Choosing a Childminder

When choosing a childminder parents should consider the following:

  • Take your time
  • Ask Questions
  • Check it out
  • Communicate your needs

How do I find a Childminder?

  • By contacting Leitrim County Childcare Committee Office, Laird House, Church Street, Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim. Tel: 071 9640870
  • By contacting the TUSLA Pre-School Office. Tel: 071 91 55100
  • Through your local Pre-school and/or Parent and Toddler group
  • Your Local Public Health Nurse
  • By word of mouth
  • Through your local newspapers

Steps to choosing a childminder

  • Arrange to meet with a few known childminders in your area in their own homes
  • Prepare a list of questions and issues you want to bring up beforehand and make notes
  • Talk to friends neighbours other parents
  • Ensure you check out two references from the childminder

Questions to be asked

  • How many children do you care for?
  • What are the ages of the children in your care?
  • What hours of childcare do you provide?
  • What is your daily routine?
  • What type of activities do you provide?
  • Is outdoor play part of your daily routine?
  • Will other people be in the home while my child is there?
  • What emergency arrangements do you have in place e.g. sickness of child / yourself, fire prevention, accident?
  • How is good behaviour encouraged?
  • What type of food do you offer to the children in your care?
  • Do you have public liability insurance cover?
  • Do you have adequate car insurance?
  • Do you travel in the car with minded children, and have you care safety seats / belts?
  • Are you liaising with the County Childcare Committee?
  • Are you notified to the HSE or in contact with the Leitrim County Childcare Committee?
  • Do you have first aid training? • Do you have Child Protection Training?
  • Do you have a plan in place in the event of an emergency?
  • How long have you been a childminder?

Issues for further discussion

  • Fees
  • Outings
  • Rest sleeping facilities
  • Toilet training

What to look for

  • The skills of a childminder and suitable person
  • A childminder who likes and relates well to children who will be gentle and kind and keep your child safe
  • Ability to listen
  • Sympathetic tolerant and kind
  • Fair with the children and with own children
  • Clear thinking
  • Understanding of their own child’s feelings if they are also being cared for
  • Business- like approach to parents professional in the service they provide
  • Self confident
  • Ability to think of others
  • Good relationships with children in their care
  • Plenty of energy
  • Good health
  • Appropriate language
  • Sense of Humour

Childminder’s home

  • First impression and gut feeling
  • Visit the home and meet the childminder there
  • Is the home caring and friendly, yet stimulating?
  • Are the premises safe?
  • Make sure there are childproof locks on the windows and doors, guards on fires and stairs and smoke alarms
  • There should be no trailing flexes and low – level glass should be protected
  • Is it a home from home
  • Is it cosy and warm
  • Is there enough space for your child to be cared for and to play freely and safely?
  • Are there a variety of age and stage appropriate toys to play with? Look for crayons, colouring books, books, play kitchens, jigsaws etc.
  • Are the kitchen, toilet and other rooms clean
  • Outdoors is it safe check for hazards is there a secure gate fence to prevent your child from gaining access to the road
  • Pets: are there any pets in the Childminders home?

Your childminder will require the following information from you

  • The child’s name and address
  • The child’s date of birth
  • Details of parents’ place of work
  • Telephone numbers- home and work numbers
  • The name and telephone number of the person to be contacted in an emergency
  • Name of two adults who are authorised to collect your child
  • The name address and telephone number of the child’s doctor
  • Necessary medical or dietary information
  • A signed agreement for medical treatment
  • Consent for medication to be given
  • Consent for outings also to be given
  • The child’s likes dislikes fears and comforts
  • The childminder will ask you to complete a working agreement/contract which will cover all these matters

Childcare Directory

Use our directory of services to find Childcare options in County Leitrim