Ilona, a Koru Kids Early Educator, on being a childminder in Mitcham

Ilona, a childminder in Mitcham, has a real passion for childcare. With over 15 years of experience nannying and working in nurseries, she recently took the step to open her own home nursery with Koru Kids. We spoke to Ilona to find out more about what she hopes to bring to her home nursery, and the adventures her little tribe get up to.

Ilona at her home nursery in Mitcham.

“Opening my own home nursery allows me to do what I love the most: spending time with children. Teaching them new skills and seeing them learn and grow is so rewarding”

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15 years of experience

Ilona joined Koru Kids with a wealth of experience, qualifications and a real passion for childcare.

“I’ve worked in childcare for over 15 years, both as a private nanny and in a nursery. I’ve got an NVQ Level 3 qualification in Childcare, as well as many years of experience caring for children from newborn to 13 years old. I’m also a mum to my two wonderful boys.”

Ilona’s home nursery has a cosy reading corner, the perfect snooze spot and lots of toys to keep little ones entertained.

Being a childminder in Mitcham: exploring South West London’s green spaces

There’s a real emphasis on outdoor learning at Ilona’s home nursery. As a childminder in Mitcham, she has lots of wonderful parks and green spaces nearby to explore. Whether she’s taking the kids minibeast hunting, or they’re feeding the ducks, Ilona takes every opportunity to learn outdoors.

“Mitcham Common is just a short walk away. We often head to Seven Islands Pond in the middle of the common—it’s a great place for spotting lots of different types of wildlife. Streatham Common and its Rookery Gardens are nearby too. The gardens are a beautiful green space with lots of areas to explore including wooded edges, ponds and an orchard. We love collecting things we find outdoors on our morning adventures to use back home to make beautiful works of art.”

Mitcham Common: the perfect spot to practice flying kites, or build a bug hotel for local wildlife. Photo credit: @ichuhan.

Her Forest Education training means she can turn a pile of twigs, or a muddy puddle, into a natural play space for hours of learning and fun.

An emphasis on messy and sensory play

Ilona plans activities specifically around the development milestones of the early years age group. She closely follows the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage’—this is the same structure that traditional nurseries follow.

“We’re big fans of getting messy! Sensory play is always a fun activity and I use lots of different colours and textures such as rainbow chickpeas, spaghetti and foam to enhance children’s learning. We have lots of playtime on the playmats, picking from shelves full of different toys and I have a quiet reading nook in my house with a library full of children’s books.”

Ilona's home nursery play space
Ilona’s home nursery in Mitcham has a variety of toys for open-ended enquiry.

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A home away from home

Each and every meal served in Ilona’s home nursery is home-made and packed with veg to keep little bodies supercharged.

“I love to cook a range of different kiddie-friendly dishes including lovely lentils with sweet potato, mini cottage pies in ramekins and the delicious classic—spag bol! My menu changes every 4 weeks and we eat a nutritious, balanced diet. When we’re out exploring, I always have bitesize snacks at the ready.”

Ilona’s menu rotates every 4 weeks, so mealtimes are always fresh and exciting for the children.

We can’t wait to see the adventures Ilona and the little ones in her care get up to. You can keep up to date with Ilona’s home nursery on Instagram.

If you’re looking for a childminder in Mitcham, read more about Ilona’s home nursery.

Inspired by Ilona’s story and interested in opening your own home nursery? Fill out our simple childminder application form.