A childminder is a professional who looks after young children for more than 2 hours per day in their own home. They provide high-quality childcare and get paid for doing this job. They can work individually with one kid or create small groups of children of similar ages.
Usually, the children are less than 8 years old, and part of the responsibilities required of a childminder is to support the child’s interests, introduce them to new knowledge, and prepare them with the skills they need before they move on to school.
A very effective method is to use a play-based curriculum for learning. Childminders also help the children to develop their independence.
To legally do this job, all childminders are required to finish a specific training course. They must comply with the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (when working with children up to 5 years old) and the Childcare Register (required for taking care of children from the age of 5 and upwards).
If you live in England, you can find most of the professional childminders registered directly on the website of Ofsted. For other parts of the UK, you can get in touch with the Care Inspectorate in your region. There are also childminder agencies that can help you find the right person.
It is better to use the advice of a legitimate third party, as they ensure a certain amount of knowledge, skills, and competency from the represented childminders.
As your kids will spend time in this person’s home, the association or company often makes a pre – registration visit to check the space of the childminder and make sure it is reliable for the needs of a kid.
They control the local authority planning department, fire and food hygiene regulations to ensure the health and safety of your children. Besides this pre-visit, childminders are regularly monitored by the local authorities.
When choosing a childminder, ensure that the professional has attained a certain level of knowledge, competency, and skills to fulfil the tasks of this position and take good care of your child.
Alongside the educational background, it would be an additional benefit to know that your childminder has gone through first aid training and a child protection course.
Want to become a childminder?
Besides all the legal skills and documentation required, if you are considering becoming a professional childminder, there are certain things you need to be aware of in advance.
- The demand for childcare services is high, as is the number of professionals. You need to be aware of the market and stand out if you want to be chosen. Concentrate on your training and take care to provide an excellent environment.
- You will be responsible for all the administrative work. Start by learning all the laws, policies, and procedures. Prepare all the needed documents and remember to regularly update them.
- Among the most important steps is to ensure you are on top of all health and safety requirements. You need to be in compliance with all legislation. As an example, check out Safer Food Better Business for Childminders and EU allergy legislation. Make regular risk checks and be aware of the potential for strange behaviour due to the specific age of the kid.
- Provide good nutrition to the children you look after. You need to discuss this topic with the parents. The best practice is to provide them with information about the daily menu in advance.
- Be aware that you need to continue your own professional development with regular courses and training. Oftentimes, you should sacrifice your free time in order to participate in weekend workshops or study for a new degree.
- It is important to build a good relationship with the parents in order to win their trust. Also, it is an advantage to build a strong network in the local community to provide a better experience for the kids and help them build their communication skills by your example.
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