Click on a statement to see more information about providing a high quality childminding service which provides the best possible outcomes for children.
MY SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
I am aware of my reasons for wanting to become a childminder.
What has inspired you to consider childminding? What motivates you to work with children? Will this be a short term choice for you to fit in with your family, or do you hope to build a career and a sustainable business? Being clear about your goals from the start will help guide your business and personal development planning. Think about what personal skills and qualities you have that will make you good at working with children and their families. Throughout this journey you will be encouraged to reflect on your skills, knowledge and practice and consider how you provide care which enables the best possible outcomes for children.
I am aware that all children and young people have rights that are protected by law.
As a childminder you are expected to be aware of, promote and protect children’s rights.
You can find these rights at https://www.cypcs.org.uk/rights
These include the right for the child’s opinion to be taken into account in all matters affecting them and the right to play and relax.
I am aware I will be looking after other people’s children in my home and this may have implications for my own family
As a childminder working from your own home you are in a unique position to create a warm, loving and homely environment for children. If you have other family members living in your home, you will need to consider the implications of running your business from home and how this could impact on others.
Things to think about could be:
• which area(s) of the home will you use for the business
• which toys can be used by the minded children if you have children of your own (many childminders keep their own family’s toys in a separate area that the minded children don’t have access to).
• if you have children of your own, how will they react to other children being cared for by you (remember your own children will be included in the number of children you are registered to care for).
If you have older children or other adults living in your home, consider if, and how, they might be involved (they will need to undergo a Disclosure Scotland check if they are over 16 and on the premises, and if you want family members to help run the business they will need to be employed as an assistant).
I am aware I may be working alone with children and this carries its own responsibilities and challenges
Although you will be developing partnerships with families and with other professionals, the day-to-day running of your business will be your responsibility. Many childminders say this is an area they had not fully considered before starting their business. Many recommend joining up with local groups as a source of support, especially when new to childminding. Joining up with other childminders and groups can also benefit the children by enabling more social interaction and different experiences.
I am aware of the skills I will need to create a warm welcoming environment for children that is nurturing and stimulating
Creating a warm welcoming environment means considering your attitude and behaviour as well as the physical spaces and resource you will use. Consider the types of behaviour that will show children that you care. Being aware of your own skills and qualities will be a great help to you in developing yourself and your business. Start by noting down why you think you will be a good childminder and what you think you’ll need to get better at. Developing the skill of reflecting on your practice will be a good foundation for your future career. This means thinking about what you have done and what you could do to make it better.
I am aware I will be expected to keep children safe from harm and will need training and support in how to do this sensitively and appropriately
In providing the best outcomes for children you will need to be aware of potential child protection issues. Every child and young person has the right to be, and feel, safe and protected. Your role in this is to develop secure and trusting relationships with them, to be aware of any potential issues and to respond appropriately to these. This means acting in their best interests, listening to them and taking their views into consideration.
It is highly recommended that you attend training to develop your knowledge and confidence in this area before you start minding children. Local training may be available to you through your local authority or training providers. You will also need to be aware of your responsibilities to pass on concerns to appropriate agencies. Responding to concerns about a child’s welfare can be difficult and stressful. You should think about how you may feel when faced with this and who you can get support from.
I am aware childminding is a unique service provided in my own home
For many parents, childminding will be their first choice of care for their child because it provides the small-group care that closely resembles a family situation. This close, often long term, relationship with children can have many benefits for children’s development and learning including helping them feel safe and secure. From a secure attachment children are better able to grow and develop. As with all early learning and childcare, you will be expected to work in the best interests of the children in your care, ensuring you provide the best possible outcomes for them. While you will be inspected using the same standards as other early learning and childcare providers, your service will be developed by you in your own way.
I am aware of the need for confidentiality regarding the children in my care, however there are times I may need to pass on information if I am concerned about a child’s development or welfare
Under the principles of Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) children should get the right help at the right time from the right people. You will need to recognise what help children might need, when they might need it and who you can work in partnership with to enable this to happen. Having a good understanding of child development and child protection (sometimes referred to as safeguarding) will help build your confidence in this area. Attending training will give you an opportunity to talk through some of the issues you might encounter and where and how you can access support. You can find out about training from your local authority or childminding support agencies.
‘Getting It Right For Every Child’ (GIRFEC) is the national approach in Scotland to improving outcomes and supporting the wellbeing of children and young people by offering the right help at the right time from the right people. It supports them and their parent(s) to work in partnership with the services that can help them.
For more information about this approach visit; http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Young-People/gettingitright/what-is-girfec
I am aware I will have an important role in supporting children’s learning and development
Being a professional childminder is more than simply looking after children. You will form a unique bond with the children in your care which may last for years. Many childminders discuss the care and love they have for their minded children and how they have supported children in their development as they grow. You will be in a unique position to get to know the children and to support and nurture them in the crucial early years and as they grow and develop. You will need to have a good knowledge of children’s learning and development to support this. You will be expected to work with families and other professionals to provide the best possible outcomes for children.
You can use the eight wellbeing indicators identified within Getting it Right for Every Child to assess a child or young person’s overall wellbeing and identify any concerns. The indicators offer a consistent approach and language that can be used across organisational and geographical boundaries.
I am aware I will need knowledge of stages of child development in order to meet the different needs of the children in my care.
Understanding why children behave and develop in the way they do will be necessary to provide the best possible outcomes for them. You will be expected to demonstrate that you understand each child’s learning and developmental needs and be able to plan accordingly. A useful reference is Building the Ambition which brings together the Scottish Government vision for early learning and childcare in Scotland.
Other resources are available online or you may want to contact childminding support agencies to see what training is available to you.
I am aware that children’s behaviour varies according to their stage of development and previous experiences
You will need to be able to manage a range of children’s behaviours whilst childminding, some of which you may find challenging, especially if you haven’t had much experience. You are likely to develop a range of skills and strategies to help support behaviour. Think about how children play and the range of behaviours you might encounter. Reflect on what types of behaviour you would like to promote within your childminding business and how you might do this.
I am aware access to freely chosen play is crucial in a child’s development
All children have the right to play and this is reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Article 31 of the convention says “all children have the right to relax, play and join in a wide range of activities” (UNICEF
As a childminder your role will be to support children to play. Freely chosen play means children chose what they want to play, when they want to play and who and what they want to play with. This aspect of play is crucial in their development and learning as these experiences will help them develop a range of skills.
My World Outdoors
A useful document to learn more about quality play is available from Best Play http://www.freeplaynetwork.org.uk/pubs/bestplay.pdf
I am aware I will need to consider a range of play opportunities for the children I will be caring for
Play is crucial in the development of children and young people. Through play children can develop a range of skills and abilities such as problem solving, creativity, communication and managing risks. The key to providing play opportunities is to have a range of resources and spaces for children to play in and with.
An introduction to play can be found at Play Scotland
I am aware of the opportunities my local community has to offer which could enhance the range of experiences for children.
Think about what additional experiences children could access within your area. Some children may not have the opportunity to access to these places with their own families. By taking them to local resources you can help support the child’s sense of place in their community
“…my childminder took my kids to the local parks and library, something I just couldn’t do while I was working. They developed their own friendships outside the family. It was lovely to see.” (Parent)