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New childminder - some advice needed please

16 replies

Jenum71 · 23/09/2005 20:05


I am new here! I was recommended by Hellybelly who has been a real star! I was going to ask her yet another q, but I think she has enough on her plate.

Anyway, basically I would like to know if any of you other childminders have a settling in policy and what sort of settling in stuff you do.
Also do you know how many children you can legally take in a car? I am thinking 3 is ok in the back as long as they have a seat belt each?!

I have only been minding today - well did a settling in - and am due to start properly on monday.

I should have been starting my ICP course but it has been cancelled which is a bummer cos I need to know stuff!

Anyway, thanks in advance for your help!

OP posts:
ThePrisoner · 23/09/2005 20:44

I don't have a settling-in policy as such. I've had children start full-time without any "settling-in"; and, at the opposite end of the spectrum, have had other children who have come with their mum for an hour or so (several times), then come without mum for a short period, building up to a half-day/full day.

I tend to discuss with parents what they would like, and it obviously depends on the child, and I think the parents may be the best judge of how their child might feel.

In the ideal world, the child's first day would be calm and relaxed (first day of the school holidays not recommended!) If we attend any groups, I would still go, but tend to pay extra attention to the newbie to ensure that they don't feel "stranded".

ThePrisoner · 23/09/2005 20:46

Re. the car issue - you can only carry as many people in your car as there are seats and seatbelts. If your car has 3 back seats and 3 seatbelts, then you can have 3 children (plus appropriate carseats).

ThePrisoner · 23/09/2005 20:46

Oh, and welcome!!!

katymac · 23/09/2005 20:58

Hiya - welcome to Mumsnet

Remember NCMA advise that you use the new car seat rules coming in next year

So up to 11 years old or under 1.5m - they need to have a booster seat

Jenum71 · 24/09/2005 08:29

Hi everyone!

Thanks for your lovely warm welcome!

I guess the settling in is different for each child/parent! Do you tend to charge for settling in time?

Thanks Katymac - I wasnt aware of these rules! I have just sent my NCMA app form back so am hoping to get some stuff from them sent through very soon!

Thanks again ladies!

OP posts:
katymac · 24/09/2005 09:05

Settling in

If the parent is arround and will collect (immediatley) if there is a probelm - then I tend not to charge

If they are going shopping or it's a long drawn out process - then I charge

It depends - that doesn't help much does it?....sorry

FeelingOld · 24/09/2005 09:09

Hi Jenum and welcome.
Where possible I too get mindees to come with mum a couple of times for and hour and then stay a couple of times for an hour without mum. I also try to have them come when I haven't got too many other children so that they can have a lot of my attention. I don't charge if mum stays but I do charge if she doesn't. Sometimes they want immediate start so you just have to fit in visits over just a weekend, situations vary. Also when we fill in contracts I state on them that the first month is a trial period after which either of us can back out if things aren't working out.
As for car situation, listen to katymac cos she's usually clued up about most things. Soon you will be like the rest of us, the 'people carrier brigade' is what out local surestart lady calls us when we all turn up for our weekly childminder group

Good luck with the minding, it is daunting at first but you will soon get the hang of it and when you do your ICP you will learn quite a lot.

Tan1959 · 24/09/2005 09:16

I usually offer two settling in sessions free of charge but I guess it depends on how long the child/parent needs for settling in period. Depending on the child, I usually offer 2 half days but then I have had 1 child who didn't need a settling in period at all! I am pretty new to childminding too so was not sure myself what to do.

Jenum71 · 24/09/2005 09:16

Hi 'FeelingOld' - thanks for your welcome!

The first month trial period is a great idea!

Funnily enough I actually said to DH the other day that I will need to get a people carrier!

It is quite daunting this childminding lark! I've worked in a nursery for the past 8 years, but this is totally different! I am looking forward to my ICP course when it eventually starts up!

In the meantime, I was going to go into town today to try and find a book with regards to childminding - any recomendations? (Just an excuse to go shopping really! lol)

Jenny x

OP posts:
HellyBelly · 24/09/2005 11:20


I've just remembered about all those policies and procedures etc on word - will email them to you this weekend - did forget with everything going on!

Must go as ds wants to play but wanted to say sorry and let you know I will sort it!

Any questions, ask mumsnet team as they have been a GREAT HELP to me!!

HellyBelly · 24/09/2005 11:57

Hi Jenny

Just been doing research for myself to make it clear in my head now I have the 3 toddlers. I'm getting a people carrier soon but need to know the situation for now, including school run mindees as they should have them until they are 11.

Anyway, searched for an old thread where I knew there was a website link. Here are 2 links with lots of info:

the law re : different ages


Helly x

ThePrisoner · 24/09/2005 16:08

Jenny - would recommend "Childminding - A Guide to Good Practice" by Christine Hobart and Jill Frankel (ISBN 0-7487-7103-4). It's the book all minders would use to do their CCP courses, and is available from the NCMA or Amazon.

ThePrisoner · 24/09/2005 16:17

Re. settling in - if the parent is present, I don't charge; if the parent is not present, I do charge.

I offer a two-week trial period where either me or the parents can choose not to continue the arrangement.

I've never had a parent finish the arrangement, but I have finished it on one occasion (mum turned up whenever - always late - to pick up, the child turned out to be the most aggressive nightmare ever and my own children and all mindees became very unhappy, and was given two cheques which bounced ... and I still felt guilty about giving notice!!)

Jenum71 · 24/09/2005 18:31

Hi Prisoner!

Thanks for your help! Didnt manage the shops today - went back to bed actually - don't know whats wrong with me lately, I just seem so tired all the time.

Pretty sure i'm not up the duff - oh god I do hope not - worrying now!

Anyway, may shop at home and look on Amazon and Ebay!

Thanks again

Jenny x

OP posts:
HellyBelly · 24/09/2005 18:59

Oh Jenny, hope you feel better soon! Scary thought, being pregnant again when just sorted the minding out eh! Maybe it's just the colder weather?!

H x

Jenum71 · 24/09/2005 19:25

Oh lets hope so Helen!

Can you imagine!

I would like another one day, but just not yet!

Jenny x

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