Using side as entrance
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  1. #1
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    Default Using side as entrance

    Last year I moved house and we have been doing a lot to the house - slowly and steadily- which includes adding a double gate to the side of the house that fills the gap where there is an uncover area at the side of the house. Before it just had driveway style metal gates. Our gates now are full size wooden top to bottom. We have outdoor carpet and a small play area there now as well as our wood storage for our fire. We've just out a big storage unit there - like the Ikea kallax with 25 holes. I have been thinking about using some like pigeon holes for the children so they can store their nappies and spare clothes there in sealed boxes. However I am also wondering about taking it a step further and having this as my main entrance for childminding. My thoughts are the roof there sticks out a little so parents would have some shelter whilst waiting to open the door unlike my front door, they would then be able to come into a bigger area than my tiny front hall where often we stand with the door open which obviously I don't want to do in this weather. They could then have their shoes and coats there too which would also be convenient for easier free flow play in the day- at the moment they have to get their shoes and coats from front hall and take round the back to put on as i don't allow shoes in the living room and then again take off and walk back through the front to put them away again. This way they could just be in the undercover area ready to put on and off. The side has a proper key lock and my doorbell speaker is portable so I could move it nearer the back of the house so they could still ring doorbell and then wait at side and we would hear it fine.

    Do other people use different entrances? Does it work for you? Do parents find it ok? Thinking it is a really good idea but not sure if parents would? Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I think it's sounds like a great idea, wish I could do the same. A childminding friend always uses her side/back door for daily comings and goings and only after hours is her front door used.

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    We use the side door for parents and children - it goes into a back entrance hall where we have a hard wearing floor and mats down for the wet weather

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    It's a great idea. As long as it's secure and parents can access it easily then go for it. You could put it on your sef saying you've been reflecting on dropping/collection of children and this is easier as the children have their coat and shoes to hand and it is an easier transaction for all as there is also room for parents to chat etc.
    I use a separate side door for childminding and it works really well.

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    Oh wow thanks everyone. Just need to tidy a few bits to make it work and then I think I will try it out. When we added the gate it was to make the area secure and so people couldn't see in to the back garden. However it would be good to have a proper use for this area as it is a good space. I will let you know how I get on. Oh and will definitely add to SEF. :-)

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    It sounds like a great idea, but if it doesn't work, you can always change back again to your current way of working.

    I know several childminders who use their side entrance instead of their front door and it works well for them

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    Yes I do the same. parents come in through the side gate which has a number keypad lock , only parents get the code . Then they come in the side door into the utility - it means all the usual assortment of boots , hats , bags , coats etc are kept in there - I have also got my parents board in this area - it keeps the front hall looking clear and tidy !

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    have also thought about doing this in the past - as we have a side gate which goes into the garden via side of the house and that would lead straight into the playroom! Main reason is that at the front door there is no space for 2 people to pass each other and all coats and shoes have to be taken off in that small space outside the kitchen door!

    to have the entrance into the garden however, I would have to operate a doorbell system as when you have mindees coming and going in the middle of the day, children may be playing in the garden -so side gate would be locked etc.

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    I am sure your parents will be fine with this...years ago -in the 50's and 60's if you had access to the back / side door that was the door everybody used - my mil and brother in law still have this system. This door was never locked either so children old enough to play out had free access and I never had a key to the front door until I was 21! Leaving the front door entrance clutter free for 'guests' . It made sense in the days when you also had a front room that nobody used unless the minister came, Easter and Christmas!
    So I don't see this as a great problem at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloraDora View Post
    I am sure your parents will be fine with this...years ago -in the 50's and 60's if you had access to the back / side door that was the door everybody used - my mil and brother in law still have this system. This door was never locked either so children old enough to play out had free access and I never had a key to the front door until I was 21! Leaving the front door entrance clutter free for 'guests' . It made sense in the days when you also had a front room that nobody used unless the minister came, Easter and Christmas!
    So I don't see this as a great problem at all.
    Yes, that brings back memories! We used to used back doors too which were never locked. I wonder if my old friend's parents still do this. Lots of people had an outside loo too. Yes, the front room that nobody used - oh to have that luxury today! Our record player was also in the best room and so my much older brothers would go in there to listen to their records but other than that it wasn't really used. When my eldest brother started 'courting' (hate that word so much) his girlfriend was shown into the front room and that is where everyone had civilised chats. She later became his wife but I don't ever remember her sitting in the living room of our old house.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyTinker View Post
    have also thought about doing this in the past - as we have a side gate which goes into the garden via side of the house and that would lead straight into the playroom! Main reason is that at the front door there is no space for 2 people to pass each other and all coats and shoes have to be taken off in that small space outside the kitchen door!

    to have the entrance into the garden however, I would have to operate a doorbell system as when you have mindees coming and going in the middle of the day, children may be playing in the garden -so side gate would be locked etc.
    Tinytinker , could you get a code lock for the gate so parents can come in but no one else? Its what I do and is a godsend in the summer , especially when I have water , paddling pool etc out. Previously they would ring front doorbell but I would be left with quandary of leaving children unattended whilst I went to answer front door , or taking them all in every time!

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  18. #12
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    Spoken to a few parents so far and all seem supportive and understanding. Need to finish some bits off but going to aim to try it out from next week. My parents will be asked to ring the door bell and wait at the side gate and I will open it. I don't want anyone letting themselves in the side as children could then get out whilst parents open if I am not between them and the gate. I'm quite excited. Things like my own children will be able to go upstairs to brush their teeth without having to wait for parents to not be in the hall etc.

  19. #13
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    We did this some years ago, works brilliantly, the shoe mess, bags and coats are all left in the outside covered area (it's bricked in and has a roof so sort of indoors outdoors) we have divided the house so the front door, lounge cum uni sons bedroom, stairs and uostairs are now childminding free zones. It means the noise doesn't flow though the house in the mornings like it used to and my family aren't waiting to use the bathroom because I'm stood at the bottom of the stairs talking to parents.

  20. #14
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    Update: Well, we have been using the side entrance for about a month now. It has gone really well! The things I like the most are...
    1. Having a small box of toys that the children can occupy themselves with whilst others are coming and going and also having them right with me - no need to go out of the room to open the door.
    2. Having things like the essential posters, my registration board and all the childrens coats and bags out of the house but convenient and ready to go
    3. having things ready easily for playing in/out doors
    4. that the space is actually being used regularly
    5. keeps heat in house as door not being left open while parents get sorted/chat etc
    6. we tidy up inside now before dinner so that after dinner we get ready and play out the side so when they have all gone its a very quick tidy out there and a hoover and mop inside and I am done

    Things I changed...
    I have put the shoe box inside the side door in the house so they keep the shoes on around the outside area and then walk in and put them in the box. Seems to work.
    Repositioned my door bell so it is easier to hear from everywhere

    All in all, it is working well. The weather hasn't been that cold here so I may feel differently in the snow but we will see! Advise to anyone thinking of making a change like this... try it out... why not?!

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