Childminders - experiences please

Hadn't even considered a childminder for LO but having looked round a few nurseries I now think I *may* prefer a childminder. Going to visit one on Friday who sounds lovely on phone. What sort of thing should I be asking?

Do you use a childminder? What is good/bad about it?

Thanks as always ladies!

[Modified by: coco25 on 25 August 2010 21:46:44 ]


  • i love tobys child minder and so does he! She is under strict instructions that toby needs lots of cuddles - that she can put a plaster on of necessary etc etc. Her ofsted is awesome and sahe is jsut the perfect eprson to look after my boy.

    Down side - her holidays - i need to find cover - if she or her children have a sickness bug they cant go. This happened once last year!

    HTH x
  • Thanks, very helpful.Glad you have someone good to look after Tpby. xx
  • hi coco,

    my childminder is brilliant! my son is very clingy and wont go to anyone but me, oh and my mum, who sees him every day just about. so when he was 6 months old, (i was planning on going back to work part time when he was 8 months) i decided it was time to get him used to someone else, so we introduced him and he was going to hers twice a week, honestly, he really didnt like it at first, but after about 6 weeks, we was completely settled in! its great for him as he gets more one on one time with the minder, and its always her looking after him, where as in a nursery it would be a number of people, which i really dont think would suit him. and i like that the childminder will take him to baby groups and outing, but he will feel secure as it will always be her that he is with, if you know what i mean. she was reconended to me by my mum, who runs a pre school so knows a fair few minders, my ds is a calm, laid back, but shy little boy so i didnt want anyone to full on, i looked her ofsted report, which is important and i watched how she interacted with the other children, i also like that a minder only has a few other children, ds HATES crowds and she can gently introdice him to baby groups and he will get used to it in his own time,

    hope that helps

    ashy x
  • Wow - Ashy your description of your LO could be a description of Sam!! He is a chilled out, easy baby but he also doesnt like massive groups of people, and takes a while to smile at people he doesn't know. Really hoping the childminder I am meeting tomorrow is as good in person as she was on the phone.
    Thanks xx
  • We are very much like Ashey. Jen is quite clingy and i felt it was really important to have one carer that she is attached to, not lots. I dont think she would cope with a busy nursery, and i wanted her to be treated very much as an individual rather than one of the kids. We have jsut found someone to look after her from Nov when she will be one. She will let us have a long settling in period, which will help. Jen will be the only child during the day, and will be joined by older children after school.

    We saw about 5 cm's. We asked about what they do during the day. How they managed sleep routines. What they ate etc. But most importantly we watched how they were with the children, and how they spoke about their work. The feeling I got from the one we chose was very warm and thoughtful. She was kind and calm and quite mumsie! I like the idea of Jen being looked after in a normal home environment than a nursery run on shifts and routine. It feels more relaxed.

    Hope you find someone lovely. Its well worth seeing as many as you can.

    Em x
  • oh yes, and you do have felxibitity with minders, with nurseries you normally have to pick up and collect at certain times, but my childminder lets me pick up and collect anytime (except if she is going to a baby group or something) which is a great help, hope you like the childminder you are seeing.

    ashy xx
  • We've just stopped using our childminder (as she's having another baby herself so won't be able to take on both my girls when I go back to work). Lily was also in nursery one day/week before I had Maddie (as I thought it would be good for her) - so we've used both.

    I became friends with my childminder before I knew she was a childminder, so when I discovered she was I was 100% happy to send Lily to her as I knew what a good person and mummy she was.

    Advantages: she was very flexible & very local. I liked the sort of "family" feel to Lily's days with her, just pottering to the shops, going to soft play etc. The only disadvantage as far as I'm concerned was that if she was ill, I was screwed, which obv wasn't an issue with her nursery.

    I wouldn't want the girls in nursery full-time - I just don't like the thought of them seeing the same four walls five days in a row, even if they do take them out on walks etc. As I'm only going back two days/week in Jan I'm going to use a nursery so that there's never an issue with a single carer being ill. I do think that the structure they learn at nursery is good for them.
  • Thanks everyone - really interesting to hear your opinions. The illness thing isn't too much of a problem because I'm only going to be doing a bit of voluntary (kind of) work in my husband's business, so if I had to go without childcare it wouldn't be a disaster. Also, there are about 20 childminders in my area who all belong to a network so there is usually a back up.
    Will see how I feel tomorrow when I meet her. xx
  • Hi!

    These two links are quite good to have a look at:'+questions+for+childminders?opendocument

    I love the idea of childminders and will def be using one when the time comes x

    This is really useful - thanks. Have noted down some questions! xx
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