Shannon, our newest childminder in Hounslow Central, sat down to talk about her adventures in childminding with us. Childcare has always been her thing. She’s worked in nurseries, play schools, and as a nanny. And she is no stranger to tiny babies either–her own son arrived earlier than expected, which has given her even more experience in caring for children at all stages.
“I’m a mum to a 3-year-old boy. I have been working in and out of childcare for 6 years. In nurseries for 2.5 years, and in a play school as deputy manager. My son was born 3 months premature, so I had to take time off looking after him. And I have been a nanny as well. So I have quite a lot of previous childcare experience!”
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Little but brave
Shannon’s little boy had a really early start, but his mum had lots of experience to draw on. It’s tough for any premie parent, but it’s clear Shannon’s love and care has paid off. And her son’s passion for playing outdoors has rubbed off–Shannon’s home nursery has a big focus on outdoor learning and forest education.
“My son’s really good with other children. He does go to nursery 2 days a week, but he’s with me with me when I’m childminding as well. He’s obsessed with cars at the minute! And messy play. Being outdoors, climbing frames, riding his bike… He’s very adventurous.”
“Children relate to me”
Shannon’s silly but sensible approach is a hit with children. Not a bad combo for an outdoor childminder in Hounslow Central, with all those green spaces to explore.
“Though I’m the most sensible in my friend group, I’m also adventurous and energetic. Kids are happy around me, because I’m silly. We genuinely have fun together because I can be like a big kid. They relate to me. I’m happy to have great discussions about Paw Patrol and things like that.”
Blustery days in Osterley Park
If you live in Hounslow Central, you know it’s a wonderful area for childminders. Big parks like Lampton and Osterley are right around the corner. And Kew Gardens is perfect for a longer day out. There’s no lack of muddy adventures to be had.
“We’re about a 5-minute walk from Hounslow Central station. We have a private back garden with a mud kitchen and small world garage, and a gated front garden. And just opposite our house is the local park, big and green, with a great playground with swings and climbing frames. And Osterley park is a National Trust park, with cows, horses, ducks and lots of wildlife. A massive parkland for the children. Syon Park and Kew Gardens are also perfect for an organised day out.”
Childminding in Hounslow: community around the corner
Great childminders like Shannon also think about other aspects of the EYFS. When they’re not in the park, they’ll explore the local community together. There’s a lot to learn about. A childminder can safely introduce so many aspects of the world to babies and toddlers. Shannon has a clear vision on how she does this.
“We have a library just up the road. And we go for little walks exploring the community. ‘This is the bus station, the train station, the post office…’ Children love trains! Where we live, we’re off the main road, so it’s really quiet, and we’re good friends with our neighbours too. It’s a nice community feeling around here. Everyone looks out for everyone.”
“It has to be fun”
One thing is abundantly clear—Shannon doesn’t mind mess. Her lovely home is a paradise for children. There’s a whole chalk wall to scribble on! And the garden has a mud kitchen as well.
“I have painted one of my walls with blackboard paint, so children can draw on the wall with chalk. Make the house a mess—it doesn’t bother me. It has to be fun. Children learn more when they’re allowed to really explore and express themselves. We’ll collect leaves in different colours, bring acorns and pinecones home and do painting. My son loves getting muddy, so lots of messy play too. When we built dens and rafts during our outdoor training, it was so much fun. I can’t wait to do that with the kids.”
Bring on the books
It won’t all be messy play, of course. Shannon and her little boy love books. Especially the Winnie the Pooh. Perhaps it’s because they are both little Tiggers at heart.
“My son loves Winnie the Pooh, so we have loads of those books. I also love Winnie the Pooh so much! I passed my love on to my son. And the Mr Men books. We have so many books in our house, we’re overflowing with them. And we’ve got Megablocks, cars, and musical instruments.”
When there’s so much to do, there’s no reason to make everyone do one thing. Child-led learning is vital in the early years.
“I think our outdoor session in the morning will be the big highlight of the children’s day. And at home, we could do two different activities. I want children to have a choice, so they feel their interests are taken into account. So when they go home, they can say ‘Oh, we did this thing with dinosaurs’ if that’s what they love.”
“Give them the kick-start in life they really deserve”
Childminders like Shannon really love working with children. Love watching them grow, and develop. There’s so much joy in being such an important part of a child’s life.
“The thing I’m most looking forward to is taking that journey with children again, because I have experienced that working in nurseries before, and in preschools. To give them the kick-start in life they really deserve, watch them grow and hit their milestones. Just watch children become little people.”
We can’t wait to see what blustery adventures Shannon and her little Tiggers will get up to!
If you are a parent looking for a childminder in Hounslow Central, you can read more about Shannon’s Home Nursery and enquire here.
If you want to get up to adventures with little people, and help them have the best start in life, you can find out more about becoming a childminder like Shannon here.
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