Today on the Daily Blab we are focusing on childcare which has hit the headlines, check out the news story here where potential reasons for the rising costs of childcare are investigated. If you are a parent who is the primary care giver, and is in the position of needing or wanting to return back to work after a period of leave, you are faced with a mirage of different care options to consider- each have their own pros and cons. The Daily Blab will consider each option, providing a series of pros and cons. First up- Childminders.
Whatever option you choose, it is highly recommended to look as soon as possible, well in advance of your return to work date, as all childcare options can be in high demand.
For instance, if you are researching nurseries it is often recommended to register during pregnancy- (yes, insane, not like you have plenty of other things on your mind, like giving birth for instance!) Ultimately it will depend on your area, demand, cost and flexibility you require.
Childminder Pros and Cons to Consider
- Costs tend to be lower than a nursery
- Home environment
- Childminding is regulated, and minders must be registered. For guidelines on ratios- (the amount of children childminders can care for in a specific age bracket,) can be found here
- Childminders are self-employed and therefore you may be required to sign a contract, which will detail any specifics of their caring responsibilities and expectations, read this carefully! This is a pro and a con depending on the content of the contract!
- Childminders may agree to school drop offs and pick ups, which is key if this is something you do/don’t want. (e.g. I didn’t choose a childminder because my infant son would be in the car all day taking other children to activities outside of school pick ups and drop offs- this isn’t always the case so check with your provider)
- May provide food, at a surplus charge
- May agree to take your child to specific activities or groups, this should be pre-agreed
- If the childminder is ill, or goes on maternity leave, you do not have cover. It is worth asking your provider if there is anyone who would cover if this scenario did arise, some childminders are a member of a community who provide cover if this were to arise
- Ensure your childminder has all necessary certificates in place, which is usually ensured by PACEY as childminders need to be registered
- Childminders usually accept childcare vouchers, check with your provider
- Set hours, although usually more flexible than a nursery
- Socialising for children, as childminders usually have a variety of children at different age groups
- Hours may vary during the holiday period if childminders have children at school, check with provider
- Ensure you check the environment that your child will occupy, cleanliness, availability of toys, space etc.
If you are searching for childcare- this website can help you identify which option is appropriate for you and provide options that are local to you!