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Childminder - What is wrong with me?....

(17 Posts)
miamum Thu 17-Mar-05 19:23:28

I apologise in advance on a bit on a downer.

Have no work after Easter..
Job centre will not entertain thought of gtiving me anything...
I am good at my job
I love children

I have childrens interest at heart all time ( shot myself in the foot on recent interview as could sense one of the children really unsettled and uncomfortable so despite mum saying yes to care i advised her to discuss with child - all said diplomatically etc and out of earshot of child) She has now managed to find some free childcare with family friend and thanked me for my help in the situation. YEAH - didn't help me though still no work and i like to be busy

WHAT MORE CAN I DO - advertising like mad, mother and toddler groups networking everywhere, health visitor, library etc

Yet - People that have used me in past come back so i don't think it's me.


bundle Thu 17-Mar-05 19:24:08

where do you live miamum?

KatieMac Thu 17-Mar-05 19:26:18

Oh Honey....keep your chin up.

Two weeks ago I was so worried that we would have to give up and I'd have to find a job - but I just got 2 new children and 2 new enquiries....

It's horrid to be so unsettled....bigs hugs and crossed fingers for you

miamum Thu 17-Mar-05 19:39:03


I'm near Faringdon which is in Oxfordshire but nearer Swindon.

Just so fed up worked so hard, attended a network meet up this morning that i had not been to before and everyone really friendly.

Just think i deserve a break. I could get nasty heard rumour about another childminder in our area going over her numbers and other naughty thing - but that just isn't me.

I've only been able to do childminding which is something i wanted to do for ages as used redundancy package a few years ago as ' buffer'. My girls enjoy me baing at home so much too...

KatieMac Thu 17-Mar-05 20:35:58

Yep - I started with a redundancy too - but it's run out.....I got a child recently 'cos a minder got caught out overminding

I like being at home with my DH & DD

miamum Thu 17-Mar-05 21:41:07

mmm redundancy ran out some time ago been living off fresh air and goodwill!!

Feeling a lot better now - chocolate intake!

Very diificult as only have word of mouth on this minder and a very small community. Also she has been minding longer than me. Also she has no visible paperwork for the two she has been over on from what i understand and she puts herself down as unavailable the times she had the children so she would not be found out.

Makes me cross because i play by the 'rules' and am financially worse off (in the past) because of it.

ssd Fri 18-Mar-05 07:49:55

miamum, you sound like a fantastic childminder and a really nice person. I hope you get a few well deserved enquiries soon! In the meantime, how about advertising for doing evening babysitting. I occassionally do this when things are slow and I really enjoy it.

Good luck and fingers crossed for you!! xxxx

miamum Fri 18-Mar-05 08:13:49

Thanks ssd

Normally a 'happy smiley faced' person getting back to that today.

I thought about evening babysitting as quite a demand in this area. Unfortunately as DH on the road as engineer very unpredictable as to when he would be home!.

Got Job centre visit this morning i think once that is out of the way and resolved be okay.

I'm newish to Mnet but it's so good to know there are people out there that listen and can offer advice and help. DH very good but does not always understand!

SoupDragon Fri 18-Mar-05 08:18:12

Have you tried advertising in your local NCT newsletter? I don't know what your local branch is but you can find out on the NCT site

bathmummy Fri 18-Mar-05 08:40:31

Sounds like you need to consider your mareting strategy carefully. I know you have said that you have advertised everywhere but how well and how effectively have you done this?

