Start up advice
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Thread: Start up advice

  1. #1
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    Default Start up advice

    Hi, I have recently started looking into becoming a childminder from home. I have done a lot of research but I'm slightly concerned if it would be worthwhile for me. I have a two year old and an eight month old which means I'd be looking at having one mindee a day. My two year old does attend preschool twice a week 9-1 but I wouldn't want to risk it incase she was off sick etc... Is there anyone else in a similar situation? How does it work for you? I also worry about how my two year old will take to there being another toddler present and using 'her' toys and sharing Mummy!!! We are fortunate to have a large home with a play room and are currently making a large enclosed play area in our garden with artificial grass so we are well equipped for it. I'm awaiting a date for my local briefing course to learn more about it all but any advice would be much appreciated.

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    Your EYFS income would be limited with just 1 EYFS place available.
    I have known of 2-year olds reacting fine to mum becoming a CMer and some who really do not cope at all... they can get used to it in the end but can be a rough journey for a while! You could take on a 3 or 4 year old therefore not such a direct threat to your 2-year old's space? or a 12mth old who might be easier for your 2 year old to accept, especially if your 2 year old likes 'helping' with the baby and is your 'little assistant'!

    You have some options to boost your earning potential until your eldest child is in full time school- take on before/after school and school holiday children (school ages). Work weekends, late evenings, or over-night care where you can charge a premium for a specialist service (for shift workers etc).
    It may take you 6mths to get registered anyway and they start school before you know it, the time does fly by, so might be worth going for it now and just accepting that you'll have a low-income for a couple of years and then expand once your eldest is at school.

  3. #3
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    Good advice from Moggy.
    In terms of 'ownership' of toys we've always had childminding toys and my dd own toys. For example the normal duplo bricks were chidminding toys, but the duplo zoo and princess set were my dd's and stayed in her room unless she wanted them (she sold them to me a few weeks ago to fund her new scooter!). Similarly with the wooden train track the thomas engines and some of the the track were kept in my daughter's room and the rest was for everyone. I do the same with books, pencils, colouring books etc. It has worked well. Now she's 5 she checks the living room every day to make sure anything she doesn't want mindees to play with is put away in her room.

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    Thank you both that's really helpful.
    Another concern is yesterday my two year old had one of them days, she's not been feeling great and was crying and sobbing having tantrums, just wanted me to hold her all day.... how would I give the minde the attention they need with all the EYFS assessments you need to be doing while she's feeling like that? Or what about when I need to rock my 8 month old to sleep in his buggy for a nap which can take ages!!! It's ok for my two year old to entertain herself for a while or watch the TV but I couldn't do that with another child could I!!! More I think about it the more I'm stressing about how it would work! Do you need to be offering set activities most of the day or are some days more playing? It's hard to imagine how the days would be! I'm just imagining it like a nursery but it's also my home and would need everyday jobs keeping up with or do you have a free day to get that done? Sorry rambling now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LC2020 View Post
    Thank you both that's really helpful.
    Another concern is yesterday my two year old had one of them days, she's not been feeling great and was crying and sobbing having tantrums, just wanted me to hold her all day.... how would I give the minde the attention they need with all the EYFS assessments you need to be doing while she's feeling like that? Or what about when I need to rock my 8 month old to sleep in his buggy for a nap which can take ages!!! It's ok for my two year old to entertain herself for a while or watch the TV but I couldn't do that with another child could I!!! More I think about it the more I'm stressing about how it would work! Do you need to be offering set activities most of the day or are some days more playing? It's hard to imagine how the days would be! I'm just imagining it like a nursery but it's also my home and would need everyday jobs keeping up with or do you have a free day to get that done? Sorry rambling now.
    Relax- you are offering a home-from-home setting...
    So, yes a 2yo can play by themselves for a bit while you settle another child (just have them in sight/hearing and check your space is safe), they can watch a bit of TV.
    They all can have off-days (CMers too!) so sometimes we have a quiet day in and hardly leave the sofa and book-basket! There are no 'EYFS assessments' you need to be doing apart from the Check at 2 Years Old. Apart from that it is just knowing the children, knowing what stage they are at and if they are progressing (you can do that from the sofa with a sobbing daughter in tow). You can make simple notes, use an online system if you like and it can be very simple. A lot of people make work for themselves with reports and lengthy written obs and planning- start simple and minimal- you can always add but it is harder to do 'less' once you have started.
    If you know you will be rocking your baby to sleep in a buggy then you might want to be careful not to take on a baby who also needs that kind of attention at the same time (or put them both down in a double buggy!!)- you choose what children you take on, you interview the parents- ask about their child's routines etc.
    I do not have 'set activities' at all- I might suggest play dough and see if they fancy it, I'll get the paints out in the garden if it is a nice day, we'll decide to go to the swings if a child needs to run off some energy. Nothing is 'set' with little ones anyway! Nurseries will plan activities as they have 30-odd children and staff to organise and cater for. We have just a few- like a family group, so you do what you would for your own family (you don't plan set activities for your 2 yo do you?! No, you see what she is interested in and go with that, maybe suggesting something new to try sometimes and encouraging things which you think will help her develop certain skills etc- it is just the same when CMing. Every day is just playing!
    I get jobs done either with children happily playing by themselves (which is the best type of play: self-absorbed and self-initiated), or with children helping- vacuuming, cleaning windows, load/unload dishwasher, put laundry on, hanging laundry, cooking meals, washing-up... remember it is home-from-home and they need to learn about daily tasks just as they would if they were at home with mum/dad. Using pegs, matching socks, polishing with a cloth are really useful skills, educational and are fun. We go to the shops to get a few groceries... but I don't do a full supermarket shop with them!
    Do you know any CMers you can visit? It might help you to see a CMer 'in action'?

