Childminding vs Fostering: Pros and Cons

Childminding and fostering can both be very rewarding, offering you the chance to spend time caring for children and trying to bring the best out of them. However, they are very different experiences with different challenges. If you are interested in caring for children on a more full time basis, but are unsure whether childminding or fostering would suit you better, then look at the pros and cons of both below to make the best decision for you!

Childminding

Pros

  • If you have children anyway, it’s a great job as they can make friends, and you already have the equipment and knowledge.

  • The money can be very good. People are willing to pay a lot for good quality childminders for their child, so if you fully commit then you will see the financial gain.

  • Unlike fostering, childminding isn’t usually a full time job. After your shift, you can have some time to yourself, whereas as a foster carer you are a full time parent to the child.

Cons

  • There is quite a bit of paperwork and training needed to be a childminder, but if you keep on top of it this usually isn’t a problem.

  • Although the children are unlikely to have as severe behavioural problems as foster children, it is possible that they could be badly behaved. It’s hard to find a balance to start with, but once you get to know the process and how to handle badly behaved children it will become easier.

Fostering

Pros

  • You’ll be helping a child in need. Children going into foster care will have a difficult background, and although it will be challenging, you will be able to really make a difference in a young person’s life.

  • You will receive foster care pay for fostering a child, so you will not be at a financial loss. By being given a fostering allowance, this will cover all of the child’s needs, but it is important to know that this isn’t something you should do to make money out of. Being able to provide a child in need with new clothes and gifts and providing a safe environment for them is what the job is about.

  • It will be fun. Of course there will be hard times, but these children are looking for a fun and loving home, and they will be able to give back too. You will gain fond memories of the times you share with a foster child, and their character’s will shine through when they feel comfortable.

  • You can meet other foster parents. There are many communities of foster parents with a wealth of information, offering care and support, as well as friendship.

Cons

  • It is likely that a child will have some sort of behavioural issue. It isn’t going to be an easy journey, so you have to be prepared for that.

  • You will get attached to these children, with some leaving a deeper mark than others, so regardless of how long they stay it will not be easy to quickly forget about them.

  • This is a full time job. If you need a bit of alone time you cannot simply walk away. These children need constant care and attention, especially to begin with, and so you need to be prepared for a 24/7 job.

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