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How far in advance should we look for CM?

(3 Posts)
spydie Wed 08-Jun-16 12:44:51

DD is 4 months, and I'm not planning to go back to work until March, when she'll be 13 months. But when to start looking for a childminder? Is now ridiculously early to do so??

DH is a teacher so we only need term time cover (although tbh, worried we will find this...). Plus I'm hoping to use holiday during my first month back to enable me to do three days a week. So I'm worried it's going to be a bit 'untidy' in terms of when we will need childcare...

Any tips will be gratefully received!

frenchknitting Thu 09-Jun-16 14:58:58

I'd say no harm looking around? I found this difficult when I hadn't decided between childminder and nursery. Nurseries round here often have an 18 month waiting list, and it's quite common to have paid the first month before you've even had a 20 week scan. Whereas, childminders tend to not be able to confirm until much nearer the time. I wound up going for a nursery, as there are so few childminders in my area, and I didn't want to risk landing up with nothing available.

When I did speak to a childminder, during my pregnancy, she said it was too early. However, she did give me an indication whether she was expecting to maybe have space.

So I'd maybe speak to a few, and try to narrow it down to a few options at least.

skankingpiglet Sun 12-Jun-16 08:24:53

I'd start asking around now to get a feel for how it works in your area.

I was put into a panic when DD was around 3mo and a group of mums at a group told me they'd already put their DCs names down for preschool and I'd likely find they were all fully booked now. I raced to my village school the following day where they laughed at me and told me to come back in 12mo! blush It turns out the preschools in the nearest big town are over-subscribed, but the outlying villages are fine (even though they also have excellent Ofsted reports).

Similarly I had no issue finding a child-minder I liked who had space, but just a few months later other mums I know couldn't find a space anywhere, let alone pick one they wanted. It can't hurt to at least register interest now smile

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