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Building resilience as a childminder

"It's the end of term working long hours. Ofsted had been recently and you have had everything from sports day to forest school. The children and families in your care are really happy and excited for the summer holidays. You work hard without many breaks and rarely have time to eat. Early years funding is still a complication and you have a list of observations to write and a few policies to review before your week off...”

Change can cause pressure, which leads to stress, low mood and low motivation. How can we provide ourselves with the protective factor to support us to be happy and motivated within our roles in the early year’s work force?

The Answer – Building Our Resilience

Fostering resilience helps us manage the day to day stresses of our roles as childminders and supports us to adopt a positive outlook at times of challenge or change. We need to build our resilience to be the best we can and to be happy in our working environment.

It means having the ability to bounce back after challenges, changes or difficulties. The different pressures within our role as childminders come in all shapes and sizes. Some are big such as Ofsted inspections or the loss of income. Some are smaller but with repetition can wear away the ability to bounce back!

What are your challenges, changes or pressures within your childminding role at the moment? How do you feel?

The first step to building your resilience is to recognise how you feel and put steps in place to relieve the worry, stress or anxiety that has developed over the term due to work pressures.

As a childminder you are a champion within our early years sector because you are always there and will pour your heart and soul into your career that ensures your families and children you care for are safe, happy and grow to have the best possible opportunities and outcomes.

You are naturally caring and always put others before yourself and continue to provide the protective factor through teaching families and their children how to be resilient.

Now it is time to think about you! How can you adopt some tools to create a happier and more resilient you within your childminding role?

Tools for success

  • Relationships - Build a network of childminders around you to support you at your lowest times. This could be online, at your local childminding groups or your local preschool.
  • Nutrition - Plan times to make sure you eat and drink! Eating and drinking regularly is essential to creating a happy and resilient childminder. We all too often put our roles as childminders before our basic human needs!

  • Exercise – Make time to exercise whether it is a stroll around the park, the gym or yoga. Going out to exercise and coming back into your house supports your brain with this transition, relieving stress and supporting emotional resilience.
  • It is ok to say no! - Putting yourself first sometimes and providing you with the space to build your emotional resilience is vital to a happy childminding business
  • Technology – Have technology free time for at least 12 hours in between one working day to the next and take one day on the weekend to stop. This means no emails, no text messages and no social media. It is so easy to work through your weekend such as finding ideas for the children through social media or texting a parent.
  • Mindfulness – Taking time out in the day to practice mindfulness can support you to feel happier, support you to be healthier, reduce stress and helps you to focus better.
  • Protect your home space – At the end of the day make sure your home is exactly how you would like it to be able to relax. Having an organised and homely space to relax in makes all the difference.
  • Take a day for you – At least once a month, do something that excites you, or go to a place you have always wanted to visit or just enjoy a peaceful day at home

Most of all stop! Tune into yourself. Listen to your feelings and what your body is telling you. What do you need to be happy? Putting yourself first sometimes benefits your business the children and families, but most of all you! 

Additional Resources

  • Take a look at support information from MIND around staying well in everyday life and in work. 
Paula Gent
Thank you for this advice and for recognising how easy it is to forget to look after ourselves. As a selfless and caring person I'm learning to say no more and more when I feel I have enough on my plate but there's always more I need to do to get the balance right!
10/10/2018 18:13:44

Rachael Relton
Really appreciate that you have made the point about it being on to say no. Unfortunately many of us have experienced the attitudes of some parents feeling they are owed hours/flexibility/unreasonable requests because they "pay" for our service. I am learning that this is my business and if you want me, this is what I can offer! Keep up the good work to all my fellow CMs
27/08/2018 18:22:44

Ann Manston
Thankyou for this sometimes things get difficult and it is good to take a step back and think carefully about our job!
07/10/2017 07:35:10

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