View Full Version : Back up childminder

28-12-2012, 01:10 PM
Hi everyone,

I am a fairly newly registered childminder in Gravesend, Kent and I need a back up childminder. What is the best way to go about this. I will be attending my local childminding group soon, is this the best way? Does anyone have any other ideas? Thanks a lot in advance!


hectors house
28-12-2012, 04:31 PM
Do you mean someone you can call to look after the children in case of emergency - if so then yes you probably need to attend childminding drop in groups and get to know the childminders, then ask one you get on well with if they would be your emergency/backup childminder and you could offer to be theirs. I have 3 emergency minders on my list -one lives 2 mins drive away, the other 2 are further away but know my mindees better - but in a real emergency (life or death situation) I state in my policies that I will leave the mindees with anyone I would trust my own children with eg: female neighbours, my mum whether they have a crb or not.

28-12-2012, 05:33 PM
I agree, my back up is a minder who lives round the corner and I am hers all my mindees know her very well as we go to groups together,
and have play mornings at her house, just get to know a group and then ask if someone will be yours.

28-12-2012, 07:54 PM
As previous posts have said, the best way is get to know other local CMs and discuss it with them.

I worried a lot about this (unneccessarily) when I was starting out. I was initially misinformed by a DO/trainer who implied it was an absolute necessity but would be a doddle to arrange with another CM. In fact, neither of those points were true. In reality it is very unlikely that you are going to be able to have an 'on-call' back-up registered CM available for emergencies that can happen at any time or none. But all that's really required is a 'responsible person' who stands a reasonable chance of being there to have the children until the parents can collect if you are suddenly rushed to hospital or some other unforeseen circumstance.

My emergency procedure states that I'll use a named relative who lives very close, and parents have her address and phone number. If she's not around, I'd have to use another neighbour and call the parents. My Ofsted inspector was quite happy with this and said it was a good arrangement, especially as the parents have my relative's contact details right from the start.

The other need for back-up you may be considering relates to more likely/frequent scenarios, such as your holidays, training, sickness, etc. You'll actually be exceptionally lucky if you can find a CM who can commit to this absolutely as it would mean them holding sufficient places vacant for all your lo's. You might be able to achieve some limited success (eg. I provide occasional weekend back-up for another CM) but that's all. It's up to you if you'd want to offer the parents contact details for other minders for when you're unavailable, but don't say you "recommend" them in case something goes wrong and it reflects badly on you. Some CMs prefer not to do this at all in case the clients "jump ship" or get "poached". Much of this will depend on the trust and relationship you have with the parents/CMs that you know.

I make it clear that parents do need to have a 'plan B' in mind for such occasions, such as a grandparent/aunt/uncle ready to step in. This is in my policy and I draw attention to it when parents make their initial visit to my setting.

If you're lucky enough to make a back-up arrangement with another CM, do be careful not to over-commit in an attempt to be friendly and helpful. Also be careful not to tread on any toes. I once had a mum (client of another CM friend of mine) ask me to provide back-up cos she didn't like my friend's regular back-up minder. I never actually had the child, but the mere fact that I'd been approached caused some tension for a while. It wasn't easy trying to explain why she'd asked me either.