How To Find The Perfect Childcare Provider
Finding the perfect childcare provider can be a challenging task for parents. There are so many childminders and nannies who advertise themselves that it becomes difficult separating the wheat from the chaff. Even if you have gotten recommendations from family and friends, it’s still important that you do your research to ensure that you are going to find someone who will take the best possible care of your children while you can’t keep your eyes on them.
In this article, we’ll share some parenting tips on how you can find childcare that will be a perfect fit for your young ones and at the same time, you can rest at ease knowing they are in the safest hands.
Visit the Facilities
Once you have narrowed down your list of potential childminders, your next step should be to visit the settings in person. Ask questions about the childcare provided and see if the environment and routine are to your liking. You can also use this opportunity to ask to see all the relevant certificates that the facility and staff should have readily available.
Check Registration Certificates and Insurance
All childminders and nannies must be registered with Ofsted in England, Care Inspectorate in Wales (CIW) or The Care Inspectorate in Scotland. When you meet with the person/s who will be looking after your child, ask them to present their registration certificate. You can then enter the registration number onto the Ofsted site to see if any complaints have been laid against them or the facilities.
Also, ask to see proof of insurance cover. It’s important that the childminder or childminding facility has adequate cover should something happen to your child under their care.
Ask to See A DBS Certificate
It is very important that parents check that their potential childcarer has an enhanced DBS certificate. This certificate will prove that they are not on the children’s barred list. A DBS certificate will also advise you if there are any spent or unspent convictions, reprimands, or warnings against their names.
A DBS check online application form is available from The Check People.
Ask for Proof of Identity
Parents are advised to ask childminders for two sets of proof of identity. Make sure you see an identity document that features a photo as well as proof of address. When it comes to checking up on who will be looking after your child, then no details should be spared.
Very important: When doing a proof of identity check in the UK, remember to verify the childcare provider’s eligibility to work in the UK. This especially applies if you are hiring a nanny because as an employer, you are legally obligated to check that the person you intend to employ has the right to work in the UK and that they are in the country legally.
Do Qualification Checks
While you may not require a childminder to have formal qualifications, you do want to ensure that they have a valid paediatric First Aid certificate, at the very least. A certificate will demonstrate that the childcare provider is committed to self-improvement and wants to offer an enhanced service. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that they will follow the right steps in an emergency.
Ask for References or Reviews
It is very important that parents find out as much as they can about their potential childminder before they leave their children alone with them. So, apart from asking to see the relevant certifications, round your questioning off by requesting a list of references. Also, if they can point you in the direction of where you can read some reviews about their services, then that would be helpful too.
We advise you to telephone all referees – anyone can answer an email!
Do Your Own Research Online
To finalise your search for the best childminder or childcare facility/nursery, why not do some of your own research by browsing the internet? You should be able to find out more about their identity online. For example, social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter may give a useful insight into who they are, what their beliefs and values are, and what their community’s opinion is of them.
You can even Google a childcare provider’s name to see if any additional information comes up. By doing your own research, you may be provided with much greater insight into a person. This information is extremely useful when combined with more official checks such as DBS checks and references.
The research, checks, and reference follow-ups may seem like tedious work, but if you want to be 100% sure that your children are going to be in the most caring and safe hands, then it’s a necessary process.