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What made you choose your childminder?

(21 Posts)
Welshygirl Wed 29-Jul-09 19:44:43

Just wondering as I'm finding it hard to make a decision.

AvadaKedavra Wed 29-Jul-09 19:54:28

I'm the CM rather than the parent but they (and I!!wink) usually go on gut feeling and thinking they could work quite agreeably with me, that we could sort out problems, that the children like me/feel comfortable.

If it's deciding between a couple of ideal candiadates in past it's gone down to who was nearest.

Does that help at all?

Gut feeling played a big part in it - also, how she was with the children and how they responded to her. Have gone down the route of choosing the cheapest many years ago - it was the worst decision I ever made.

I've been a cm myself for 4years and am about to go back to work - and I've gone back to my old cm who cared for my teenage daughters because they were so happy there and had so much fun.

Ask if she has any references from parents - in the past I've given parent's phone numbers out to prospective parents - with their permission of course - so that they could chat about the care I provide.

You have to feel you can build a relationship and a partnership with your cm and that your child will settle there. It's not an easy decision, but you'll get there - good luck smile

stainesmassif Wed 29-Jul-09 20:16:16

totally down to gut feeling - she was the first cm that i saw - met with 5 others and she was definitely 'the one'. they love each other now and i don't feel guilty or jealous! grin

cat64 Wed 29-Jul-09 20:43:57

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ForExample Wed 29-Jul-09 20:47:05

She was recommended to me by a friend (a teacher) who runs a playgroup that the CM attended so I knew she would be great. I met her, really liked her (v different to me, but we connected) her kids were lovely, she gave me all the original references to take home, and I phoned them all, and they were pretty much glowing.

One of the best decisions I've ever made.

It's a bit like when you start a new job and you think 'I like you' or 'I'm not sure about you'. You just know when it's going to work...... smile

One of my parents gave us a lift to the airport recently to save us taxi fare and took ds out when we had a death in the family. Mindees and their parents are an extension to my own family - or does that sound too 'icky' hmm

lynneevans51 Wed 29-Jul-09 20:49:10

As everyone says here, gut feeling is paramount. However, I was v fortunate with mine. I went from a private nursery to CM when my DS was 18 mo. The CM followed a set schedule every day of play time, sleep time, feed time, kept a diary for me of what DS was doing during the day, what he ate etc, she also CM'ed for other children of similar ages and I found it a huge comfort that she provided such a professional service and v similar to the nursery. Compared with other CM's I interviewed, the one I chose was by far the most professional, had the best rapport with DS and I felt happiest with overall. HTH.

ForExample Wed 29-Jul-09 21:07:32

see, it's one of those things, it really is horses for courses -I would have rejected lynneevans cm because I would have felt that was too regimented, I wanted a 'home' type environment rather than one like a nursery - so a set schedule of feed times, sleep times, would have put me off, but that was perfect for her.

Ultimately I think it's a connection thing - it's about the fit between you all.

wisterialane Wed 29-Jul-09 21:20:35

As everyone says, it's gut feel really. But like FE, I was looking for a home from home environment. It was obvious that the children absolutely love her. Her own children are also lovely - a very good indication in my view. When I was looking, I went to meet a prospective CM and her son (4yo) was in his pjs at 11am drinking what looked like blackcurrant out of a baby's bottle watching Nick Jr. She didn't make the shortlist! <judgey judgey emoticon>

cat64 Wed 29-Jul-09 21:26:29

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Welshygirl Thu 30-Jul-09 11:40:51

Thanks everyone - you have been helpful. I have narrowed it down to two (both of whom I would have felt comfortable leaving DS with). My next question is do you think you make a better CM if you have had children? And would you go with an experienced, established CM rather than one who was just starting out (although you were comfortable with both and both had good references). Decisions, decisions! made even harder because I don't want to leave him at all!

