It is fair to say that just about all baby related business’s prey on new parents who are expecting multiples as they see this as an easy way to make more money. They will often mislead multiple parents into believing that if they pay a higher premium for something they will be getting a better service, or a better product etc. This is not always the case.
When it comes to childcare, agencies will tell you that in order to have the best care for your multiples you should employ a lady who has experience with twins. If you do this you are expected to pay more for her than for a lady who has worked with singletons.
I am very pleased to inform you that this is totally misleading and I speak from my own experience as a mom of twins who chose a lady who had no twin experience from a very large database of candidates at my disposal and she turned out to be an absolute gem.
This is what you need to look for :
- The lady must have worked with multiple children, meaning she can multiple task, not necessarily twins.
- Her temperament is more important, she should be full of smiles, kind, patient, energetic and have a good command of the english language. With this half of the battle is already won.
- She must have experience with toddlers, if you want to have her long term she should understand that toddlers are a lot more work than babies as they are more demanding.
- She should have first aid, a childcare certificate and a sleep course would be an added benefit. As the children get older you can add a stimulation course
- Does she understand how routines work
- Test on basic terminology, I have found when teaching a childcare course the childminders don’t understand words like “ swaddle “ and “ drooling “ this can lead to communication problems
- Give scenarios and ask how she will handle it, for example if both babies are crying what will you do?
- I found I don’t like a candidate that has worked in a lot of homes, they become spoilt and start telling the moms what to do. There is a fine line between a new mom needing help and wanting guidance.
- If you have other children always have a 5 day trial run to see how she fits in your home. An interview is very different to someone in action
What to do when you are ready to employ someone:
- Be clear on what you need, some families want a lady who will clean and take care of the children other families want a lady who acts purely as a childminder. A professional childminder earns more than a domestic childminder.
- You should start planning from around 30 weeks on who you want to employ. Register with an agency and start the interview process, you want enough time to not be pressurised into having to take someone.
- Remember you wont know exactly when your babies will be due and they may stay longer in hospital than anticipated, so rather give an estimated start date. Stay in contact with your candidate so that she doesn’t get nervous
- Take the time to check references, also speaking to the previous moms might give you some tips on what to do to make your life easier
- Always give employment contracts, I advise to start off with only a short contract of 3 months, you can then extend it if both parties are happy. That way you are not tied down if you are not happy.
You are looking for someone who shares the same beliefs and principles as you and who works hand in hand with you. You need to be a single unit and not feel like you are swimming uphill every day.
Remember that these childminders love their jobs and are proud of what they do. They want to make you and your children happy.