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What to look for when you visit the Childminders
The next step is to arrange to visit the Childminder at home.
Try and do this during the day, when the Childminder’s children and other minded children are around. The environment in which your child is minded will influence your choice as a parent and you should be able to imagine yourself as a child spending each day with this person, in this house.
- Don’t rush through the visit. If this is the right person to care for your child, your need to take your time will be fully understood.
- If the Childminder does not make you feel welcome and relaxed, you have no reason to think that your child will feel differently! The Childminder’s responsibility and professionalism should make the interview a pleasant and informative experience for you. An offer to go around the house and see the area available to the children should be forthcoming.
- Be observant. What sort of person is this Childminder? Is conversation easy? Is the interaction with the children positive?
- Does the Childminder handle the situation well of needing a bit of peace to talk to you, allowing that children ‘act up’ when visitors appear?
- Do the Childminder’s children appear secure? Can you imagine them being read a story with a bit of animation, or a teething baby receiving cuddling?
- Does the potential Childminder listen well, and smile a lot!
- Ask to look around the areas in the house and garden. Untidiness is perfectly acceptable to children because it is a by-product of their play activity. Danger, dirt or chaos is a different matter!
- Are there toys, books, musical instruments? Is the house obviously geared for children, with guards on fires and cooker top, potties and a child-step for using the toilet and a gate at the stairs if toddlers are cared for?
- Is there a quiet room for children to sleep during the day, with clean bedclothes? Is the garden secure, with a sand pit, swings or slides, or climbing frames? Is there a fire blanket or extinguisher in the kitchen? Do you notice any over-loaded sockets or trailing flexes?