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Do you use a Childminder?

(7 Posts)
Tw1nkle Mon 24-Feb-14 18:59:14

What do you look for when choosing a childminder?
Is there anything you'd like them to do, that they don't currently?
What would your 'ideal' childminder offer?

Thanks (I'm just setting up so doing a bit of market research!)

HeyMicky Mon 24-Feb-14 19:04:07

I looked for lots of space, inside and out.

Honesty when it comes to food and activities - fine to feed them a kid-friendly ready meal, but tell me, don't pretend everything is home cooked. Ditto going out - don't promise daily trips to groups if you're not going to go

Full activity journals

Varied activities esp craft, baking, water play

Willingness to use reusable nappies

No TV

belleface Mon 24-Feb-14 19:36:10

DD is 13mo and has been at CM for nearly 2 months now. when were were looking, this is what i had in mind...

- friendly, open childminder
- nice house and garden
- home-cooked food and non-packet snacks
- willingness to use washable nappies
- variety of activities including going to toddler groups or similar
- term-time only if possible
- nice quiet place to nap preferably in cot

in the event the one we found and loved (and DD loves going there) doesn't meet half that criteria! she is quite different to us but it just works.

not sure if that's helpful, but i felt we just knew that she was a lovely person and would be caring towards DD. and it seems to be going well so far smile

SquidgersMummy Mon 24-Feb-14 19:43:39

Our childminder sends messages a and photos during the day via WhatsApp - it's great to see your DC having fun or napping etc and to ask if they're ok etc - she also does a diary in a notebook: lovely to get a full report on what they've had for lunch and done etc.

Eletheomel Mon 24-Feb-14 20:03:39

To be honest, initially I was just looking for a space (I left it a bit late..) with a woman who liked kids :-)

So, I had no real desires (other than making sure tv was limited) so, my list is based on what I got (and 3 years later, I'll be sending DS2 there, so I'm very happy with my cm).

DS wasn't a 'cot napper' and CM would push him buggy to get him to nap, or sometimes he'd ask to sit on her lap, he's been known to nap for an hour on her nap in the local cafe...

My CM is very hands on, into cuddling, reassuring - this is important to me

CM arranged play dates almost every morning (if one wasn't arranged, they attended local group) so he got loads of social contact with other kids aged 4 and under. CM and other CMs in our town get together and hired a local hall several mornings a week for this - I love this as it meant that starting playgroup, my son (who was shy) knew a good number of the other kids from the start.

I provide his lunches and snacks, but he's veggie so I'm happy for this.

She's used reusable nappies and was also great at getting him potty trained too :-)

Very flexible, I don't drive and rely on public transport and she's always willing to hold on to him for as long as I need and has taken him for extra afternoons etc when required (if I give her notice).

Lovely big garden with lots of garden toys (sand/water, sit in cars, trampoline etc) They do lots of craft stuff, but also more basic things like filling the kitchen sink with water and splashing about, she doesn't 'force' the kids to do stuff, sometimes my son will play with toys if the others are doing painting (if he's not in the mood).

Lots of feedback on his day.

I love my childminder :-D

waterrat Mon 24-Feb-14 20:59:15

I love our childminder !

I wanted someone warm and caring - who loves her charges like an auntie or grannie would. I think some people look for professionalism and filling in progress reports I don't care about that - I wanted someone with extensive experience with small children who obviously loves then and finds them endlessly fascinating! It's such a full on job I needed to know there would be love there not just someone doing it in order to be with their own kids

For that reason I wanted someone whose children were not among the mindees - our cm has older children. It makes me feel safe that she actually loves what she does

She doesn't take them to groups but there are a small group of kids there and they have so much fun together and at parks etc - I feel so happy each time I leave my son there - it's a replication of an extended family set up

dashoflime Mon 24-Feb-14 21:07:49

I was just looking for someone warm and caring that liked babies smile

And that's exactly what I got! My CM is like a lovely grannie and also incredibly experienced and as soon as I met her-I knew DS was going to be OK with her.

I remember her telling us that she runs her own playgroup, in addition to being a childminder and being very impressed by that. It shows a degree of kiddie obsessiveness as well as a connection with our community, both of which I feel benefit's DS.

She does craft things and is proactive in supporting his development (suggesting its "time I started him on finger paints" for example) but to be honest that is all secondary. I just wanted someone DS would have a good relationship with and feel safe and happy.

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