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Any tips for a brand new Childminder?


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Hi all


I was just wondering if anyone had any top tips for a brand new (and slightly nervous!) childminder about to start out?


Thanks in advance for your replies/suggestions



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Be very clear and firm about your charging policy from day one and then charge exactly what you are entitled to charge. Some parents will challenge you in a way they wouldn't challenge a nursery or a supermarket. Do not allow anyone to build up arrears.


Be very clear about boundaries. The fact that you are at home does not excuse parents making demands on your time outside your working hours.


If you have children of your own allow them to withdraw to their own space if they want to when childminded children are present. Allow them to choose not to share things by putting them away but any toys which are out are to be shared.


Communicate a lot with parents. Emailed photos are a great way of showing them what fun their child is having while in your care.


Don't charge parents for car journeys. It invalidates your car insurance.


Don't take it personally when people don't think you have a proper job but do challenge it.


Invest in as many resources for the garden as you possibly can. The Communication Friendly Spaces website has some lovely ideas.


Ask lots on this forum. You will get fantastic advice :)

Edited by Upsy Daisy
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Thank you all for our good wishes and thank you Upsy Daisy for your advice, it is greatly appreciated x

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Quickie before bed - things I wish I'd done differently.


Number One - be a member of this Forum. Be active and read even if you don't want to write much.


As Upsy said, get your fees clear in your head so that you can talk to parents confidently. Minimum hours is minimum hours unless it fits in with your day and numbers.


This doesn't work for everyone, but it does for me - after the first month or so (or less if the parents are very clear about what they want) I work out the bill for the next academic year (I work term time, but you could use calendar year, or three month period. I then divide it by equal monthly payments. Parents know where they stand each month. Get parents to set up standing order for that amount. At the end of the financial year you can see who paid what on your statements. Cheques show up as random nameless figures, a does cash.


Be a bit flexible about time and days if you can be. It's nice to have a day's extra worked for nothing when you get sick and need a day off, or if you need a bit of flexibility to go to you're children's parent teacher interview. I call it banking time - it's about the relationship. If you give a bit, and they don't reciprocate - toughen up - their loss.


Study to highest level you can afford the time and money for.


Get a good buddy in the school yard/ toddlers etc. Make them your emergency back-up and have parents sign to that affect. Don't be in each other's pockets but get to know each other's children.


After school work is good pay if out of hours clubs are horrible or non-existent in your area.


Play by the rules - if you break them and get caught - that's your income and reputation gone.


Sorry this is almost incoherrant - very tired.


Very best of luck -



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:-) welcome along, another childminder here


  • Good robust policies & procedures (Ofsted current trend is picking out not having late collection or non-collection policy according to my network)
  • Payment in advance!!
  • Be prepared to be flexible to get work, too many childminders local to me complain they have no children yet only will work 8-5
  • Do as much training as you possibly can, dpending on your LA there is some brilliant training out there
  • Remember you can choose a parent, if they come round and you don't gel, you don't have to take them on (I think this is something that could be very useful, for example if they cancel, don't show up ect how reliable will they be for paying)
  • Don't invest in too many resources, homemade resources go down a storm! Toy libraries, charity shops. the outdoors is free and much more fun!
  • Biggest thing working in partnership with parents! Daily diaries, emails, newsletters Tapestry! (from on here) make notes of positive feedback!
  • Don't panic about paperwork, do what works for you!

ttfn Berry

Edited by Berryred
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