Autistic Children - Finding Childcare

(19 Posts)
nannynick Sat 04-Nov-06 17:10:11

Hi all. As a childcare provider I care for children with diagnosed autism.

A parent with an autistic child contacted me recently having found my website while looking for swimming pools (little odd, as I don't sell swimming pools!) That parent said that she has found finding childcare for a child with autism hard, and was delighted to find me.

So I was wondering, is it hard to find childcare (daytime or evening) if you have an autistic child? How would you go about finding someone to care for your autistic child?

Thanks in advance for your comments.

OP’s posts: |
Loobie Sat 04-Nov-06 17:57:32

Well i live in livingston,up in scotland,i have ds1,ds2 and dd.Ds1 has severe autism and dd has autistic traits as well as a speech disorder.I was nursing till i got ds1 ran into difficulties and was dx 6 years ago,fell pg with dd now 4 and split with dp whilst pg.I am now still on my own and out of work,i have been to our local council and job centre to be told there is no special needs provision in our area at all for my ds1.

r3dh3d Sat 04-Nov-06 21:16:46

Hi Nick;

I think you're in my neck of the woods - I think my Kiwi Nanny met up with you in the park once!

I only know about childcare for little 'uns. I believe that SNAP have the SN nanny market more or less sewn up. But very few parents - particularly those with children who "just" have autism, and thus are fighting for schooling etc. let alone money from Social Services - can afford that sort of care.

For more "mainstream" provision (nursery, childminders etc) I think it depends on diagnosis and need. If your child needs 1:1 you are pretty much stuffed; obviously childminders and nurseries aren't set up for 1:1 and SN nurseries who are set up for it are state funded and you get a max of 10 hours a week. So if you need that level of care, you pretty much don't go back to work till they get to school age.

If you need less than 1:1, friends have told me that some childminders are excellent; I believe they went through childcare link - the database is a bit useless but the local contacts will ring round for you.

BATtymumma Sat 04-Nov-06 21:26:26

please move near me!

DS has HFA. wheni ask Ss for any help re childcarei am told that i am coping fine and so they wont help.

I have never even attempted to look for a proffesional sitter as quite frankly i didn't think they existed.

it would be so amazing to be able to go out and know that Ds is being cared for by someone that actually has a good knowledge of his needs without me having to explain them....i dont get that even with family!

have you considerd advertising on the NAS website?

nannynick Sat 04-Nov-06 22:00:15

With luck, families in my area will get to hear of me via Social Services - now that I have met with a member of the Hampshire CWD team, though of course they may never mention me to anyone.

OP’s posts: |
gooseegg Sat 04-Nov-06 23:12:48

I was contacted 18mths ago similarly randomly by a social worker who noticed I offered weekend chidcare (I am a childminder, as you know) and was wondering whether I would consider caring for a child with autism.
I now care for 6 children with autism.
I don't have much room left for any more other than to provide occasional care.
If you are looking to find new custom in this area I would suggest contacting your local Child Development Centre and writing to your local children's social work dept.
It is worthwhile to do a two day PECS workshop too and to get as much SEN training as poss. I get most of my training by far by listening to the parents of the children I care for.
Your premises need to be super secure with lots of visual clues.
I do provide one to one care but have to charge double for that and if I have my assistant working with me most of that fee is taken up in paying her wage.
Often children who require one to one care can actually be OK with a one to two ratio if you have a good assistant as the numbers of children being cared for is very small anyway.
If children have agressive behaviours then they really are a full one to one prospect. Very rewarding but an assistant and large premises are vital.

r3dh3d Sun 05-Nov-06 07:42:35

I'm going to CAT you, Nick, re: Surrey contact.

nannynick Sun 05-Nov-06 08:09:32

Thanks for that Goose, alas I struggle to get on any training courses as I don't meet any funding criteria. Alas I live in Surrey, and am an Approved provider, not a Registered provider, and thus Surrey do not feel they should allow me to take up a place on funded courses. Have contact Surrey NAS branch, so with luck they may be able to suggest training providers.

As I work in the child's own home, I don't have the issue of making my premises suitable. Plus when it is required the care can be 1:1 (which it is this morning - going to Frimley Lodge Park for the Steam Trains, child I have today loves trains), though it can also be different ratio's if the child has siblings.

