Educator, Kim Chauhan, is training to become a childminder as a way to combine work and family life. Her mum was a childminder, so she has experienced first-hand the benefits of having a constant stream of children in her home as a child.
I’ve worked in state and private schools for nearly 10 years in various different roles including teaching, working with children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEN) at a specialist autism school, as well as teaching rising 3s at a pre-prep school. I have also completed a part-time degree in educational studies. I wanted to use all of my educational experience to work from home, so I can be here for my young son and integrate my work with my family.
Making a difference
My mum was a childminder until I was 10 years old, so I was brought up with children in our home. Some of the children have kept in touch with her. She made a difference to their lives and they felt part of our family. I want that experience for myself and my family. It was a very positive thing for me and my sister.
I was already thinking about becoming a childminder but when I met Kate North, a development worker from PACEY, she really helped me by talking through the steps I needed to take. I’m now on a course in home-based childcare. The tutor is very helpful. She says that they aren’t there to trip us up, but to support us so that we can pass the course.
The course has helped me to discuss my experiences in a school setting and think about how they would play out in a home setting. Usually in a school or nursery, I’d be dealing with issues collaboratively, but with childminding, I have to think about how I’d deal with things on my own in my house. Now I’ve been attending the course, I have contact numbers of organisations that will be able to give me help and support if I needed it, such as PACEY, Ofsted, children’s services as well as more specialist services.
It’s not easy to fit the homework in when I have a small son too, but I try to focus, ask questions and really understand what everything means when I’m in the class, so it’s not too bewildering at home. As course participants, we’re all in a WhatsApp group together, so we can ask each other questions and offer support. It’s really helpful having a network of people going through the same thing.
I’ve also been thinking of the practicalities, and how to balance the needs of other children with my own son. I’ve no idea how old the children will be, so I’m considering whether I’ll need a double buggy and the logistics of how I’ll manage to get out and about with a small group of children. I’m confident I’ll manage, but the course has been vital in giving me space to think through all the issues.
Once I’ve finished the home-based childcare course, I’ll need to do first aid and safeguarding training and be checked by Ofsted. Then I’ll be ready to go forward with the plan of becoming a childminder. I’m excited about it. I’m looking forward to putting a routine in place, to using my teaching skills and knowledge of learning through play and to being creative and planning activities the children will enjoy. And I’m really looking forward to having fun with them all!