View Full Version : Minding friends children?

09-05-2012, 12:12 PM
From a comment on another thread I wanted to start this to get your views. I'm new so welcome any feedback :)

A friend with children who are also my childrens friends has started the conversation about me minding hers. Nothing has been discussed at length and she is still reviewing options.

My first thought was I'm only allowed 1 early yrs due to the age of my own children and this was only a part time post. I had sort of hoped to get a full time early years child so by taking this on, I essentially wipe my ratio. Yet I don't want to not help a friend, turn business away and it does have plus points for both families.

Then I read a comment on another thread about horror stories over minding friends children and I thought I'd put it out there with your experienced sorts!!!

09-05-2012, 12:22 PM
I personally wouldnt look after friends children but thats my preference. I would find it uncomfortable trying to mix business with friendship (or even family can be a pain)

It could work if you were very strict on the business side of things. Explain before you start that you are running a business and would have to do a contract and stick to it. If you dont let money come between you and she pays on time and doesnt expect you to put her first because she is a freind it could work.

I think most peoples problems when working with friends is the money. Friends thinking they dont have to pay on time or taking you for granted.
'I dont have the money this week can I owe it to you'
Once you say yes then it will happen again and again

Also your own children - would they be ok with the friends around they house all the time? Would they get their own space occasionally?

09-05-2012, 12:23 PM
i've minded friends children and it has been fine.

i've always put my business head on, no mates rates, no favours and the friend is treated exactly the same as any other minded family. i've always been lucky, and the friends whose children i have minded have understood this and it hasn't made the slightest difference to our friendship. one friend was also a childminder and i had her DD so she could teach that day rather than mind! i would mind their children, but we also continued to have playdates with all the children and to do each other favours like you would with friends. (as well as going out and socialising without our children ! ) bit hard to explain, but it worked.

i have however, been asked to mind other friends children and ;) i haven't had the availability for some reason or other! these were the friends who would ask if i could look after X whilst they went to an appointment or XYZ, but never offered to have my children to help me out at any point.

i've always been careful though about minding my childrens good friends, as if the friendship goes wrong, it can be very hard to have that 'friend' in the house as well as at school or where ever. luckily, although my children became great friends with the minded children, they were minded children first!

good luck x

09-05-2012, 12:34 PM
I mind friends children but when they come to visit I tell them that I have my business head on and treat them exactly as I would treat parents I didnt know.

As for the ratio thing, I have one baby two days a week and another baby starting on the other three days. So Im going to be full in the under ones quota. I would take the mindee on as there its pretty common for parents to not want full weeks anyway. Hth xx:)

09-05-2012, 05:05 PM
Well - I mind for a 'friend'. Had very discounted rates, numerous favours etc etc, and over the last few months have just had comments made, little digs etc.

I've given up doing all the extra favours now, and parent is being told that fees are increasing in line with everyone elses. Pretty sure I'll lose them - but I've had enough now!

Would never mind for a friend again! At least with strangers, it's my business, my rules, and I won't get guilt tripped into doing xyz for free!!

Well - that's just my opinion anyway.... ;)


09-05-2012, 05:44 PM
I have decided not to mind friends children anymore after having my fingers burnt. I basically lost a months wages when my 'friend' did a runner.
At the end of the day though it is up to you and no doubt there are a lot of friends out there that respect us and our businesses. Unfortunately it's mainly the not so good friends that we hear about. Hx

09-05-2012, 05:47 PM
I agree with Mrs-scottydog.

If they truly are your friend, they will respect you and your business, and not ask for discounts, favours etc etc, and happy to be treated as every other family you care for.

If not - then I would say steer clear!


09-05-2012, 06:24 PM
[QUOTE=mum2two;1097265]I agree with Mrs-scottydog.

If they truly are your friend, they will respect you and your business, and not ask for discounts, favours etc etc, and happy to be treated as every other family you care for.

If not - then I would say steer clear!

This is exactly what I think too. :)

09-05-2012, 06:36 PM
I've minded for loads of friends over the years. I've done the whole mates rates for some. I've honestly never had a problem-although I don't recommend mates rates. In fact, apart from one mum who was a total nightmare personality wise, just grated on me, I've not had any parent problems with friends or non friends. I had a dodgy moment with one mum while her medication was adjusted, but all in all over the last 18 years not had any problems.

The vast majority of my clients have been friends before I took on their kids. Those who weren't my friend before I took them on have become and remained my friends from then on (apart from the one I mentioned above who I just plain disliked, and terminated).

09-05-2012, 06:39 PM
I mind for a friend, she is a very close friend, i've look after her child as a childminder twice now - there was a gap brought on by redundancy and then when he was eligible for free hours we started up again.

I was very clear business was business and friendship was friendship and that I would absolutely NOT take on the contract if I felt it would affect our friendship in anyway because the friendship was more important to me. We agreed groundrules right from the start.

Outside of those hours i've had her children over to play, stay for tea, my children have gone to her to play, stay over, tea etc - that part of the relationship is totally separate.

When I am communicating as a childminder I always use my business email, all other communication I use my personal email.

It really can work very well - but it comes from a basis of mutual respect for each other. If she is the kind of friend you can conduct a business relationship with then you should go for it - she clearly trusts you and see's you as an obvious choice.

I wouldn't worry about part time to be honest - my whole business is based on part time children and in 3 yrs I can count on my hand how many full time enquiries I have had.

09-05-2012, 06:51 PM
I wouldn't worry about part time to be honest - my whole business is based on part time children and in 3 yrs I can count on my hand how many full time enquiries I have had.

seems to be a theme here. Looks like my visions are a tad off :laughing: I'd hoped for a full timer but maybe thats not the way it will pan out then, maybe part timers, little bits of this and that is the way forward :thumbsup:

TBC for one reason and another I can't get anyone to enquire yet :laughing:

09-05-2012, 07:39 PM
Been minding for some years and only had one full timer and she wasnt to start with, just increased days and hours.

As to friends, I have become friends with parents as we have gone along and its not been a problem. Now best mates with one of my ex parents and often have boozy nights out with her and some other friends which also include another ex parent....lol

10-05-2012, 09:25 PM
I mind my friends son for half a day a week. I was really clear about my boundaries from the start and she has been fine with that and it works really well. I've was asked by another friend if I'd have her child full time and I've had to be honest and say no. I just know it would be a disaster, our parenting styles are worlds apart. She knows that so I don't even know why she asked me! :idea: Think she thought I'd favour her child!

10-05-2012, 09:35 PM
I've had positive experiences and negative ones. All I can say is treat them as you would any parent and tell them its no favours, reduced fees, special treatment etc and you should be fine.