OP’s posts: |
r3dh3d Sun 05-Nov-06 10:12:19

Oh, the other thing I'd say, Nick - my current Nanny (ABA tutor etc.) used to work in a local ASD school and I think some parents there got her to do sitting etc. Still do on the odd weekend. Maybe if you got in contact with a couple of the local schools? I'm sure a lot of parents need help in holidays/evenings.

ThePrisoner Sun 05-Nov-06 23:42:20

I've minded children who have special needs. Because I already have that experience, it gets listed by the Childrens Information Service, so I tend to get other calls.

However, I know many childminders who would be only too willing to mind children with special needs, be it 1:1 or with other children, don't yet have much experience but would be happy to learn more.

If anyone ever does need childcare, regularly or just occasional, don't dismiss minders (or nannies!) just because they don't appear to have experience.

Davros Tue 07-Nov-06 17:56:37

Surrey NAS Branch should be a brilliant place to get advice and "custom"! Could you also find out (through them or elsewhere) about any other local SN charities, Special Schools etc. We use several local charities for play schemes and holiday clubs and they usually have a notice board and newsletter. My son's special school also has a parents' EGroup so we can pass info on quickly and easily about this sort of thing. I use Direct Payments to pay for childcare although I tend to use them for someone to look after DD (who is NT) while I take DS (with ASD) to activities.

nannynick Wed 08-Nov-06 07:15:42

Thanks for that... I've joined the Surrey NAS Branch yahoo group, though notice the rules stipulate that I can't mention my service until another poster asks about it (so if you are on the nassb list, do please ask ). Is it better to join Surrey NAS as a full member, rather than just the nassb and newsletter yahoo-groups?

School EGroup's sounds a good idea... wonder how many special schools in the area have those, and how I can get in contact with their administrators.

The family I work for are currently going through the process of getting Direct Payments... I've been to see Hampshire Social Services to do my side of the paperwork, so with luck DPs will start soon. Not sure exactly how DPs work... think the parents get it, and then they pay me... is that right?

OP’s posts: |
ska Wed 08-Nov-06 14:18:34

Hi nannynick
I can give you advice about direct payments and what families need to do to get them You can email me if you want. About getting information to parents with an autistic (or other kind od special need/disability) you should be able to get yourself listed on their website and information listings that they have. This is because they have a duty to provide information about services provided in their area (under the carers and disabled children act 2000 & Carers (equal opportunities) act 2004) - and any parent with problems getting this kind of info about childcare/sitting/other help should start there. Local condition based charities or groups may also be able to help as can the national ones like NAS but also \link{http://carers.org.uk\CARERS UK have an easy to navigate website with loads of info and a helpline. They can advise on money/services/local help.

This problem in getting sitters for families with disabled children is why I set up my website (which I can't plug here I know). My wbesite is listed now on several social services websites and I am talking to more each day.

sitting/childminding for these families is a lifeline - don't be put off - it's really important. Do contact me if you wnat advice I am happy to try to help.

Bbygrls4 Mon 31-Jul-17 20:39:35

Hi, i have a high functioning autistic and ODD daughter and am desperate for childcare for her from the 14 th August to end of summer holidays in dorking do you know if anyone? Thank you

cansu Tue 01-Aug-17 07:14:26

It is impossible. I have tried many times yo find someone who can look after my kids and it is pretty impossible especially for my ds who is v severely autistic. I have often thought that a nanny could have a v good business in my area doing this.

TuliPot Tue 01-Aug-17 10:30:01

We've gone down the 'carer' route, adverts through local independent living services and also through local disability play schemes and special schools. (Some TA's are keen to do adhoc / after school care). It's a bit more expensive than other routes but we are hoping in the future to get help through direct payments.

Dannygirl Thu 03-Aug-17 21:55:06

Really interesting question. My son has recently been diagnosed with ASD, he is high functioning but has sensory and emotional regulation issues. I have also just hired a new nanny who doesn't have experience looking after children with autism! I am a bit nervous about it but she is an experienced nanny. I wondered if there are any relevant courses or great resources for nannies / childcarers wanting to find out more about autism - other than things I have read as a parent and obviously the background and strategies I will handover?

BackforGood Fri 04-Aug-17 00:22:24

I realise this is a zombie thread........

however, in response to the last poster, try contacting either your local authority, or AET directly themselves to see if there is an 'Autism Awareness' training session in your area (AET = Autism Education Trust.... just do an internet search).
Or try National Autistic society
Or Contact a Family
Or Resources for Autism

Dannygirl Fri 04-Aug-17 19:09:07

backforgood thank you so much. And I didn't realise this was an old thread!

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