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How do you choose a childminder? My little boy is 10 months old now and I'm looking to get some childcare so I can start back at work, but I'm feeling allll the mum guilt and anxieties!

I can absolutely understand how you're feeling. It’s an anxious time leaving baby with someone new. I had tears when I left mine for the first time. It takes a little while for you both to get used to your new routine.

But your little one will love it. Take this time to meet with the childminders and visit different settings. Find out their qualifications, child: staff ratio. Observe how the children are in their care and have a read of their references.

Have a think about what is important to you. What are you looking for? A few things for you to think about...

Do they have free flow to the outdoors?

Qualifications and experience?

Do they follow the key worker scheme?

What hours can they provide?

Do they have a sleep room/cots/floor beds?

Ask to see their policies.

Ask about nappies/food/lunches etc. - what do you need to provide daily?

What is their settling-in procedure? This has changed in many nurseries due to Covid. You may be allowed into settings now. This is something you can talk about. They often do a couple of really short settling-in sessions, just to get baby/child familiar with setting and adults

A childminder is a fab choice for offering care in a homely environment and opportunities for more flexibility!

Some childminders are term time only, so that's worth checking too.

Good luck looking around.

Pregnant mum of 3