09:24

it's a horrible situation to be in, as a parent, because you wnat to know it's sorted, but I do understand that a childminder needs to have children now, or else they aren't earning any money. I am starting to look for a minder for January. I'm not sure i'll be able to wait until decmeber to find out if I can have one!

happyfaceschildcare Wed 17-Sep-08 10:50:05

I am a registered childminder and I just take a deposit to hold a new vacancy, have been a working parent myself and totally understand how hard finding them money for retainers can be, I try to be as flexible as I can with parents.

likessleep Wed 17-Sep-08 11:19:41

happyfaces - i hope i can find one like you!
someone yesterday quoted £60 a day!!! i live in winchester, but that sounds a lot to me?

happyfaceschildcare Wed 17-Sep-08 12:15:14

Sorry can't help you I'm in Kent but we are out there, keep looking I advertise in local shops, schools, playgroups, sites like this have you tried all these kinds of places too ? the ncma have a website called childcareplaces.co.uk they might have a lead.

maggi Thu 18-Sep-08 00:28:53

Im in Southampton and would charge roughly 24.00 per day which is average. Are you asking for your child to be the only placement because 9.00 per hour sounds more like an exclusive London price tag.
Just stick CIS in your search engine to find a whole list in the area but these are only updated with vacancies every few months so dont hold an accurate picture.
Lots of childminders are quitting at the moment because new laws mean we have to deliver education to the same standard as nurseries, preschools and year R of schools. Some are finding this rather a strain but more childminders are becoming qualified all the time. A new childminder will have the latest training and generally will already be experienced from bringing up thier own children (though own children are not compulsory of course).
Dont give up. Despite recent news items which said childminders had a huge increase in unsatifactory gradings, childminders as a form of childcare come out top, with the most outstanding gradings of all the forms of childcare. We are also known to be the most flexible and affectionate form of childcare.
Its not to early to look and maybe get on a waiting list but do be prepared to pay up to half fees to keep a place open if it arises. I will only wait 2 weeks without a retainer and then only if the parent has signed a contract. Calls come in all the time asking for spaces.

JenniPenni Mon 22-Sep-08 00:38:55

London is more £5-£6 an hour for childminding.

I have a waiting list, as I am full. I might have a vacancy next month, as situations change, and notice period is 4 weeks. Best you phone childminders, and meet them.. and go on their waiting list NOW. Then stay in contact with them. Closer to the time, maybe arrange for a retainer to be paid to secure a placement.

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