Childminding is the perfect balance

One Local Mum has found her perfect job, combining her experience working with children and caring for her own kids.


Gabrielle Cleeve has always worked with children, so when she had kids of her own childminding seemed like a natural progression, combining motherhood with her experience of caring for other children. Childminding has also helped her to be there for her own children through changes in her personal circumstances.

“I feel really lucky to be able to do a job I love, using my years of experience caring for my own and other people’s children,” explains Gabrielle, who has two sons ages seven and 12.

Gabrielle started her career working at Tadworth Court Trust in the school and home for children with severe learning difficulties. Even when she worked in an office she worked evenings and weekends for a children’s care agency. Gabrielle went from part-time care work, looking after children in their own home, to giving up her office job and working full-time with children.

How did Gabrielle make the move to childminding?
“When I was pregnant with my second child I started to think about going back to work,” explains Gabrielle. “A friend of mine worked as a childminder. The more I saw what she did and the satisfaction she got out of looking after children and watching them progress in her care, the more I thought, why don’t I do it?”

“I went to a childminding pre-workshop which made me more determined than ever that this was the right path for me. I then attended the workshop and passed. Once my CRB check was completed and Ofsted visited my setting I began advertising my service.”


“I soon got my first two contracts,” continues Gabrielle. “It was everything I’d hoped for. I really enjoyed working at home with my own and my minded children. I was thrilled to receive 'Good' with 'Outstanding' in certain areas for my Ofsted inspection in March 2011. The icing on the cake has been the fantastic reviews from the parents.”

Working mother
As a mother who has always worked herself, Gabrielle understands what it is like to leave a child and go to work. “One thing I always bear in mind is how the parents feel when they first come to visit,” explains Gabrielle.  “My oldest son went to a childminder at the age of one. I remember how daunting it was meeting a stranger and talking about them looking after my own child.  The first time I left him I was so upset all day.  But it soon proved to be a fantastic experience for him. He loved interacting with lots of other children in a home-based setting.”

“I have also found that childminding has fitted in around my personal circumstances,” says Gabrielle. “A few years ago the children’s father and I separated. Childminding was great because I could still work but be there to help the children through a difficult situation.”

Child-friendly Carshalton
Gabrielle thinks Carshalton is the ideal place to be a childminder. “I find Carshalton and the surrounding areas have so much to offer children and their carers,” says Gabrielle. “We have local childrens’ centres with lots of facilities for the younger children and a fantastic selection of local toddler groups, parks, libraries, farms and soft play sessions.”

Further afield there are great places in our area for childminders to take their minded children. “In the holidays it's so easy to drive or catch a train to London, visit museums, the countryside, zoos, National Trust gardens and the sea-side with the children.”


Gabrielle is an an Ofsted-Registered Childminder living in Sutton with Public Liability Insurance. Gabrielle currently has vacancies.

More details about Gabrielle, her qualifiications, experience and facilities and to read other Carshalton Mums’ reviews of her.

If you would like to discuss childminding with Gabrielle,contact her on Tel: 020 8661 9079 or email her at:

Gabrielle is currently looking for an assistant. She is looking for a local female who can drive, has a passion for working with children, is reliable and can work 8-5/6 Monday - Friday. The assistant would work from Gabrielle’s house and assist her with the everyday care of looking after children and babies. The assistant would attend toddler groups and come on outings during the holidays, using their own car to escort some of the children. The right applicant would be first-aid trained or willing to go on a first aid course. To start ASAP depending on CRB check. Please contact Gabrielle for more details.

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