Caroline's story

Caroline from Cambridgeshire worked as a teacher for 12 years but decided on a career change and hasn’t looked back. She has been a registered childminder now for over three years and (alongside her own two children) cares for children aged 0-9. She says “I love the interactions and friendships that develop between the different aged children and how they look after each other as though they are one family”.

I care for a funded two year old child who has been adopted into a same sex family. She had been attending a private nursery but her parents weren't happy about how she was getting on there and chose a childminder for a smaller and more personal care/learning environment.

The child had a very good level of language when she started with me - in both understanding and speaking (above that of her age). She was also on track in all other prime areas although 'making relationships' and 'managing feelings and behaviour' were perhaps areas that required a bit more focus.  She is a sensitive child who makes very strong bonds with other children. Managing the emotions that surround having friends and relationships with both adults and children is something I have used funding to purchase resources for. 

Role play activities have played a big part in my planning. Dolls that are used as 'babies', a buggy for acting out every day things that families do such as going to the park, to a friend’s house, to the doctors etc. Role play that sometimes involves a Mummy and a Daddy and other times that involve two Mummies for example - play that demonstrates all family arrangements are a normal way of life but that there are differences between some families. A play kitchen for role play activities such as making dinner and it also acts as a shop. A doctors set for doctor and hospital role play as well as dressing up items (that this child particularly enjoys doing). I look after have three girls of similar age so a lot of these role play games are played together in free play time. The dynamics of play is often where I intervene to help solve conflicts and to help the child to learn about sharing as well as listening to everyone's ideas.

My childminding setting has enabled me to give parents more detailed feedback about the child's day, to regularly send them photographs of her activities and to work together on strategies for dealing with her emotions. The parents sent me a link to a model called PACE that they follow at home so that I can work with the same approach within my setting.

I believe the child has benefitted from me being able to take her out to playgroups (using Government funding) where she gets to mix with different children of different ages as well gaining confidence in exploring new environments. I have also used the funding to go on day trips and we have been to Hamerton Zoo, Hinchingbrook Country Park and Soft Play a number of times.