I’m Michael Acord. Dad to Molly (13) and Dylan (9). I’ve been a childminder for 10 years, previous to that I worked in Graphic Design. My partner also works in Early Years at one of our local Primary schools. I’ve lived in London all my life and I love our city.
When our daughter was born, both my partner and I discussed the best route for childcare. I was working freelance and slowly, stopped working all together, spending more time with Molly, fascinated by her development, and exploring with her gave a sense of purpose and enjoyment, something which continues to this very day.
I was asked by a friend if I could help with a bit of ad hoc childcare with their son, watching those two develop made me question my job in design, and after talking it over, I decided to take the plunge into a brand new career.
I took the relevant courses, had my Ofsted inspection and took the step to become a childminder (although I have never really liked that title. We do so much more than “mind children”, we help with developmental milestones, we’re there to explain the whys, when’s and what’s, and sometimes we’re that Childs’ best friend).
I have learnt so much about myself through working with children. Watching a child find something utterly intriguing in the smallest of things gets me every time.
I have a great rapport with the families of the children in my care. I feel it’s so important to be on the same page with regards to the child’s welfare and development. Working in childcare is so much more than a 9am - 5pm. Taking time to talk to the parents at the end of the day, even if it’s just to check how everything is going at home. I feel it’s all important to have that bond, at the end of the day we are looking after the most important person in that family and I have been given the opportunity to help with creating a strong, independent person.
It’s wonderful to have all the families here of past and present children, seeing how they’re doing, hearing stories of school and friendships, adventures and I throw BBQs in the summer and Christmas parties at the end of the year.
I love being outdoors, and this definitely reflects in my practice. We live in an amazing city. Full of colour, smells, vibrancy and history, and I love taking the children out to explore it. Yes, we do the “main attractions”, but it’s also the “off the beaten track” stuff that we love.
(Mike is a childminder - 1000 Londoners - #260)
My passion definitely rubs off on the children, there’s no point in just going through the motions, if I enjoy something, the children see that and have more of an impetus to be involved. I live vicariously through them, their want to learn is an amazing thing to watch. Whether its climbing trees, making dens in the woods, walking on the foreshore of the Thames or pond dipping in a local river, we have so much around us that we can teach with, and it’s a privilege to be the one to show the children this amazing world.
By having enthusiasm for learning through play and adventure, we can help children develop into creative, forward thinkers. They will be the future, so by being progressive in their developmental stages, we can set a stage for the rest of their lives. It is easy for us to use the same routines for learning and play, the same playgroups, the same games etc but there is so much to take advantage of (and most of it is free), that all you need to do is pack a bag for the day and go get lost in this amazing playground that is our world.
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