What happens when you are a child minder and you are ill?
By: Karen Dennis www.thenextbestthingtomummy.co.uk
I worked as a child minder for 14 very happy years, in all that time, I only ‘went sick’ once.This was because I had a stomach upset. There was no way that I could have looked after children.( not that I would have, because of infecting them) so I had no choice, other than to phone the mum ( luckily, I only had 2 children from the same family booked that day) and explain my situation, she was very understanding and said she could take a days holiday from work.
I was a member of the local Devon child minding association (D.M.C.A.) who had set up a network for us, so I knew of other local child minders, one, in particular, lived about a mile from me and we often got together, with our mindies, so all the children, knew both of us. She was my named child minder, in the case of an emergency and I was hers.
Being in such a group could work, in that, with consent, a child minder, could pass on other child minders details, to parents, if their child minder is ill, but this would depend on the new child minder having a space for extra children, of course.
I had 4 children of my own, who were also occasionally sick, if they just had a mild illness, like a cold, I would ring my child minding parents, tell them about this and  offer them the option of, sending their child, as usual, or keeping them away. I must say most still sent them! I wouldn’t do this, for more serious sickness, as part  of being a responsable child minder, is to keep children safe  and try to prevent spreading infectious diseases.
Another scenerio to be aware of is when a parent sends a sick child to their child minder, without disclosing this, I recall, one particular time, when  this happened.A child, of around 18 months arrived, I mentioned that she looked a little pale, but her mother told me, she was just teething.
An hour, or so later, when I changed her nappy, it was obvious that she wasn’t well and as she had quite a sore looking nappy rash, I suspected this wasn’t the first time it had happened. I contacted her parent and asked that she collected her daugter, she did this, but unfortunatly the damage had already been done, I came down with the bug a few days later, meaning I couldn’t work. then my husband got it, meaning that as he was self employed, also, he didn’t get paid. Then each of my boys caught it, in turn, again meaning that I had to put children off.
I learnt from this and made it quite clear to parents, at the first interview, which I have written about, in an earlier post www.karendennis1.wordpress.com that I didn’t accept sick children, in my care, other than a mild cough and cold.
Ironically, I had to give up child minding, due to ill health, a bit more serious, than a stomach bug.