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Another one considering CM with some Qs

(10 Posts)
lechatnoir Mon 01-Jun-09 22:22:52

I'm currently on ML with my second and due back at work January and thinking about the cost/logistics of FT work with two LO's (will be 4 & 8mths) is frankly depressing so I'm looking into becoming a CM myself grin.

It's still early days but if it looks like a viable option financially I'm keen to get things in motion ASAP as we do need the extra income so would appreciate some help on a couple of things:

1. We're currently renting but will be buying at some point when something comes up in our village our landlord has no objections but would do you think this would be a real problem for parents? And keeping on the house theme, does it matter if we have limited space i.e. no dedicated playroom or separate bedroom for mindees to sleep?

2. I'm seriously uncreative & arty wink. I love cooking with DS & we do some drawing/cutting etc but both he & I have quite limited ability & attention span when it comes to crafty stuff - can you be a good CM without being particularly arty?

3. How long does it take to become registered? And what's the average time it takes to find a mindee from being registered?

4. How do you decide what age/number of mindees to take on or do you just advertise & see who or what comes up?

5. I have a cat - would this put people off?

6. If I'm not ready for work by Jan, I will have to go back to my old job until I have at least some work lined up - is this realistic (3 long days a week)? Any obvious pitfalls?

Anything else I should consider at this early stage?

Many thanks in advance if you manage to answer jut one of my questions and hope to be joining all you CM more permanently very soon.
LCN

KatyMac Mon 01-Jun-09 22:28:47

1)Should be no problem - space may be an issue which limits how many children you have - but playroom/bedroom isn't an issue as long as you make arrangements
2)No problem
3)12 weeks to 9 months
4)umm OFSTED say how many & what ages then you wait & see
5)It will be for some people & it will be n an attraction for some
6)Wht happens if you have your 3 days a week for 2 months & then they leave?

lechatnoir Mon 01-Jun-09 22:47:54

Thanks Katymac all really helpful & positive (but I clearly need to get going if it can take 9 months!! shock.

Only answer I don't get is the last one? To clarify, I meant I would have to return to my old job 3 days a week until I had at least 1 definite place lined up- obviously I realise there's no long term certainty but over time I'd be hoping to have at least 2 children possibly even 3 with before/after schoolers so losing 1 with notice wouldn't kill us for a short period.

KatyMac Mon 01-Jun-09 22:51:53

Oh right

I thought you meant you would need at least 3 long days of childminding 1 child

Sorry

lechatnoir Mon 01-Jun-09 23:06:41

no matter & thanks again for the advice.

atworknotworking Tue 02-Jun-09 07:53:38

Hi echo what KatyMac has posted, being in rented accomodation isn't a problem as long as your landlord is ok with it. If you make good use of the space that is available for your mindees the size of your home wouldn't necessarily be an issue. I'm not arty either and can't draw for toffee grin but their are some fantastic resources online and from educational suppliers like Baker Ross that have ideas you can adapt, I am suprisingly good at wall displays of the mindees work blush which surprises me more that anyone else (but I digress).

Ofsted will tell you how many mindees and ages when you register, but in saying that it is often good to pick and choose the ages you will be more comfortable with from the ratios you get given, if you have a 9 mo you probably wouldn't be allowed a baby space until your LO was over 12mo, but given that it takes some time to complete the registration process it prob won't be an issue.

I had a cat when I started minding, didn't really have any parental issues, it died sadly (he was 16) we had a dog for a bit (peer pressure from DD) who kept peeing everywhere so it was an issue for me and it was re-homed. We now have another cat which I don't like, it's very good with the mindees and likes to play football with them, but is a total pain in the arse logistically, like having to lock out when mindees, asleep, eating, messyplay (likes to jump in the paint pots), I wouldn't get another pet again but I'm stuck with this one. One of my mums is allergic and she gets sniffly when her DS go home but she's ok with it. The children obv love it grin.

It's hard to say how long before you get any mindees, it took mee 2mths before I even got an enquiry, then had a bit of a flood and was full to poppin within a month grin, that was nearly 4yrs ago now and things are a bit sticky in the job area and I very rarely get enquiry's these days sad I have a space for the first time ever (normally have a waiting list) so I would do plenty of research in your local area see how many people mind, charges etc.

The other thing to bear in mind is the amount of courses and training you will need to do, all good CM do them regularly, and networking is good to keep sanity, talking to grown ups is a novelty grin, most of the courses are on an evening or w/end so this week I am out 2 eves 6 - 9.30 and all day Sat 8 - 5 so it can be a long week.

Also if you move after you have mindees you may limit yourself location wise and will have to re-reg new property with ofsted (took 4mths when I moved).

Despite all the downy bits theres a lot of uppy bits and you learn a great deal about yourself and how many skills you have, it's a strange life but can be very rewarding.

squirrel42 Tue 02-Jun-09 07:57:57

Just a fyi - the usual number of children Ofsted permits is five under the age of eight, with no more than three in the early years age group and no more than one under one yo.

If you have your own young children then they "count" for those numbers - so with your own 8mo you will not be allowed to care for another baby under the age of 1yo. The early years age group covers children up to 31 August following their fifth birthday so if your other child will be 4yo then they would probably take up another EY child place and you could only have one more EY child before you reached the maximum of three you're allowed to look after.

KatyMac Tue 02-Jun-09 08:32:24

I was assuming that her 4y would be at school in Sept, but if she doesn't you are right

Only 1 under 5

lechatnoir Tue 02-Jun-09 08:56:05

Thanks guys all really helpful stuff & I'm not deterred just yet grin.

Thanks for the tip about courses - I realised there would be some prior to start up but hadn't considered on-going & all doable but wort knowing now. Incidentally, do they cost much or can you get grants to cover some/all?

WRT child numbers, given the choice I'd rather not have a tweenie one & as my DS doesn't start school until next Sept I would initially looking at just 1 under 5 (but over 1 wink) which could work financially if I managed to get a before/after schoolers or two.

There is definitely demand in my area for CM as I discovered when I started looking for my own CM - obviously this can change & there will only be so many children at the village primary school needing a CM but I'm happy enough that the area isn't saturated (despite the shock high rates - £5.50ph compared to the £4ph I paid in our old town less than 5 miles away!!).

I'm definitely going to get the ball rolling so thanks again for the info getting me this far smile

LCN

atworknotworking Tue 02-Jun-09 11:21:53

Most of the courses are funded by the Early Years dept at your local council. Have a look on your local Families Information service web site, it should have some info re courses or give them a quick call, they are pretty helpful IME, you will have to pay for Peadiatric 1st aid it's £50 for the 12hour course where we are, and will have to be re-newed every 3yrs. It does cost quite a bit to set up when you add it all together, for first aid kits, safety equipment, fire blankets / extinguishers / alarms etc I bought what I needed then a couple of years into it found out about toy libraries and sure start loan schemes where you can borrow travel cots, high chairs, sleep mats etc (all free of charge) but not all areas do these schemes so worth checking before you go shopping. Good luck

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