Perhaps take a look at your own advert and be objective - does it stand out from the board, is all the info there that might tempt a new client? Does it project the right image? If there are other adverts for childminding up there, is your better, can you offer a different angle from the rest? eg. offer only organic food and drink for lunch...It is little things like that which could help grab a few more clients. In a small community, unless a newcomer can show that they are offering something a bit special, people will naturally gravitate to the safest perceived option for their children - ie. the one who has been around longest, the one most people know etc. etc. so need to make sure you can overcome this one, pref. without resorting to spreading potentially unfounded gossip.
The other thing to think about is the physical environment. If people drove up to your house what would they see? Does it look clean, child friendly and enviting? even a tub of flowers on the doorstep all helps to give the right image and costs only about a fiver.
I would look at way sto get free advertising in local papers. Ask your local paper to come and do a feature on your childminding business with a photo. If you sell it to them as a mum building on her experience as a parent and how much you love children etc., that you currently have spaces available in your vibrant and friendly childminding service etc. combined with a nice photo of you and your children playing away, it might help.
We recently had a massive drive to our playgroup that was threatening to close due to low numbers. Two of us took a long hard look at our pleasant but dull poster we put up everywhere, redid it, thought of a few extra places to pop it in such as Tesco, GP surgeries, even one up in the local garage, village noticeboards, article in two local papers with photos (we did one where we got the kids planting spring flowers which helped to persuade them to come out for a nice photo). We even got one mum to blag a spot on local radio to discuss how mums who wanted to stay at home with their children yet needed to work were being creative with their time and skills by running a community playgroup. All these little things help.
Rather than thinking that you are doing everything you can, think about how you are doing it, see this as a challenge and rise to it rather than seeing it as a lull and a downer. Come on, be positive and take a fresh look at the problem. With a bit of determination and hard work, I bet you can find a few clients.
How about contacting the local primary school and asking to "sponsor" their next newsletter by putting in a small advert at the bottom for a small fee (they may do it free but we paid a tenner). It could offer parents a picking up from school and childminding service for that awkward 3-6pm period when parents work, could also offer half term childminding for younger children as well as daytime preschool childminding for siblings. Be flexible, offer solutions to parents and see what comes back. Leaflet dropping is another idea if the village is small. Don’t think it is a waste of time dropping it in to all homes as people have friends who live in other villages nearby who are looking, older people might have grandchildren nearby etc.etc.
Hope you are feeling more positive soon xx

KatieMac Fri 18-Mar-05 09:29:55

Wow Bathmummy - what a wonderful inspiring and clever suggestions.....

Sorry Miamum - I fell asleep last night - I'm a bit stressed at the moment too

RTKangaMummy Fri 18-Mar-05 09:41:52

wow bathmummy what brill tips

lunavix Fri 18-Mar-05 09:48:34

Bathmummy - that's great!

I'm a childminder too, although newly registered, and had my first initial interview last wednesday, although sadly I don't think they will use me. The mum gave me her reasons though, and to be fair they aren't anything negative about me, it's just more positive on the one they are thinking of using iyswim!

It did come as a bit of a blow though, although I did remind myself it was only my first interview. I've asked around now, and put ads up in the local school, in lots of shops, mentioned myself to the HVs (although sadly they can't promote me!) and stuck one up at my local supermarket (where I work parttime while I set up my childminding business). I've also made some flyers which I'm dropping in my local area - I live very close to a primary school so I'm trying to appeal to local parents - although sadly there are two very good very experienced childminders in the next street!!! Grrrr!

I'm going to watch this with interest though, I hope we both find the work we need

miamum Fri 18-Mar-05 17:58:22

Bathmummy - WOW! Thankyou for taking the time.
Am feeling a lot more positive. Did not go well at the job centre but I AM going to make a go of this.
Points in no particular order

. House is a three bed Semi detached cotswold stone. Pretty hedge at front with daffodils and other bulbs growing at bottom. Potted plants at entrance and two pretty hanging baskets. Kept weed free (mostly!)
Laminate floor all through out bottom of house (so easy to keep clean!)

. Health visitors happy to recommend me. Know me well through my daughters and have a possible coming to visit as has taken child out of nursery as no happy with care.

. DH is a Govenor at the local school. All teachers i know fairly well they have my adverts up in main reception and in the preschool.

. DH used to be in marketing and designed all flyers, business cards and postcard style adverts. It has been commented on how eyecatching they are.

. Adverts in Post Office and local supermarkets and village shops.

. Did advertise for a while in the free magazines but cost became a factor. School newsletter will NOT carry advertising.

. Childminding network coordinator assessed services i offer and feels confident in my abilities etc feels that it is just a lull and nothing that i am doing says nurseries in area are struggling too.

Have real phobia about picture taking (newspaper) local newspaper covers such a large area not sure whether it would be targeted enough.

Member of local childminding committee.

Member on school committee

Thanks so much for all the advice has helped me and 'buck my idea's up a bit'

KatieMac Fri 18-Mar-05 19:07:36

Miamum - how about asking at the network to see if there is a sustainability grant.

Is evening babysitting a possibility??

It's not ideal I know, but financially it might help - could you register for overnight? There might be demand for that...

miamum Fri 18-Mar-05 19:49:20

Katiemac - thanks and hope all well with you

Unfortunately can't do evening work. Looked at night shifts etc at supermarkets too but cant do because of DH job.

Asked during last quiet spell re sustainability grant but told not in area to qualify will push this again i think. Did speak to other childminders and all have vacancies one has told me only interested in b4 and after school wheras i would like fulltime is available so she will refer people to me.

I think it is a case of remaining positive and waiting a few months.All enquiries i have had (positive thing as other minders not getting enquiries) have been for September start time. Think if i can fill up during summer holiday care can ride it through.

grumpyfrumpy Tue 22-Mar-05 14:32:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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