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What should I expect as a childminder

A childminder is usually defined as someone who minds other people’s children in the childminder's home, and is self-employed while a nanny is usually someone who minds children in the parent’s home and is ‘employed’ by the parents and is an employee. While the terms 'childminder' and 'nanny' can sometimes be inter-changeable, in both cases the terms agreed between the childminder/nanny and parents must be upheld and certain basic conditions are expected by both parties.

Taking care of other people’s children is never a black and white issue, nor is there a strict code on how to deal with all situations that may or may not arise in this particular relationship.

However, here at we have collected information and produced advice and guidelines to help both nanny and childminders understand the relationship better,

Before you begin, agree on conditions and duties.

Terms, rates and conditions of childminding should be pre-agreed before any commencement will take place. It is important to define clearly what your exact role is, what services you will be providing, as well as other duties to your prospective parents. Clarity of these terms is best done in writing. By outlining and agreeing on exact duties between you and the parents, and by supplying a written agreement signed by both parties, this will help enforce these conditions.

Nannies can be employed directly by the parents or through an agency. The agreements of duties and expectations between parents and nanny must be clearly outlined by a written contract. If you are a nanny working through an agency make sure you clearly understand what is expected of you before agreeing to work with that agency. This will save any problems that may arise later on.

If you are hired directly by the parents then, it is best to have a written agreement/contract of employment on what is your expected duties as an employee of the parents. Rates, and hours must be clearly defined as well as extra services such as cleaning, pick-ups, meals, homework must also be outlined. Arrangements with regard to payment for childminders holidays, parents holidays and bank holidays should also be agreed. Click here for advice on payment rates provided by other parents. If you are a self-employed childminder, minding kids in your own home, you will not need an employment contract but it is still best to set out in writing the services you will provide and how additional costs might occur.

When things get awkward

As with all relationships between children and adults there are plenty of times when some issues will arise that may cause stress between the childminder and parent. When dealing with these issues it is best to do so in a calm considerate way, with the child’s best interests at the center of discussion.

One way of insuring that all problems go smoothly is to agree on a procedure and outline a plan of action prior to any commencement. For example, both childminder and parent can agree that any issues will be dealt with in a routine phone call. This is particularly helpful for disciplinary matters between children and the childminder as it creates space for a calm discussion that is out of children’s earshot. Please see our guide on how to raise with parents for more information.



(16-06-2016 15:43)

I'm a childminder and I've never heard of it either!!
If you weren't able to take leave would she expect you to pay her and the other!??

She's self employed (assuming she's minding I her own home) so she has to sort that herself!

I'd never ever expect a parent to pay for me to take maternity leave!! Sounds absurd!


(16-06-2016 15:45)

Ps; here isn't the right place - you ideally should start a "new thread" and just copy and paste it there

Also PM your number I'm calling Childminding Ireland to ask them x


(16-05-2016 16:00)

Just wondering how you tackled the issue?
Did you "give in"

If you haven't yet done it, you could maybe charge "half" for those hours . . . that (to me as a childminder) sounds fair.

As for Margaret, I completely understand where you are coming from BUT a childminder may not be able to find someone for those 3 hours a day so then he / she is down money! Unless the parents change childminder to someone who can accommodate those hours!

I personally wouldn't keep 3 hours (or whatever it is) open unless I had a "morning" child to fill in the gap.


(13-04-2016 18:53)

How do I cope with parents asking for a reduction for their child during the free pre shcool year even though I'm both dropping and collecting their children from preschool


(17-06-2016 09:10)

Definitely sounds like she's not declaring! And that could be very messy for her, those minders do my head in! It's not that hard to register, get insured and vetted! Not to mention it's better for the parents to have a kinder who's registered etc

She sounds like she may be spinning you both a line and you have no obligation to pay her. She's chancing her arm Hun


(17-06-2016 16:22)

Mumofkd, my gut instinct is she's unregistered and undeclaring her income...why would she only take 12 weeks off and then start saying she planning less time off, only cos she not want weeks with no pay. I know a registered childminder currently off for full year as maternity benefit and fact her own children need her full attention. Check for her name on either or both your county childcare committe and Childminding Ireland websites, both have lists on website. Ask see her childminding insurance policy and car policy. Many childminders always say they are covered on their house insurance but haven't informed the insurance company so aren't.

However something to think about is why parents choose a childminder..invididual attention, homely environment etc...I know when my kids all over 9 months I'd only one fulltime childminded child for 18mths term time only and then took parttimers term time only, only when mine in school did I openly advertise. I couldn't imagine my own newborn and childminding a three and one year old and I'd be very organised.


(17-06-2016 11:47)

No problem,

If you would like to PM for more advice I advertise in the "Kildare" section

She definitely chancing her arm! Brass neck!!
Delighted you're sorted xx


(18-04-2016 21:23)

Of course you need to drop money if you are not minding the child for 3 hours pro rata to the full day charge but charge for the drop off & collection. Why should childminders benefit from ECCE & not parents?


(02-06-2016 11:39)

Lisbeth, my policy is treat all families the same so you know exactly where you stand on any questions/questioning. This also means you can't be caught out if parents know each others. Decide what you can tolerate or even iv said before I charge for ecce hours as hassle/cost school runs which can disturb sleeping baby etc is too much. Iv very little tolerance for parents looking cheap childcare/haggling/excess demands and a good one to use is iv a parent I'm waiting come back to me at moment and I'll let you know as soon as, this gives me time to think and am normally conveniently full in my reply. Iv no problem in a parent saying they can't afford etc and I could see if workable job share with granny etc. This does not mean a discount or free hours just I'll work less hours so less pay and granny saves family some money.

