Struggling to get work
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  1. #1
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    Default Struggling to get work

    Hi all
    I'm hoping for some business advice on how to get work. I got my registration through in feb and have been actively advertising for about a month. I'm advertised on childcare.co.uk, fIs website, *****, *****, ********* and am on google places. I have left business cards at a local toyshop and in the children centre. I have had quite a few people looking at my profile on childcare.co.uk but only one person has contacted me. She then later cancelled our meeting. I'm wondering if I'm not advertising myself well enough . I'm no good at selling myself. anyone got any tips?

  2. #2
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    I find my best business comes from word of mouth and recommendations. Get yourself out as much as you can, leave cards at toddler groups, anti natal groups, doctors surgeries, libraries if they let you. I don't know if you have any children but if you do get out and about and tell anyone and everyone you're a Childminder. People like to put a face to the name and see how you are with your own children. Finally I've heard that the gold membership on childcare.co.uk is really worth the money. So you could try upgrading if not already. Good luck!

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  4. #3
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    Thanks for your reply. I'm a gold member and sent out messages but they haven't been read.
    I go to lots of play groups so will take your advice and will try and spread the word a bit more there. Thank you.

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  6. #4
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    Make sure to always carry your business cards on you, I have often been asked about possible placements/contact details when out and about ( shops, bus, library) and it saves hunting for a pen and scrap of paper! I also agree that its good to get out there and make yourself known at all local clubs/ activities , good luck it will happen, just takes time xxx

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  8. #5
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    It is *hard* work starting the ball rolling! You'll get there though x

    You could try contacting other childminders and letting them know that if they need anyone to cover their holidays, you are available. You could put on your ad to parents that you can offer ad-hoc/ short term care to cover hair appointments/ courses/ childcare gaps etc. (ALWAYS get paid in advance for this though!)This may seem like hassle for a few hours pay, but if the parents will write you nice testimonials (that you can put on your adverts etc) or tell their friends about you, then it may help other parents have confidence in you.

    Would local authority work be an option? Where I am if you have 2yrs childcare experience and a Level 3 they will take you on 'probation' to work with an eligible 0-2yr old for 12hrs a week, and then if you get a good in your Ofsted grading inspection, you can take on more children through them. They pay well, too!

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  10. #6
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    Hiya. I have got all my work through word of mouth. Even my first mindees parents came to me because I was previously a TA at a local school so I was already known if you see what I mean. I would put adverts in all the shop window's, keep business cards on you at all times, go to toddler groups, leave cards with the local health visitor, get on all the usual websites and basically tell everyone you are a childminder and you have vacancies. Hope that helps xx
    If all else fails......add glitter!

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  12. #7
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    I second carrying business cards.

    I was sitting on a swing in the park earlier today with my 10 month old mindee on my lap, 3yr old mindee playing on the slide and climbing frame and my 2yr old son fast asleep in the double buggy. I was shattered, gently swinging and talking quietly to the 10 month old. Another lady came to sit on the swing next to me with her tired looking baby. I said 'it's soooo relaxing on here, I may fall asleep!'. We got chatting and eventually I mentioned that the children weren't all mine and that I'm a childminder. One thing led to another, business card handed over and she's coming with her husband and daughter to visit me to talk about looking after her baby next September when I have my next space available!

    She has her baby in a baby nursery and said that she couldn't find a childminder in our area and was under the impression their weren't any. She can't have looked much online as I'm everywhere, including the FIS! Business cards all the way!

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  14. #8
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    talk talk talk!

    just tell everyone and anyone that you are a childminder! in the queue at the post office, in the doctors waiting room ... everywhere! and once you've talked to someone, give them your business card!

    I have a fleece that says childminder on the back that I wore nonstop when I moved as I knew no one and needed to get children! I also have an umbrella that says childminder!

    I went along to toddler groups and helped and chatted ( my own children are at school ). my first mindee came through a mum I met at toddlers. the rest were word of mouth and people doing internet searches. I do also have an advert in my car window and scattered around the town!

    sounds daft, but thinking about it, I would ask if you could leave your details/cards etc at some hairdressers! I do seem to get a lot of people tell me they were given my details/name etc by someone at the hairdressers ( be it the actual hairdresser in one case or other customers in others! ... or the grandparent has been told by the hairdresser!!! ) ... funniest thing is ... I have NEVER set foot in ANY of the hairdressers EVER! ( as I have long hair and trim it myself!)

