A childminder, or a nanny, is reponsible for looking after the child or the children of another family.
Childminding has been around since the mid 19th century, however the occupation was formally known as a "nurse", and like many child caring positions, the nurse was always a female.
Now, it's not uncommon to see a male nanny take care of a family's children, however the occupation is still predominatiely held by a female.
Whether you're female or male, becoming a childminder can be a very rewarding job and life experience. Some nannies cannot imagine doing another job because they become so involved in the life of the children that they are taking care of, that they become like a part of the family.
I actually know a few nannies who, because of circumstances beyond their control, had to stop nannying and as a result broke down into tears, because they could not imagine a life without the children they were taking care of. It was as if the children were their own.
Becoming a childminder requires a lot of committment, as well as a ton of resposibility. If you feel like you cannot committ to spending multiple hours each and every day for years to bringing up a child or children, then childminding may not be right for you.
If you are, however, excited and committed to becoming a childminder, then you can use the steps below to help you find that perfect family to help take care of:
1. Before anything, you have to first understand that families looking for a nanny will usually not take in a nanny who has no experience or credentials. If you have baby-sitting experience, that helps, although it would be best to already have some sort of experience taking care of children long-term, for more than 2 hours a day. Additionally, you can become a part of a "nanny service" or online group that offers childminding services to families in need of a nanny. You will usually have to undergo a screening to make sure you are qualified, which may require an interview, either over the phone or even in person, depending on the company.
2. Whether you choose to go through an agency like mentioned above, or find a family on your own, you will have to meet with the family before you begin childminding. Even though I know you really want to be hired, there must be a nice and friendly rapport between you and the potential family you will take care of. Sure, they may like you, but unless you like them too, then it will not work out - and vice versa. Be yourself, because it is you that will potentially take care of the children of this family.
3. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions. Many families, especially young families who may have never experienced a nanny in their family before, really want to make sure you're right for the position, and will ask you several questions. Questios may revolve around how you would respond in certain situations in regards to their children and the house, or even go into your background and education history. Be friendly and polite, and be honest about everything.
4. Lastly, you may want to look up childminding education in your area. In the UK, these are required in order to become a professional childminder, but no matter where you are, it's always good to get as much education about children and behavior as possible, since you will be spending most of your time with them.
I hope this article has helped you determine whether or not childminging is right for you, and if it is, a little bit of what to expect.