Childminders are all too often misunderstood. Still. So we thought we’d set the record straight once and for all to prove exactly why childminders definitely are not educators… they’re that and so much more.
Just like a school, a college, a university, a pre-school or a nursery, Ofsted registers and inspects childminders for children aged from birth to 17 years.
Registered childcare providers, including childminders, have to meet requirements that relate to welfare and safety.
Childcarers, (again, including childminders) that are registered on the Early Years Register, caring for children aged from birth until 1 September following their 5th birthday, also have to meet requirements for children’s learning and development.
Learning and development. That sounds a lot like educating doesn’t it?
Providing the foundations
Childminders, alongside nursery workers, some nannies, and early years teachers, need a certain level of experience and a range of skills to work with children in order to deliver a the required standard of care and education. When caring for little ones (in England), it’s the Early Years Foundation Stage that they work to. The EYFS defines prime areas of learning, from communication and language, to physical development, to personal, social and emotional learning.
Childminders deliver this by creating an enabling environment in their home.
Not forgetting the planning, use of innovative resources, fun and learning through play. No mean feat for any childcare professional.
Talking of learning and development, childminders produce records of children’s interests and progress as they grow, learn and achieve in their setting.
That’s a whole lot of dedication and time given to write-ups, photos, notes and information to take in to help support and work with parents, show to the inspector and to help give children the best start in life.
Assessments and planning
In order to plan challenging and enjoyable experiences for children that help them make progress, childminders need to know the children well.
What they observe helps with planning and assessing where children are in their learning and development.
Pretty important stuff.
Fully insured and fully trained
It’s a requirement for childminders working from home to hold appropriate insurance – for their home, their car and any assistants or students that might work with them.
They’re also fully trained in paediatric first aid, CACHE accredited courses to understand child development, food hygiene, safeguarding and undertake regular continuous professional development in a number of other areas too.
Recognised by the Childcare minister
Childminders are pretty fundamental in allowing delivery of childcare for parents, including those that will be delivering the 30 hours free childcare from next year.
Childminder Minister, Sam Gyimah, after a visit to childminders in Portsmouth, said: “We want as many childcare options to be available to families as possible – and childminders are an important part of that choice.
“It was a pleasure to meet these hard-working childminders, hear their experiences and talk to them about what we’re doing to help them to thrive.”
It’s easy to forget that childminders do all this whilst running their own business from home. They’re responsible for all the things that come with being self-employed, including training, tax returns, health and safety and returning a profit.
Hmmm. Maybe childminders are educators and professionals after all?
This blog post refers to childminders in England only.