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  16. #9
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    Most of my business has come from word of mouth or from other local childminders - it is difficult to start with. I moved from Essex (where I was full) to Wales and it took me about a year to start getting enquiries (unfortunately it also coincided with the crash).

    I have a website (only a free one) and my last 2 enquiries have come through that. One vaguely knew me and was looking for my contact details, the other is new to the area and went on the FIS website and found that I was the only childminder with a website and so they contacted me - Grandma came to see me too and she turned out to have been an ex-childminder and an ex-inspector . baby has started. Does your FIS update vacancies? I am on the border of 2 counties and am on both FIS websites one updates vacancies other doesn't.

    My car has my details on. The local corner shop has my details and they have given them to people who ask them (small village). I am now full as of last week - all part timers but have all slotted in.

    Agree with business cards - give them out to everyone.

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  18. #10
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    It seems to be a general rule that the first few months can be difficult, but things then grow once you have the first clients and word gets around.

    Do 'get out there' - especially in face-to-face situations. Meeting and chatting at a toddler group or children's centre says so much more about you than a card in the newsagent's window (not that you shouldn't try that as well.) Be sure you put the right message across. One CM at a toddler group I attend was warned then asked to leave cos he was too much 'in your face'. "Hi, my name's Xxxxx - I'm a CM - do you need childcare? Aaaah what a lovely baby.........when are you going back to work, etc.?..........." He was totally embarrassing, and clearly only there to drum up business.

    A lot will depend on your local situation, and the balance between demand and provision. Think about your location. Are there any big employers who'd welcome information on your service? And do they have particular needs? eg. A local hospital might have a lot of staff needing a CM, but you might have to be prepared for a lot of them being shift-workers or unusual hours, etc.

    I find Childcare.co.uk really good. Almost too good, at times I can barely handle the enquiries. Don't be put off by parents who don't even open messages - there does seem to be a lot, but you'll also get some genuine responses too.

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  20. #11
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    Thank you everyone. Will give it a go. I'm quite a shy person so feel a bit awkward making conversation. But will give it a go. Thank you.

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  22. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Petshrinklj View Post
    Thank you everyone. Will give it a go. I'm quite a shy person so feel a bit awkward making conversation. But will give it a go. Thank you.
    I'm really shy but just put your 'childminder' 'hat' on and go for it.

  23. #13
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    Sorry to sort of hi-jack this thread. I was just wandering how much information you put on your business cards? I was thinking of phone number, e-mail and general location (rather than full address). And do you think stock designs (i.e. the ones on vista print) are ok or do I need to be more creative?

  24. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lal View Post
    Sorry to sort of hi-jack this thread. I was just wandering how much information you put on your business cards? I was thinking of phone number, e-mail and general location (rather than full address). And do you think stock designs (i.e. the ones on vista print) are ok or do I need to be more creative?
    I used a vistaprint card that I could personalise so I put my logo on it. I have my name, ofsted registered childminder, phone, mobile and email plus website. And the name of my town.

    X

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  26. #15
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    I registered in march , and I am the same as you, but I'm just getting calls for sept, so fingers crossed you will, one mum just come round now, her 3 years old going pre school in sept wants me to pick up after 12pm till 6pm, 2 more mums have contacted me for after school care sept too. So I think you will do.. X

  27. #16
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    Get your name out there. My first children came via a cm at toddler group who knew I had recently registered and she didn't have two spaces. Some of mine have come via family information service and a week ago had 4 full time enquiries from there, can't do as no space till September. One even came from a lady new to the area just asking where the cut through to the school was and I mentioned I was a childminder and she searched me out at the school to look after her youngest. Get out there, chat to people and mention you are a childminder

  28. #17
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    Thanks all . since my original post I have had one child start this week and another signed up to start next week. All seems to have happend all at once

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  30. #18
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    Thats brilliant, well done xx

 

 

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