Childminding can be a hugely rewarding and interesting career. In order to look after children at your own home who are under the age of 8 and not blood relatives, you must join the National Childminding Association and be prepared to be inspected by Ofsted; there is a joining fee, however grants are available to cover this cost. In addition to this you must hold a valid certificate in paediatric first aid and should undergo a course in caring for children in a home environment. Once you have fulfilled these requirements, as a registered member of the National Childminding Association, you will be able to be your own boss and therefore choose where and when you work, as well as who you work with. Registered childminders can choose to work independently or join a childminders network; the latter allows them to get together with other childminders to share tips and get involved in group activities as well as allowing them greater access to resources and training.
Why Be a Childminder?
There are many advantages to pursuing a career in child minding; first and foremost, watching children in your care grow, learn new skills and develop their own personality is extremely rewarding and gives you a huge sense of achievement. Children offer a lot of love and the bonds that you form will be strong and lasting. This job is different to any other job; no two days are the same, one day you could be teaching a child to swim, the next you could be showing them the animals at the zoo. In practical terms, childminding is also extremely flexible and works around your timetable rather than you being expected to be at work from 9 o’clock in the morning until 5 o’clock in the evening each day.
Typically, a day in the life as a childminder involves dropping children off at school or a club and collecting children later in the day, providing meals, snacks and drinks throughout the day and arranging a suitable variety of activities to keep children stimulated and amused during the course of the day; this may include going out to the library or a play area or may simply be doing some drawing or reading at home. Childminders usually work during the week until the child’s parents come home from school but many also choose to work evenings and weekends.