Fariba's story

Mum of two, Fariba, left a career in recruitment to spend more time with her young children and is now on the path to following her dream of becoming a childminder.

This is her story:

I’ve always liked the idea of working with children. Being a teacher or working in a nursery has been in the back of my mind for a long time. For about 25 years! When I gave up my career in recruitment after my second period of maternity leave, the thought started to resurface.

The long hours working in recruitment don’t fit with being at home with my family, so I explored other paths around the idea of working with children. To begin with, I thought of becoming a teaching assistant, but I found out that training was no longer available from the Jobcentre, and then I came across a childminding course via Xcite, a local agency helping people into the workforce. I got the Xcite details from Cedars Children’s Centre when I asked for advice on getting into working with children.

A business that fits around family

Xcite mentioned a course in childminding and it seemed to fit with everything I’ve ever dreamed of doing: working with children, while running my own business as well as fitting around the needs of my family. While the children are small (aged 1 and 3 now), it is the perfect time to retrain as there is no hurry and I can fit the studying in around them.

Persistence pays off

But there was one problem. Xcite were only funding the training for people who already in work (full or part time). It didn’t make sense to me. I wanted to do the training so that I could get back into work. I didn’t take “no” for an answer and kept returning to the person I’d been in contact with at Xcite, asking if she could please check with her managers to find out if there is any way they would fund me. Eventually, she came back to me to say PACEY could fund the course as part of a pilot they were running in my local authority. I was over the moon.

I have loved the Level 3 course: Preparing to Work in Home-Based Childcare, especially the child development modules as I learned so much about my own children and could put the lessons into practice straightaway. However, it wasn’t always easy to find the time to do all the studying with a 1 and 3-year-old at home, especially as I was on my own as my partner had to work night shift. It also didn’t help that as I was only at college for two sessions before lockdown, so it all had to be managed from home.

One step at a time

I sometimes got up early and went to bed late, finding time to study while the children were sleeping. I was worried I wouldn’t have the energy to continue. But I’m so glad I did. I’m really looking forward to opening my doors as a childminder, but I’m taking things slowly, one step at a time, so it doesn’t get overwhelming.

I have now completed the paediatric first aid course and passed. So now I’m busy continuing with the registration process and getting my house ready for my Ofsted visit.

Just do it!

My advice to other people thinking of becoming a childminder is: just do it! If you’re thinking about it, it means you’ve got an interest in it. Listen to that voice. It takes three months of study to get started, which isn’t long at all. If you think you will not have the time, trust me, if you really want to do it, one way or another you will find the time and it is so worth doing. 

One of my dreams when I was younger was to set up a nursery, so you never know, at some point, I may do that. But for right now I am very excited to start my own business as a childminder and see how this journey pans out for me.