ForExample Thu 30-Jul-09 11:45:46

So, if you are comfortable with both, I would start looking at things like how close are they to my house, are they committed to it, or just doing it because it is convenient to their lifestyle at the moment, (ie how long are they going be childminding - so, if it all works out, are they going to be able to childmind for a good amount of time) and all the periphery stuff. hth.

cat64 Thu 30-Jul-09 13:02:21

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holdingittogether Thu 30-Jul-09 13:37:43

As others have said it totally depends on what you are looking for. Do you want strict rules and routines or a more go with the flow approach? Convienience has to be a factor too. Which location is going to make your life easier? Do you need flexibility? Can cm be flexible? And ofcourse look at cost too but imo that should be the last factor to consider.

chocolaterabbit Thu 30-Jul-09 13:45:06

With mine, it was partly gut feeling and seeing how she and DD (now 2) took to each other when they met, partly that I went through the exhaustive PFB interview question list and she answered sensibly and helpfully with a very similar approach to how it had been working at home. It also helped that she had 3 children of her own, and the youngest was a year or so older than my DD so they would effectively be doing the same things and DD would be fitting into a family/home environment.

It seems to be working really well. DD is very happy and draws pictures of her CM and her youngest DD when she is at home at the weekend. DD seems to be treated like another member of the family and just has lots of people to love who like her.

Northerngirldownsouth Thu 30-Jul-09 13:50:24

As all the others have said, it is gut instinct. I didn't have loads to choose from but some weren't interested at all in ds1 when I went to meet them, their houses were not very child-friendly (i.e. no open spaces for playing, very cluttered) and they wanted extra money to cook for him!?!

When I met the one I went with it was love at first sight grin, she scooped up ds1, had lovely food on the hob cooking and was v.v.v flexible with all arrangements.

You will know when you meet the right one.

Welshygirl Thu 30-Jul-09 16:38:56

ok so opinions please:

no 1: Youngish, just starting out (although job with previous experience with children (only has 2 other mindees one a similar age to DS although he would be full time and they aren't so be on own with him some days)lovely house, seems nice and willing to do things the way I want them done .
No after school kids as yet.

No 2: Established with lots of experience (16 years)children seemed happy and occupied (although tv was on - but was rainy day in holidays). Lovely cosy home. Would be with CM's son who is 2 years older every day (except when he's in nursery) and one other 2 year older boy a couple of days. Has older children after school who seemed happy and polite.Seems to take quite frequent trips with children .

Both seemed lovely and trust worthy.
Both are about a mile and a half away from my house but on the way to work (so would be out of DS current school catchment area (although we rent and will probably move).Both cost the same.

Aggh!

AvadaKedavra Thu 30-Jul-09 16:45:15

Can you go back again to both of them and visit at a different day/time of day? It might throw something up you hadn't thought about and that could be a decider.

Alos bear in mind that it's a two way thing and that they have to wish to work with you too!

floatyjosmum Sun 09-Aug-09 22:22:28

have to admit the cm we chose when we first moved to the area looked amazing on paper, we met her and thought she'd be ok (its all organic and home education in her house) as she'd be offering the things id like to offer.
but then the kids started going and there were a few issues but not major ones, it was things i like i haad to leave work as she had to take her child to a n e urgently but an hour later i saw them still in the village so was a lie. then she gave me notice stating that she just wanted to do before and after school which ds was but dd was full time. thought fine until i saw her ofsted which stated that she was over numbers.

so..... met the 2 cm's i use now, one that has had dd for nearly 2 years now is amazing and instantly clicked with her, looks great on peper but actually enjoys what she's doign and its all kid friendsly.
have to admit cm dor ds was chosen cos we were desperate! she had only just started but have noi problems with her at all and dd is about to star with her now she is going to school!

think its just a how you feel when you meet them

minderjinx Mon 10-Aug-09 08:58:05

I agree with previous posters that the most important thing is whether you click with the CM and vice versa. Minor niggles can be sorted if you have a similar approach to raising children and similar values. I would however be cautious about basing a decision on how the child(ren)and CM bond at a single brief meeting with parents present. As a CM, I have found those first meetings can be a bit of a minefield with parents often seeming anxious and perhaps even guilty about leaving the child, so I certainly wouldn't be sweeping them from the parents arms and whisking them off to play. It's more important in my view to see if the child settles and goes home happy and relaxed after a trial session away from mum and dad.

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