Discuss everything related to paid childcare here, including childminders, nannies, nurseries and au pairs.
CMS advice please - 2 visits done
lexiemum · 16/01/2006 13:22
Spent morning visiting prospective cm's - did two visits - some questions popped up where felt I was asking something that was unacceptable. would you have done the same?
- Annual leave - wanted full pay for her a/l and mine. Suggested this was not what I was used to and agreed 1/2 pay when we're on a/l and same for her a/l. obviously would be full pay if we took same week.
- Charges a bit above average - is it rude to ask for a 50p reduction per child as I'll be bringing their food and snacks and providing squash. (she said she will feed and states a fee of 50p per meal but said she never asks for it)
won't be using as home seemed a little too chaotic for my liking, but:
- Would like to pay by childcare vouchers from employee - cm seemed a bit unsure as she works in cash because some people don't pay her - is it fair that this should be consider - think she was a little miffed that with vouchers I was saving money on NI etc but she obviously didn't reap the benefit of this.
two more visits tomorrow but number one looks best so far..........
oh, one more, - can I phone ofsted or cm association direct to confirm that a cm is in fact registered - i know i can see certificate in home but just wondering if such a service exists.
just looking for comments here and previous experience if you have had same questions etc
lunavix · 16/01/2006 13:31
I'm sure you can phone ofsted and check.
Childminders can take the vouchers but they don't HAVE to. So if you want to, just find someone who's happy to!
Do you mean a reduction of 50p an hour for food? Or in total? shouldn't be a problem in total but is quite a lot if hourly. Plus 50p per meal is very cheap!
I charge parents half fee for my holiday, and full for theirs. If it coinsides, then I charge half. A lot of childminders take holiday at full pay (after all, yours is at full pay) but I personally would expect them to try and position their holiday the same time as yours.
The only thing that worries me is your chaotic comment! Sadly as a CM my house is ALWAYS chaotic. My ds is quite quite mad, as is dh and myself with minded twins of 2 and a half 30 hours a week, plus 3 boys afterschool 5 days a week my house is always busy and always chaos. They all get attention though, and they all enjoy it. Try not to be put off by that.
lunavix · 16/01/2006 13:32
I forgot to add, if you are unsure about either then don't go for them. Bear in mind that once you have a contract review with your CM, she can legitimately put her fees up. So if she's expensive to start with, she might end up higher! But usually it's a sign they have more training (nvq, nneb,) 20 years experience, or a lush house!
MissChief · 16/01/2006 13:36
might be easier to check with yr local children's information service (in yr library) go to www.chnildcarelink.gov.uk
they should know if she's registered & hold list of all those available locally.
IMO, worth paying more for a good childminder - saw one the other day who seemd to be wanted as many kids as possible in order to make a living yet charged relatively low hrly rate-sure some parents would rather pay a bit more, within reason to get decent care..
lexiemum · 16/01/2006 16:27
thanks guys - it was per hour because this is above i could afford doing all my sums but having just spoke to hr both dh and i can apply for vouchers (we work for same organisation) so this will make up the difference. also this cm is not likely to have many more if any - only wants equiv to 2 full timers and no afterschoolers.
maybe chaotic was wrong word - there was alot going on a in a very very sml space - 3mindees plus my two and 2adults and 3cats walking around in and out of toys and over the table - which though covered with clutter, assume this is where they eat, no specified area for play as i've seen with all other homes. oh, also 2 dogs that seem to only have limited access but am sure they have access to these rooms at other times.
this is all a bit much for me to be honest but she had glowing refs and has been full up until now. as you say not every home is the right one.
ThePrisoner · 16/01/2006 18:47
You can also phone Childrens Info Service to check if minder is registered. If you check the website, they should be on that too (although not everyone wants to be, so don't panic if they're not).
Before I first accepted vouchers, I was unsure as to what that meant - this CM might be the same and think you're just scamming her!!
jellyjelly · 17/01/2006 13:27
I used to charge full pay for them but not for mine and i agree that 50p is so very very cheap for a meal and if something something doesnt seem right you can always ask. I find that parents will always query something and i like it as it shows that parents have been reading my policies rahter than just agreeing to it.
I always show a folder of my registration certs, and all my courses and crb checks on both of us and i explain as we look through what i learned on each course and how it them benefits the children and business and the parents have always said that it maked them feel that the children will be cared for and it makes them reassured that they will be left in great hands.
Have you been shown reg certs to show that they are registered (they now have to be hanging on a wall but can be taken down when not working)?
lexiemum · 20/01/2006 06:38
update - four visits done, had two possibilities but now down to one option. Fingers crossed this option will want my darlings but am starting to feel paranoid that she thinks I'm checking up on her - turned up at a local toddler grp yesterday for first time and she was there! It was pure coincidence but it was nice to see her interact with the other mums and cms etc - reminded me how nice she really is - its also a grp I would ask her to take the girls to if she has them.
have a play date with her dd on wednesday and opportunity to check all the paperwork etc and then will ask if she'll take them.
ThePrisoner · 21/01/2006 00:10
I think seeing your prospective childminder "in action" is actually quite advantageous (so long as her own children or mindees aren't playing up!) As all minders know, if parents visit us during our working day, mindees notoriously misbehave. However, if parents visit me in an evening instead, I have this overwhelming urge to empty out all the nicely-packed-away toy boxes all over the floor as if to prove something.
Good luck for Wednesday
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