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Here are some questions you may want to ask-

· What experience / training do you have?

· What activities will my child be involved in?

· How many other children do you care for, and their ages?

· What meals do you provide/sample menu?

· Costs

· How do you deal with behaviour management?

· What school/pre-school pick-ups do you have to do?

· Do you have pets?

Childminders will usually have a portfolio of documents for you to look through, including their Registration Certificate, Public Liability Insurance, CRB check, and a range of policies and procedures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your child.

Most childminders will also have references from parents who have previously used their service; it should be possible to contact these parents should you want to, just ask the childminder.

It is always a good idea for your child to have a couple of trial sessions with the childminder before the contract starts, just to familiarise the child with their new surroundings.

What will I need to tell the childminder?

Once you have decided which childminder to use, you will need to sign a legally binding contract, which gives details of the days and hours the childminder will look after your child, the fees involved, holidays and details of how to end the contract.

Your childminder will also need details such as-

· How to contact you (and your partner)

· The name and telephone numbers for an additional emergency contact

· Details of your child's G.P. and Health Visitor

· A record of his/her immunisations and illnesses

· Any allergies

· Any special requirements/routine your child may have.

How to choose a Childminder

It is important to visit several childminders before deciding who will best suit your child's needs, and it helps to have drawn up a list of questions beforehand, so that you can to ensure that you have put the same questions to every childminder you have seen .