Ive never had a childminder let alone a babysitter but am finally calling on help - I couldnt find someone personally recommended. So i found an ad in the library and called the woman. It was a landline number and her husband answered. She says that she is police checked but that this is a little dated. She may have stated references in the ad i cant remember. How do I know whether I can leave her with my children? What exactly can I ask to see and how will I know that references are not just 'friends'? Im feeling a bit nervous about her having my children alone...
Are you in the UK? All childminders should be registered and OFSTED inspected. You can read their inspection reports (online). Your council will provide you with a list of registered childminders in your area.
She should have a certificate of registration, also check her insurance certificate and police check certificate, and any others for first aid or training she claims to have.
She should have all thses to hannd and think nothing of showing them to you.
She should be able to give clear answers to any questions and know what she is talking about, go and visit and get a feel for the house and her in person, she should be happy to show you around and chat freely about what she does with the kids and all that. check accreditation is genuine.
I went round to her house and we interviewed each other. I spent a lot of time talking to her children, who were lovely, bright and kind to DS. I went by my gut instinct really, as she was new to the profession. But I decided that she'd done a great job with her children, I liked her to I went for it. I am a true believer in gut instinct.
Don't worry about a police check (CRB Disclosure) being a bit old... Ofsted are not updating them, as a new system is coming in next year... they keep changing things in this profession!
Visit the childminder, have a chat with them, they should be able to help put your mind at ease. Visit during the day if possible so you can see how they interact with children already in their care/their own children.
I got a list of CM vacancies from my borough's Childcare Information Service. (CIS). Everyone on their lists are registered so other than asking to see their certificate to double check, I didn't have to worry too much about that. Try this link too.
hi i just wanted to update and see what you think of this. She came to my house yesterday and brought a folder with her certificates (qualifications from japan) and uk intro to childminding, and the police check and her cv and a reference. I called the ref and the woman was polite and pleasant
but she is not a registered childminder my gut feeling is that she was a lovely woman, about 40, japanese and very kind. But My children liked her. But I have some doubts ie I dont know if the ref was genuine..should I visit them they only live around the corner? would you be happy if someone visited you if you had provided a reference?
Do not touch her with a barge pole! Please. Beside it being illegal (!!!)... if something happened to your child (God forbid) in her care, she has no liability insurance etc. There are processes in place for childminders and we adhere to them for good reason.
You would also have no one to complain to/backup support system (OFSTED/NCMA etc.) if you werent happy for some reason.
Basically, as nice as she is... she could just do as she likes...
Plus I (as a registered childminder with an outstanding grading...) always insist my prospective parents phone as many refs as they like... and I give about 8...character and work refs. One ref is just not enough imo. Even tho OFSTED are happy with me... I am a big believer in refs.
Get a copy of the list for local CMs from your local Childcare Information Service.
Like llareggub I chose a quite newly registered childminder, though as she has 5 kids of her own (youngest is 7) she has plenty of experience of actually bringing them up. She, and her family, have been great with him. I also went with the instinct to trust her and liked the fact that she wanted to cuddle and talk to and engage ds from the start.