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10 May 2006

Choosing the right childminder

If you only have maternity leave for three months, you may be thinking of returning. Make sure that you choose a good childminder. Here are some tips.

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If you only have maternity leave for three months, you may be thinking of returning. Make sure that you choose a good childminder to take care of your baby when you are at work. Here are some tips:

  • Work out your budget first.
  • Make a list of all the questions you would like to ask.
  • Only employ someone who can offer references and always do a reference check.
  • Only consider someone who has previous experience.
  • Does she appear clean and neat?
  • Find out if he or she knows infant CPR. If not, make sure that you provide first aid training.
  • Ask what she would do in an emergency.
  • Make sure he or she understands the importance of constant supervision.
  • Introduce her to your baby and observe their interaction.
  • Give her a probation period of two months.
  • Discuss a list of “do” and “don’ts” and the consequences of problematic behaviour.
  • Employ someone at least a month before you return to work. This way she will have a chance to familiarise herself with the new environment. It will also give you the opportunity to monitor how she interacts with your child.
  • Once you have employed her, leave the house for short periods and do “spot-checks” – return home unexpectedly.
  • Is she available for babysitting after hours? This will be an advantage.
  • Do you communicate easily or do you struggle to understand one another?
 
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