View Full Version : "How many children do you mind" from every potential new parent?

17-01-2014, 10:53 AM
I have used nurseries and childminder in the past for my own children. I never asked the childminder or nursery how many children they watched. Am I not getting it? Why is this such a common question?

Surely the fact that I am a childminder means I will also be watching other children? Also, if the parent has found my details I would presume they have read up on childminders ie. they are allowed a certain amount of children.

I just had this question on the phone from another potential new parent. She told me that none of the childminders very close to her have spaces so she is looking at my area (right next door, 5 min drive away).

Maybe parents just want to know I don't have 500 children here everyday!

17-01-2014, 11:03 AM
I get that a lot but I only do early years so only ever have three children at a time one of them being my own. But a minder in the village has up to 11 children at once and is much more like a nursery with assistants and quite a strict schedule so although it does feel silly answering a question that has struck guidelines there are big differences in numbers between setting and they may be thinking a busy setting would not suit their child or vise versa

17-01-2014, 11:27 AM
Thanks for reply. I just also feel guilty answering that actually I have four children of my own and then one mindee. So actually I can only take 1other mindee. This to me seems like I only have two children (although have 6, 4 of which are my own). Due to the fact that I give more of my time to the mindee's. Though I think the parents feel I have an absolute house full because most days I have 5 children at some points.

Though they are not realising that for 2 and a half hours in the morning I don't have any children.

It is hard to work out what parents are actually thinking.

I just think parents are put off me because I don't answer "oh just 1 other child, or just 2 other children".

I just never asked childminders this question because I presumed there would be at least a couple of other children plus mine.

17-01-2014, 11:35 AM
I think parents have always asked me, if not I tell them.

It's a good question for them to ask. Some like to know their child will have others to play with, so want to know their child won't be the only one there. Others like to know there won't be too many for one person to look after. Some like to know there won't be a huge amount of after school children there.

It's a question I would ask, along with what food do you give them, do you take them out and about etc etc. Just natural questions when you're looking for childcare :thumbsup:

17-01-2014, 11:36 AM
I would ask a nursery how many other children - Some split them into age groups so I would ask that too. When parents ask me about my numbers I tell them the maximum I could have and tell them that it changes through out the day, different days, whether its term time or holidays etc. I think it's a fair enough question.

17-01-2014, 12:03 PM
I have had this question asked consistently recently from all parents who have enquired about a space and for 2 reasons
1. the ratio issue worries some parents as they have heard we were going to be allowed more if Truss won her flawed argument...some are not aware the issue has been put to rest...for a while at least
They are also not aware cms can get variations for siblings and continuity of care

2. many parents visit CMs who work together and seem concerned at the number of children they have...it is worth explaining to them but I will not do this over the phone or by email and politely ask them to visit my setting to see for themselves

One parent said to me: the 2 CMs have sooo many children...it is like a mini nursery
Another said: the 2 CMs won't cook for my child because they have so many children

I know that many cms working together do good work but impressions are important when parents decide where to go and the reason for choosing a cm is the small number...so I can understand their worry