A few months before I was due to go back to work, we started the terrifying task of looking for a childminder for Alfie. We struck lucky. Or so we thought. We found a lovely childminder that Alfie seemed to like and was available for what we needed.
Unfortunately, just four and a half weeks after Alfie started with that childminder we had a text message, yes a text message, saying that she could no longer care for Alfie due to having a bad back and she would be terminating our contract immediately.
To say it was a nightmare is putting it lightly. I’d already had to take that day off as she’d rang first thing in the morning to say she couldn’t have Alfie. Now what were we supposed to do? You can’t find a childminder overnight!
My first thoughts were of how much Alfie loved it there and how I’m sure he’d miss her. What if he didn’t like another childminder we found for him? What if he didn’t settle? How would I cope with work?
I was really upset, we liked her, Alfie liked her, he was happy, we were happy.
I wasn’t upset for long before I got annoyed. As things have gone on since that day, it would seem that not everything she has said has been true. Alfie was too much hard work for her and it was easy for her to use her back as an excuse. He’s hard work. He was a very active baby. Attention is needed all of the time. But that’s what babies are like!
The search for a new childminder…
The search for a new childminder was on. I love the Childcare.co.uk website. You can filter your search as finely as you want or need it to be. They have childminders, Nanny’s, Au Pairs, babysitters, every kind of childcare! We needed a childminder from 7am – 6pm, Monday – Friday, that didn’t break the bank and that would love Alfie just as much as we do.
I spoke to a couple of childminders, asking their availability, yes we needed something straight away, yes next week if possible! There were some who I just didn’t get a good feeling from and some that were very helpful and happy to organise a meeting straight away.
One evening after Dan had finished work (I had to take A LOT of time off work) we went round to see a childminder who lives about 15 minutes away from us. I was nervous knocking on the door, I feared the worst and I wanted it to be over with as soon as possible.
She had a lovely house, the kids that she looked after that were there played happily, or shied behind her because they were scared of Dan. He is kinda scary looking to a two year old! She answered our questions, told us about herself, what she did, how things would work. The general stuff you have to get through. We filled her in on why we needed a new childminder and what we needed and when we needed it. Meanwhile, Alfie happily played with the children and the toys like this was his second home.
Happy Baby Happy Mummy
As a mum you learn to go off your babies cues. This was Alfie’s. He was happy. That is, and will always be, the most important thing in the world to Dan and I.
We left, paperwork in tow for if we wanted to use her as Alfie’s childminder, got in the car, talked about it for a couple of minutes before texting to ask when could he start his settling in sessions.
There are things that happen in my life where I sit and think “Some things happen for a reason”. This was one of them.
We feel like this was a blessing in disguise.
Paula, Alfie’s amazing childminder, is a massive part of his life now. He is loving growing, learning, being cheeky and adorable in her house and with her family like he should be. We could not be happier with the love and care that Alfie is showed every day. Most nights when we pick Alfie up and we drag ourselves out of Paula’s house. It is quite a task to stop talking and get out of the door to go home! We both say how much we love her and how amazing she is.
We would just like to say a massive thank you to Lisa and Adam for being amazing and having Alfie for us so I was able to go back to work a few days a week. You guys are fantastic and Alfie loves you (and Immy) xx
Mummy Fox xx