Kate's experience - working with her childminder

My daughter Tilly went back to her childminder in June and her younger brother Harry has joined her (he’d done a few ‘stay and play’ sessions before lockdown).

They’ve been doing three mornings a week, whereas Tilly used to do one full day and two half days, plus two mornings at pre-school. This change of hours has helped our childminder to get adjusted as she reopens her setting, and has helped us deal with financial pressure.  

For the first month or so, our childminder only had two families (including us) so that we could keep our bubble small. More recently she’s added another family into the mix, but it’s still a small group. Our childminder is already pretty flexible and asked if we wanted to further reduce our hours over the summer holidays to help ease financial burden, but I needed the time for my work.

From September, we agreed to return to the previously arranged hours, but our childminder said she’ll be flexible if she can. I used to work as a supply teacher, but following maternity leave and in response to COVID, I decided to transfer my skills to online tutoring. My hours and income vary depending on how many families I’m working with.

I was happy to send both my children back to our childminder in June as she was being cautious and I knew her bubble idea was sensible. Tilly missed her SO much (and vice versa), so I know they both needed it. At the moment, I don’t feel worried as I know the risks are outweighed by the benefits. They weren’t initially going on any outings – other than the park which they can walk to from her house – and I was happy about that at the time.

Having done more activities myself very recently, I’m feeling okay with the idea of the children going on outings now, if our childminder wants to. I know she’ll be sensible and follow all the guidelines. But if she doesn’t feel comfortable with more outings, I’ll be equally happy. Harry will do two full days with our childminder from September and I know he already loves her as much as Tilly does!