A Working Mum
When you're thinking about returning to the working environment you also realise that you'll have to think about childcare options. For information about childcare providers in your area, contact your local authority Family Information Service (FIS).
Your local FIS is a free information service for parents and carers of children aged 0 to 19. They can give information and advice to help you find and choose childcare, and also help you find activities for your children locally.
One of the many childcare options available is to use is a childminder.
Usually childminders look after children under 12 in the childminder's own home. They can look after up to six children under eight years old, although no more than three of those must be aged under five.
Generally, childminders work from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm, but most are flexible and some may be willing to work weekends.
Depending on where you live and how many children are being looked after, childminders can cost between £2.50 and £7.50 per hour.
Some questions that you may wish to consider when thinking about using a childminder are:
- How long have you been working with children?
- What training have you had? Any qualifications?
- Are you part of a network?
- Do you have up-to-date first aid training?
- Have you got a food hygiene certificate?
- Why do you enjoy being with children?
- Can I look around, see the rooms and outside play space?
- If there's 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?
- 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 are you open?
- How much do you charge?
- What about when my child is sick, on holiday?
- What do you do in an emergency?
- When was your last Ofsted, can I see the report?
- Can I see your contracts and record forms?
You may obviously have your own list of questions that you'd like to ask.
Ask the childminder about their settling in policy. The childminder should have a lot of experience in settling children. Some children can be upset at first - this is only natural - but with gentle reassurance this phase will pass.