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New qualification for home-based care

PACEY and CACHE have launched a new childcare qualification to boost expertise in home-based childcare settings

The new qualification has been developed by PACEY in conjunction with the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education (CACHE) to help attract new entrants to home-based childcare professions and support them in their work with children in domestic settings.

The CACHE Level 3 Award, entitled Preparing to Work in Home-Based Childcare, will be available from September 2014 and aims to equip learners looking to operate in a home-based childcare setting as a registered childminder, childminding assistant, nanny or au pair.

The qualification is also intended to help existing childcare professionals improve their expertise, covering topics from how to work effectively with children in a home-based childcare role to robust advice on setting up a home-based childcare business.

The course, taking approximately one month to complete, is designed to be flexible and allow learners to combine achieving a qualification whilst balancing work commitments and family life. Learners undertaking the course with PACEY will have the support of online materials and free PACEY learner membership when completing the work, which is submitted and assessed entirely online.

The qualification will be internally assessed using a range of assessment methods set by CACHE, and will provide a solid foundation for progression to CACHE’s Early Years Educator qualifications.

Liz Bayram, PACEY Chief Executive, said:

"We’re excited to launch this new qualification award and hope it will be successful in attracting new entrants to home-based childcare settings, as well as helping to support existing childcare professionals who are looking to improve their professional expertise.

"We know that thousands of families benefit from the flexible, tailored care offered by home-based childcare settings. Our members are also highly committed to their continuous professional development and this qualification award will help to raise standards of care at the same time as strengthening home-based childcare business models, both of which will lead to improved outcomes for children and families.’

Julie Hyde, Executive Director, CACHE, said:

"We are delighted to have worked with PACEY on developing this important new qualification at a time when there is increasing demand by families for home-based childcare. The qualification will not only provide opportunities for people wishing to set-up, or work within, home-based childcare settings, but also a good grounding for those interested in our Early Years Education qualifications.’

Background of qualification development

PACEY has been instrumental in the development of pre-registration qualifications since the regulation of childminders by Ofsted in 2001. This began with Introducing Childminding Practice (ICP) then Unit 1 of the Diploma in Home-Based Childcare (DHC1) followed by the development of the optional unit Understand how to set up a home-based childcare service (CYPOP5) which forms part of the Diploma for the Children and Young Peoples Workforce. With the introduction of the Early Years Educator in September 2014 PACEY decided to approach CACHE with a view to creating a new qualification route for anyone interested in a career in home-based childcare.

PACEY began by surveying a range of key stakeholders including local authorities, current and previous CYPOP5 learners and PACEY Associates. The aim of the survey was to gather the views of the current CYPOP5, assess what might need to be added and consider the merits of an award. The findings from this informed the development of the new L3 award in preparing to work in home-based childcare.

This brand new qualification prepares learners to set up a home-based childcare setting as either a registered childminder or for learners who wish to be employed in home-based childcare settings as childminder assistants or other home-based childcarers (e.g. nannies, au pairs).

The award will take approximately 50 learning hours and on successful completion result in 6 credits.

Although it does not provide direct progression, the subjects covered in this Award make a useful introduction to CACHE’s Early Years Educator qualifications.

The award is made up of 2 units:

Unit 1 provides learners with the knowledge required to work with children in a home-based childcare setting. It covers subject areas such as: legislation and regulation relating  to home-based childcare; safeguarding and child protection; health and safety in a home-based childcare environment; promoting equality, diversity and inclusion; day to day care routines for children; working in partnership; children’s learning and development; play; and the role of observation.

Unit 2 prepares learners to set up a home-based childcare business. It covers: leading and managing a home-based childcare setting; financial and taxation requirements when setting up a home-based childcare setting; creating a business plan; and registration requirements for home-based childcarers.

PACEY is delighted to be able to offer this new award as both a face to face and an e-learning course from September 2014. Our online course allows learners to combine achieving a qualification whilst balancing work commitments and family life. They learn at their own speed and even save money with no travel costs. Online training is the most cost effective option, however we recommend that computer skills are at least at an intermediate level to get the best training experience.

Learners have access to a range of resources online whilst completing this interactive course. Each learner is assigned their own assessor and their work is submitted and assessed online. As well as the online resources provided learners will receive an accompanying textbook. To ensure our learners have access to all the information and support they need to set up their home-based childcare business we also provide a 6 month learner membership which will give them access to the online members area including resources such as fact sheets, practice guides and sample policies and procedures.

Read the draft qualification specification on Cache's website.  

Nursery World has featured the new qualification http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/nursery-world/news/1145190/qualification-prepare-childminders-eye