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Childminders Club: Advice about looking after friends children.....

12 replies

HellyBelly · 14/12/2005 11:34

As most of you are aware, I have a vacancy to fill at the moment and have had several calls but had to turn all away but one lovely pregnant lady (due back at work in April/May).

I have really got my heart set on having a baby (to look after) and it also means it should be more long term than say a 2 year old who would be going to pre-school etc.

Anyway, a local nursery is causing some problems and 2 friends whose children go there, have asked me if I would consider looking after their children. One would be 1 day a week and the other would be 3 making up a 4 day week with the 2 children. They are both aware of the baby situation but if that one didn't work out, what would you do about the other 2?

One friend I only see once every month or 2 and am not so worried about that one (although I can't do just hers as it's only 1 day a week) but the other friend is someone I see a lot and we're good friends now and I'm worried an arrangement like this could cause problems with our friendship.

Experiences of this please?????

By the way, one of the mums is a mumsnetter so xxxxx, if you have read this, I'm just getting extra advice - you already know my concerns!

Hope some of you can help me with a decision on this. Although, they may decide they don't want me anyway!

OP posts:
HappyMumof2TurtleDoves · 14/12/2005 13:11

If you have the vacancy now then I think you should take the 2 friends children personally. Otherwise, you could turn them down and then the pregnant lady may find someone else or anything could happen to change her plans - she may even decide not to return to work.

You could always ring her and tell her you have had another enquiry and would she be willing to pay you some sort of retainer?

Has she said she definately wants you?

Curmudgeonlett · 14/12/2005 13:13

don't do it .. never work for friends .. very bad idea IMHO

jellyjelly · 14/12/2005 13:16

I dont work for friends either as i dont think it works. (apart from casual 'can you look after them while i go and get my haircut'? or something like that, then i would do it.)

HellyBelly · 14/12/2005 13:33

happymum - The lady understands about a retainer etc. and spent 2 hours here and said she was very happy BUT, she didn't want to commit to anything at that stage (knowing I'd give her time to think) until the baby was born. She plans to come again in the new year. If I'd had an enquiry for 4 full days with a child/children who were not friends then I would certainly ring the other lady and see what she wants to do and take it from there. My question was more to do with the friend thing - worried about agreeing on behaviour management, food, paying/receiving money etc etc.

Curmudgeonlett & Jelly - this is what I was worried about.

Anyone else got any experiences to share?

OP posts:
Booh · 14/12/2005 19:11

I NEVER EVER EVER look after friends children as it can get messy. I did look after one friends child and it got far to embaressing sorting out the money side of things as her husband was made redundent and they couldn't afford to pay don't do it!

Plus friends are more important than money!

HellyBelly · 14/12/2005 19:59

Thanks Booh, I think you are all right. Just hate turning people down (plus money of course) but I think it's best for everyone.

OP posts:
Booh · 14/12/2005 20:35

Follow your instincts......they will be right!

ThePrisoner · 14/12/2005 21:54

I have minded children of friends and had no problems at all. I think that they'd probably listened to enough childminders moaning and groaning about children being collected late, not being paid etc. to know exactly how I run my business. (And they still wanted me!!)

I have also minded children whose parents I didn't know, but have now become very very good friends. Our working relationships haven't changed, and our friendships have blossomed.

I do know minders who have had problems though, I'm just lucky enough not to be one of them.

If you are looking for children long-term (and sorry to your mumnetter friend if you're reading this!), but how old are the nursery children? Are they likely to be going to pre-school, school etc. sooner rather than later? If it's sooner, then the baby is going to be more long-term.

As a positive, however, I assume that because you are friends, they are more likely to stick by their decisions to have you as their minder; the pregnant mum may change her mind.

HellyBelly · 15/12/2005 09:24

Theprisoner, the ages would be:

DS - 2.8
Current Mindee - 2.10
Other mindees (around 2½ yrs)

This was my other concern, that these wouldn't be long term (current mindee should be as following us to all the schools we've chosen , or at least, that's the plan at the moment!)

If these 2 friends wanted me just until they start pre-school then could work out as the pregnant lady doesn't need me til April/May (all IF she decides she wants me!!)

Oh, decisions, decisions!!!

I need to have a good long think!

Thanks guys

OP posts:
ThePrisoner · 16/12/2005 00:42

Are you saying that you could have all these toddlers, but that they would finish by the time the new baby (might) start? If yes, then I would do it. Then you'll get the baby you want and will have filled your "temporary baby" space. This seems too easy so I'm not sure if I have understood what you've been asked to do. (Sorry, it's been a long childminding day ... 7.30am - 11.45pm!)

HellyBelly · 16/12/2005 08:13

TP - how come such a late finish last night?????

You've not completely mis-understood me. At the moment, both these 2 extra children are at nursery with no pre-school booked (afaik). My last comment was more IF these 2 children went to pre-school and IF they could start around that time then it would be perfect (I think I could handle a few months without ruining a friendship ) BUT...........IF they go to pre-school instead of staying at nursery, they would probably want a childminder to take them after school and I wouldn't be able to accomodate that IF I had the baby.

Does that make sense? (I can be rubbish at explaining things at times! )

OP posts:
ThePrisoner · 16/12/2005 22:55

I guess you will have to have a very open and honest chat with the friends. I don't see that you would jeopardise any relationships so long as you all know the ground rules. Even if they needed a childminder to do a pre-school collection, doesn't necessarily mean that it would have to be you. They have asked you about having the children now because they are unhappy with their current arrangements, and it doesn't mean that you are obliged to have them for the next ten years. I'm sure that the parents wouldn't expect that.

The late finish was to babysit one of my baby mindees. I don't "do" babysitting, but my dd was suddenly unable to do it and the parents had an important engagement. I'm just so lovely!! I usually go to bed extremely late anyway but, for some reason, last night just left me completely whacked. But, hey ho, have got the next two weeks off.

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