Advice please
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Thread: Advice please

  1. #1
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    Default Advice please

    I have been minding for nearly 30 years and in that time have never openly advertised my services. Iv been very blessed with parent/carer recommendations.
    Two of my main contracts are ending this month unexpectedly and I'm thinking of joining Childcare.co.uk. Have checked it out a bit and I could meet the needs of some of the families wanting childcare.
    Just after advice from those that have joined, what worked, what didn't. Feeling nervous about stepping into the unknown.

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    I use it whenever I have a vacancy- I get Gold Membership month by month then cancel when I am full again.
    I have got work from it.
    I message everyone who might be a potential family- there are all kinds of time wasters and people just testing the market, so don't get your hopes up too high, many messages may never get read or do not get a reply. But keep at it, keep logging-on which bumps you up the list when parents search for you, write a good clear profile with your vacancy situation prominently in the first line (so it shows up when scanning down the list of CMers) and try to get current and past members to leave you reviews (which also helps your ratings & gets you higher on the list)- they need to sign up to leave a review but can opt to not have their profile public.
    There are discount codes for when you sign up for Gold- look out for them, or ask Richard on here.

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    I joined a few years ago and any work that hasn't come through word of mouth has come through there.

    When you set up a profile really use it to sell yourself. Have a read through other cm's profiles and see which are good and which aren't so good.

    If you do sign up, contact everyone who you think you can help. A lot never get back to you, have changed their mind or have already made arrangements, but the more you contact the more chance you have of finding the right family.

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    I'm also a gold member and have been since I started up.
    Like Mouse, work that has not been word of mouth, has been from childcare.co.uk, so I highly recommend it too

    Parents don't always reply, which can be a tad frustrating, but the ones that do are normally seriously looking so will appreciate the contact you make.
    Use the filters to target potential clients in your area that have logged on the most recent, and always check their last log on date. Someone that hasn't logged on in the last few months is probably sorted by now.

    Don't forget, there are also CPD courses available to gold members too, and advertising to me should be a constant presence anyway, as this job can turn on a penny

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    There is a huge amount of information and support on the site as well as it being the biggest place for advertising.

    There is a free guide to making the most of your profile if you do decide to make the leap - Writing your profile - Childcare.co.uk

    And of course you can get the free / inclusive insurance and save money that way!

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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by watford wizz View Post
    I have been minding for nearly 30 years and in that time have never openly advertised my services. Iv been very blessed with parent/carer recommendations.
    Two of my main contracts are ending this month unexpectedly and I'm thinking of joining Childcare.co.uk. Have checked it out a bit and I could meet the needs of some of the families wanting childcare.
    Just after advice from those that have joined, what worked, what didn't. Feeling nervous about stepping into the unknown.
    Agree with everyone else and the only thing I would add is that I pay a yearly subscription of £100 which works a lot cheaper than month by month for £20 a month and as we know vacancies can happen at any time no matter how settled we think we are!

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris goodyear View Post
    Agree with everyone else and the only thing I would add is that I pay a yearly subscription of £100 which works a lot cheaper than month by month for £20 a month and as we know vacancies can happen at any time no matter how settled we think we are!
    You can get 20% off using the code CHILDMINDER

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    Have you tried advertizing on the Hertfordshire Find a Childminder FB group?

    I have to say the same as others about Childcare though. I have been a member of it so long and it has been worth every penny and paid for it's self over and over.

    I have filled all my Vacancies since the last of a long standing batch left last August. It has taken a lot of interviews but I now have 5 children on my books and a sixth coming to see me tomorrow. I am only just down the road from you. Loads advertise for your area.

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    I'm delighted with being a gold member. I love the support and advice from here, the advertising, access to a lot of paperwork and courses if needed and now I've just signed up for the Insurance package. My old insurance company, who I've been with for 3 years quoted me £60 this year. Childcare is £100 so you get a year's subscription of advertising for £40! plus everything else.

    During this last month my old insurance company has sent me 3 letters, 3 emails and finally followed by one telephone call to renew. They must be getting worried by the competition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by watford wizz View Post
    I have been minding for nearly 30 years and in that time have never openly advertised my services. Iv been very blessed with parent/carer recommendations.
    Two of my main contracts are ending this month unexpectedly and I'm thinking of joining Childcare.co.uk. Have checked it out a bit and I could meet the needs of some of the families wanting childcare.
    Just after advice from those that have joined, what worked, what didn't. Feeling nervous about stepping into the unknown.
    I'm a gold member and have been for 6 years. I find it invaluable for all the extras it offers and also for keeping my name/ details 'out there'. However, in my area very very few parents use Childcare.co.uk and those that do, rarely log in! I log in most months and keep my details updated.

  14. #11
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    Thank you everyone for your reassurance, advice and tips. Have taken the plunge and wait to see what happens.

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    I'm still registered as a childminder, and I pay the £100 a year to keep my insurance alongside a huge amount of training that is available to me!

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    I too was worried about the relative costs and benefits before I joined.

    Like others here, I get most clients from word of mouth, then from childcare.co.uk. Most of my newer clients have come from the website. It would probably be my main source of clients if I weren't turning enquiries away because I'm full on most days. I get a lot of website enquiries, although not all are necessarily a good match.

    The number of enquiries you get through childcare.co.uk will depend on local demand and supply, but the same will apply to any other sort of advertising. So if the work is there, childcare.co.uk is likely to find it.

    TBH I'm delighted to be a gold member for the training and resources alone. It pays for itself even when I'm not looking for clients.

  18. #14
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    Back for a bit more advice please, so I have Gold membership and have gone through everyone I thought I could meet their needs in my area who logged on in February and sent intro message to 15. I have now had 8 e mails telling me people have viewed my profile, one has messaged me. Can all 15 message me if they want or is it only other Gold members.
    Do you contact the ones who have looked or just wait for a message?

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    Quote Originally Posted by watford wizz View Post
    Back for a bit more advice please, so I have Gold membership and have gone through everyone I thought I could meet their needs in my area who logged on in February and sent intro message to 15. I have now had 8 e mails telling me people have viewed my profile, one has messaged me. Can all 15 message me if they want or is it only other Gold members.
    Do you contact the ones who have looked or just wait for a message?
    As you are a gold member any member can message you.
    I check the profiles out on who has looked at me if I can meet their requirements then I message them first.
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

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  21. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by watford wizz View Post
    Back for a bit more advice please, so I have Gold membership and have gone through everyone I thought I could meet their needs in my area who logged on in February and sent intro message to 15. I have now had 8 e mails telling me people have viewed my profile, one has messaged me. Can all 15 message me if they want or is it only other Gold members.
    Do you contact the ones who have looked or just wait for a message?
    I usually send a message saying, thank you for viewing my profile, please phone if you would like to discuss your childcare requirements.

    I tend not to try to select by what's on their profiles because a lot of profiles will contain out of date information or little relevant information at all.

  22. #17
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    Thank you for your help xx

 

 

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