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What should I be looking for in a childminder?

(9 Posts)
cardy Wed 15-Oct-08 15:06:14

I have been looking for a childminder to pick up dds (4 and 7) on day a week after school and have them from 3.15-5.00. A couple of mums at school suggested a childminder who already picks up from the school and as a son already there in year 5. She is also on the board of governers. I had a brief chat with her and she seemed very nice and has invited me round for a longer chat/"look at her house".

I have never used a CM before I was wondering what I need to look out for/ask her other than just use my gut instinct.

How much would you expect to pay - 1 hour 45 mins (no meals)? She will pick up from school I will pick up from her house.

She seems quite well known at the school gates...

cardy Wed 15-Oct-08 15:40:47

anyone?

eleanorsmum Wed 15-Oct-08 16:20:57

she may well have a minimum charge of 2 or 3 hours for after shcool care.
Gut instinct is a good guide, try to speak to her other paretns if you know anyone who uses her or has used her.
check she is registered (!) she should have cert on wall somewhere.
See how your children react/beahve with her too.

cardy Wed 15-Oct-08 16:39:06

dd1 is familar with her and has seen her around the school as she is a Governer. Am I being naive in thinking that because she is a governer she misy be OK?

How does £3.75 an hour per child sound?

dustystar Wed 15-Oct-08 16:49:50

Price varies a lot from area to area. That would be quite expensive where i live but cheap in parts of London. I agree that gut instinct is important. I don't think that being a governor means anything tbhsmile Hopefully she will have a file you can read through with her policies etc in it.

cardy Wed 15-Oct-08 16:53:11

that's useful thanks

MoonlightMcKenzie Wed 15-Oct-08 17:00:59

I look for:

1) Will my child be safe?
2) Will he be happy?
3) Is it close?
4) Can I afford it?
5) What other benefits will my child gain from being there (other kids, different food, big garden, activites etc etc?
6) What other benefits will I gain (being fed, late/emergency pick-ups, flexibility, messy activities so I don't have to do them etc. etc.?

In that order.

hth

cardy Wed 15-Oct-08 21:08:43

I can pretty much be sure that the answers to 3-6 are positive, but how can are be sure re. 1&2, which, as you quite rightly point out are the main priority?

MoonlightMcKenzie Wed 15-Oct-08 22:13:49

You can't be sure, but no. 1 is easier than no. 2. When you visit you'll get a feel, but ask lots of questions about discipline. This is usually related to safety.
Look at the toys, are they appropriate or broken with choking hazzards (should be inspected by ofsted btw, but good for you to do your own)

Think about your worst fears for safety and ask questions related to that. i.e how would she avoid and then deal with choking. It gives you an idea of the overall attitude.

wrt 'happiness', - does she recommend a couple of shorter 'settling in' sessions? How is she going to communicate with you and how often? i.e does she smile when you suggest calling every half hour or does she look annoyed?

hth

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