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Child Minders and Babysitting Services

Deciding on a Child Minder

from The National Childminding Association

Childminders are professionals and are used to parents visiting them to ask about the service they provide. Before you visit a childminder, spend some time thinking about the childcare you need and the things you are looking for in your childminder.

Make a list of questions that are important to you.

NCMA’s top five tips:
1. Trust your instinct –many parents say their family instantly felt at home with the childminder they chose for their child. You’ll probably see them most days and will need to discuss your child’s care and payments with them so it is important they are someone you – and your child – feel comfortable with.
2. Take someone else with you when you visit – they will help confirm your decision and may think of questions to ask
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second visit. Try visiting at a different time if you can – during the day you’ll be able to watch the childminder with children, but in the evening you may be able to talk more easily
4. Visit more than one childminder. Even if the first one seems perfect, it is worth confirming your decision by visiting one or two more
5. As well as asking questions, make sure you take time to watch how the childminder acts with the children, and look around the setting.

Suggested Questions for your Childminder

  • How long have you been a childminder?
  • Why did you become a childminder?
  • What do you enjoy most about the job?
  • Are you a member of the National Childminding Association?
  • Do you have any relevant qualifications or training?
  • Do you belong to a childminding group, network or other support group?
  • How many other children do you look after, how old are they and how long
    have you been looking after them?
  • Do you have any children of your own and, if so, how old are they?
  • What types of activities do you do with the children?
  • Do you and the children go on regular outings or special trips?
  • How do you help children settle in?
  • Do you have pets or a garden?
  • What food do you provide?
  • What do you consider unacceptable behaviour and how do you deal with it?
  • Do you work with other local childminders? How does this work?
  • What would you do in an emergency involving yourself or one of the
    children?
  • Do you ever take the children out in the car and, if so, do you have suitable
    insurance, seat belts and car seats?
  • What do you do about holidays – both ours and yours?
  • What happens if someone’s sick – whether it’s you, us, or the children?
  • Can I see your registration and insurance certificates?
  • Can I see a copy of your inspection report