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    Quote Originally Posted by moggy View Post
    Relax- you are offering a home-from-home setting...
    So, yes a 2yo can play by themselves for a bit while you settle another child (just have them in sight/hearing and check your space is safe), they can watch a bit of TV.
    They all can have off-days (CMers too!) so sometimes we have a quiet day in and hardly leave the sofa and book-basket! There are no 'EYFS assessments' you need to be doing apart from the Check at 2 Years Old. Apart from that it is just knowing the children, knowing what stage they are at and if they are progressing (you can do that from the sofa with a sobbing daughter in tow). You can make simple notes, use an online system if you like and it can be very simple. A lot of people make work for themselves with reports and lengthy written obs and planning- start simple and minimal- you can always add but it is harder to do 'less' once you have started.
    If you know you will be rocking your baby to sleep in a buggy then you might want to be careful not to take on a baby who also needs that kind of attention at the same time (or put them both down in a double buggy!!)- you choose what children you take on, you interview the parents- ask about their child's routines etc.
    I do not have 'set activities' at all- I might suggest play dough and see if they fancy it, I'll get the paints out in the garden if it is a nice day, we'll decide to go to the swings if a child needs to run off some energy. Nothing is 'set' with little ones anyway! Nurseries will plan activities as they have 30-odd children and staff to organise and cater for. We have just a few- like a family group, so you do what you would for your own family (you don't plan set activities for your 2 yo do you?! No, you see what she is interested in and go with that, maybe suggesting something new to try sometimes and encouraging things which you think will help her develop certain skills etc- it is just the same when CMing. Every day is just playing!
    I get jobs done either with children happily playing by themselves (which is the best type of play: self-absorbed and self-initiated), or with children helping- vacuuming, cleaning windows, load/unload dishwasher, put laundry on, hanging laundry, cooking meals, washing-up... remember it is home-from-home and they need to learn about daily tasks just as they would if they were at home with mum/dad. Using pegs, matching socks, polishing with a cloth are really useful skills, educational and are fun. We go to the shops to get a few groceries... but I don't do a full supermarket shop with them!
    Do you know any CMers you can visit? It might help you to see a CMer 'in action'?

    Excellent, and truthful advice from Moggy

    It can take anywhere between 3 months and 12 months to actually get registered, by which time your baby may have learnt to self sooth more at naptime

    I have done a weeks shopping with a 2yr old, 3yr old, and 4yr old in tow before now, and it's been so much fun!
    I know parents hate going shopping with their children, but honestly, I know the children will behave with me, so it's amazing what you can get done with them.
    Observations are just that, for example:
    you notice a child started naming the colours of the blocks they're using to build a bridge - next steps introduce different colours, have a red day, a green day, a yellow day etc where you find things that match the colour either indoors or out...
    You could talk about toys going 'over' the bridge, or 'under' a bridge, so you're extending their learning by developing knowledge of positioning (maths)....
    You could introduce the story of the 3 billy goats, or of the rainbow fish, or Elmer...
    You introduce songs that include colours - I can sing a rainbow

    All of a sudden, from offering a simple activity with the building blocks, you have multiple planning for the weeks ahead and all done by following the childs initial interest in colours

    As you have your own children, you have probably already been doing the 'teaching' side without even realising you're doing it - maybe look back over the last few days and see if you can recognise it

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  8. #7
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    Going out into your community and going shopping are really useful skills. In modern times, when so many people do all their food shopping over the Internet, many children have never been shopping. There are great lessons to be learnt here. Having to sit in a trolley without an iPad or phone, or a big bag of sweets , or queuing up at the post office. These are opportunities for conversation with the child and the childminder but also with the cashier or postmaster.

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