Life has been hard for many of us, especially since 2020. Whether it’s losing a job, struggling in your current role, or deciding what to do with life after parental leave, figuring out the next step isn’t always easy. For parents who want to spend more time at home with their own children, but still work on something rewarding, childminding is a valuable option. When these four childminders took the leap, they thought about how to be a childminder, in a way that worked for them, and their families. Here are their stories.
How to be a childminder: Christine
Learning how to be a childminder can simply be a case of building on your own experience.With a background in childhood development, Christine saw childminding as a great opportunity to explore something new. She has a degree in Working with Children and Families from the Open University and a certificate of higher education in Mental Health, on top of 26 years of working in childcare. And bringing small children into her home nursery is extra exciting for her own daughters. When you are a childminder, every child in your setting becomes an extended family member.
“I aspire for the children in my care to blossom into happy and independent people. I want them to be learning in nature on a daily-basis. But I also want to instil confidence in them by teaching them practical life skills. Things like how to ride the bus, how to take out library books or showing them what a real-life fire engine looks like. I have worked in childcare for 26 years and most recently have been working with children with Special Educational Needs, including ADHD and autism. I am a mother to 4 grown-up children, so I have nurtured life from birth to adulthood, and know how foundational amazing early years care is for development. My younger two—both girls—still live at home and love meeting all the babies that I look after!”Christine, childminder with a home nursery in Surbiton
How to be a childminder: Rina
For Rina, learning how to be a childminder was intertwined with her family experience and her cultural heritage. She has a passion for healthy cooking and uses it to enrich children’s lives. Childminding is also a way for her to express her own interests and instil her values on a new generation of children. Rina has her own children too, and that valuable experience gives her confidence when planning activities and outings with the kids in her setting. The outdoors becomes a playfield of opportunities. Indoors is her creative space to shine.
“My home nursery is a fun and supportive environment for your small children. I have a particular emphasis on healthy home-cooked food and learning in the great outdoors. I have spent the past few years dedicated to raising my own two little ones. This means I know how to make every day a learning opportunity, and help children thrive. My daughter is in year 1 and my son is in a nursery. The children I look after are able to pick the toys and books they wish to explore and I let them be as messy as they like—I have fond memories of playing in the mud when I was a child in the Philippines and I want the same freedom—away from technology—for kids today.”Rina, childminder with a home nursery in Enfield
How to be a childminder in the best possible way
Many different people decide to become childminders, for lots of different reasons. If you’re wondering about how to be a childminder in the best possible way: just be yourself. It’s only when you think about what works in your life, and what you love, that you can make a career choice that makes sense. If childminding offers you a way to follow your interests and passions, and share them with little people, everyone wins.
Becoming a childminder is a great choice if you already love working with children, and want to do that in your own home, with more control over your time and your day. And it’s much, much more than simply minding children.
You will have a huge impact on the children in your setting. They will carry what they learn and experience with you throughout their lives. That’s why you can’t make the choice lightly. And when you do decide to become a childminder, you have to decide how to be a childminder. So who are you going to be?