Are you saying a parent is looking for free hours in your home? There are childminders who offer 5 preschool spaces on ecce. This parent obviously isn't aware of what ecce is or is chancing their arm. Point them in direction of your local ecce providers.


(19-04-2016 07:25)

Margaret, these are the questions the government failed to ask and answer subsequently announcing the Ecce, conveniently it's an educational programme when suits and free childcare when suits. Free to who? The only one it's truly free to is the stay at home parent (but these are ones mostly questioning the benefits of ecce as getting from two years olds out five mornings a week and separating from the family home, others groups are too I must note). It's spin on government part as even providers of ecce are at breaking point as capitation rates are too low and unsustainable balancing increasing overheads and we see private but also now community settings closing. The fact DES are inspecting from this week aswell as Tusla has further created turmoil.

Losing three hours childminding rates while even if charging small amount for dropping and collecting has simply meant many childminders would not keep on ecce child when it was one year. Two years is too much...a childminder has to make a living too and majority can't afford run a parttime service.


(17-06-2016 11:28)

Hi Ladies thanks for the getting back on the questions. She is registered and declaring and she has been vetted etc, the other mother involved just happens to be her sister in law and that's why I think she's telling me fibs....cause she knows I cant go and ask. Either way last night I told her outright that I wouldn't be paying her anything while she was leave because I would not have the resources to do it as I'm out of work while she is and now shes thinking of dropping the amount of time she takes off which just shouts telling fibs to me. Either way I think its sorted and like to thank you all for the advice....


(16-06-2016 14:01)

Can I just ask this is my first post so not really sure if this is the right forum - I have my 2 boys with a childminder my oldest 3 and youngest 1 and she is currently pregnant. She was discussing her mat leave with me and is taking 12 weeks I presumed this so I have my work on notice that I will be taking parental leave for this time. My minder informed me that her other client is paying her for the 12 weeks that she is out - 2 days pay a week for one child and she has said that she would like us to do the same 2 days pay per child per week as I'm taking parental leave I will not be earning. I haven't heard of this before I'm just wondering does it happen and I'm been completely unreasonable - I don't want to lose her but my husband's wages barely cover everything in our house we work out 200 better off without childcare and coming up to xmas (when she is taking her leave) this will be badly needed.


(02-06-2016 09:32)

Tell them it doesn't apply to childminders ONLY ECCE preschools!
You're a business, not a charity or a drop off centre!!
Do stand up for yourself Hun, you're not doing anything wrong


(01-06-2016 21:32)

I am back again because Ive been asked by 2 parents today about the new 'free school year' and how I am going to do it for them even though they are not sending their child anywhere else to facilitate this year. They just want me to do so many hours for free because the government says it is free. Where do I go from here. I am at a real loss.


(17-06-2016 17:15)

Completely agree with MinderOfChild
Beauty of a childminder is the time and attention each child gets!

A newborn is tough going! And she doesn't yet know if baby may be colic / reflux which adds to it!


(02-06-2016 12:12)

Brilliant advice MinderOfChildren

Love the advice you give! X


(16-06-2016 22:16)

Mumofkd, as she only taking 12 weeks I'm assuming she unregistered so no prsi selfemployed paid or perhaps she may be registered but not long enough to qualify for maternity benefit.

Either way, omg, a new one on me too. No way should you even consider any payments (especially if it's undeclared earnings), it's stories like this that give good quality and fair childminders a bad name. Do you know for certain the other parent has agreed, could same line be spun to other parent about you. My contract always with parents is I not available no pay for simple reason Peng said you need the payment for alternative care. The only risk is can you afford lose her?

Peng28, as you mentioned ringing Childminding Ireland, the office staff are known to give wrong advice/outdated information and certainly in light of their ongoing crisis which is being so poorly managed for months that a strike is ongoing, they are an organisation that less and less wish to be associated's no wonder childminding remains in the dark age. Double check everything with your ccc office.


(13-04-2016 19:49)

Don't give in is my advice...I'd this conversation also....parent not want pay for ecce hours, government advertising it as free childcare, why should childminder cover the cost for it to be free to parent? was pay or I start at collection (Not on standby either if sick etc) or leave...I started at collection as parent not want leave but hassle to them re morning drop has proved troublesome. Cost of collection while I did charge small fee and hassle of collections has been too much while being down hours. But I'd to stand my ground as word would spread I don't charge for ecce hours. Plus future is really two and half year olds will be looking at paid hours to hold ecce places,,,


(24/10/2017 15:08)

Hi all, an issue has just arisen for me as a childminder... I earn €8 per hour and work 4 full 9 hour days for €290.... Last week I worked from 8 on Thurs straight thru till 4pm on Fri and was only paid €305 for overnight included.... Advice needed.


(24/10/2017 17:52)

Paula41, are you a childminder in your home or a nanny in children's home?


(24/10/2017 22:38)

I mind in the children's home


(25/10/2017 18:13)

Paula41, that family is breaking the law, they need register as your employer and its at least minimum wage. Anyways in your situation you need discuss the underpayment (I'm assuming that's the issue) based on the €8 an hr. Just be direct with your calculations ready. The parents have choice then pay or really you should suspend care if they don't. Or indeed leave it all as is and feel ticked off. Are you with them long?

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