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Please give me your top tips for choosing a childminder

8 replies

chubbleigh · 18/12/2006 23:21

I know most important is that I like her and trust her and feel confident that my ds will be happy in her home but what other considerations are there. Looking for pointers on things that may not immediately spring to mind.

My ds is 2.10, she has a ds who is 1 and a ds who is just 4 and starts at school in January. She also has a couple of older ones 10ish who come after school. It will be 3 afternoons a week.

OP posts:
chel86 · 19/12/2006 08:38

I went to see loads of childminders before choosing one for my son. I made sure they had their policies and that the house was clean (not necessarily tidy though as that would be hypercritical of me!). But after I had sought those out that I could afford, the most important factor was that there was an instant connection between my son and the childminder. There were a few that I went to see that didn't even approach my son, talk to him or anything! Needless to say he then didn't feel comfortable and it wouldn't have worked.

Don't know how much help this is to you though!

Rookietherednosedreindeer · 19/12/2006 12:59

This has been done a few times before so maybe search the threads.

Something that I didn't really attach too much importance to at the time but now do. Find out how much holiday she plans to take and how much notice she will generally give. Other things does she take child when poorly, provide food or not, does she do activities with them, how long will they be in the car for.

However overall I agree with chel86 if your child seems happy with her then a lot of the other stuff can be worked around.

Katymac · 19/12/2006 22:33

Alibubbles wrote some questions that might help

How long have you been working with children?

What training have you had? Any qualifications? Are you part of a network, achieved a quality assurance qualification, look at registration certificate, insurance details, business use for car. First aid must be no more than 3 years old, food hygiene certificate, Certificate in Childminding practice or NVQ 3, Contracts and record forms

Do you enjoy being with children and why?

Can I look around, see the rooms and outside play space? If there is no outside play space - how will you make sure my child gets the chance to play outside?

Where will my child rest?

What kind of food and drink will you give? Can I see a menu?

What will my child do all day?

How do you encourage good behaviour?

Will my child be with a regular group of children? How old are they? How will their timetable fit in with my child?

How will you make sure I know how my child is getting on?

What hours is she open?

How much does she charge?

What about when my child is sick, holidays, days off

What do you do in an emergency?

When was her last Ofsted, can you see the report?

Top 10 Quality Pointers

When you visit possible childcare options, look for these Quality Pointers:

Are the children calm, safe, happy and busy?

Do children play and talk together?

Is the childminder listening to the children and answering them carefully?

Is the childminder friendly and proud of her work?

Is she joining in joining in with what the children are doing?

Are there lots of fun activities planned to help children learn and play? Can children plan some of these activities themselves?

Are there plenty of clean toys and equipment for children to use?

Is the premises clean, well kept and safe for children with a fun outside play area (or will the child go to parks and other places regularly)?

Do parents have plenty of chances to say what they want for their children?

If there are other things you want to know, don't be afraid to ask. Good childminders expect you to ask questions and will be happy to answer them.

Always take up references. You could ask for names of other parents to talk to about the service

Listen to your child and find out more if he/she is unhappy
Always trust your own feelings about your childcare - you know your child best

Cwmbranchildminder · 19/12/2006 22:46

picking up on wat someone else just said?
'does she take child when poorly'
if she does then she is not a very good cm!
Apart from the common colds etc if your child is ill your cm should not have child as will risk herself and other mindee's health & becomming poorly!

go on gut instinct also!
Dont be afraid to visit a couple of times at different times of the day.


chubbleigh · 19/12/2006 23:09

Thank you Katymac that is a very good list, I went to see someone today and she was very nice, she has 2 ds aged 1 and 4. The first thing her older dear son did was open a box of Thomas engines and my ds thought he had just died and gone to heaven, he ran straight into her playroom and got stuck in, he actually had a bit of a strop on her drive because he didn't want to leave. Later I went to the under 5's nativity and someone was there who I don't know particulary well but like the way she thinks (she is a neo-natal nurse) said without knowing who I had been to see 'try so-and-so, she is lovely, I have seen her with kids and she is great with them' so that was really encouraging, I am sure she would love to know that she is getting unsolicited recommendations. An added bonus is that she lives in my street. At the momment it all seems too easy, that someone perfect for the job should just fall into my lap. It seems reckless to stop looking after just one visit but I can't find anything wrong with her.

OP posts:
Katymac · 19/12/2006 23:11

Visit some more (at least 2) for your peice of mind - buit you will prob stick with your first choice

Good Luck

shosha · 19/12/2006 23:21

Message withdrawn

Katymac · 20/12/2006 08:24

(I don't think so......I stay here - plus a few green sites)

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