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Debunking childminding myths

Are you considering a childminder for your little one? Small group sizes and lots of 1:1 attention – sounds great right? But have you heard some things which are putting you off? There are lots of common myths and misconceptions about childminding. Today, we’re debunking some of the most common ones, and explaining how our home nurseries do childminding a little bit differently.

Childminding myth 1: nurseries are better than childminders

Although nurseries are the most common choice of early years childcare in the UK, this isn’t because they’re necessarily better. Both childminding and nurseries have its advantages and disadvantages, but childminding has been scientifically proven to be better for kids! This is both in terms of school readiness and wellbeing.

A childminder can provide more stability — you have one trusted caretaker, rather than a revolving door of key workers at nursery. In addition, it’s likely you can find a childminder with specific experience that may be hard to get in larger settings; if your child has special needs, having a trained professional looking after them can give plenty of peace of mind.

Childminding myth 2: all childminders are Ofsted-registered

Yes, Ofsted does inspect registered childminders. However, childminders can also be registered through an Ofsted-registered childminder agency.

Ofsted may sound more official but Childminders who register with an agency get more inspections and more support.  

Childminding myth 3: There’s no oversight with a childminder

One of the biggest plus points we hear about nursery over childminding is that there is more oversight from a larger staff team.

All childminders, just like nursery staff, must have a thorough safeguarding knowledge and often they’ll have an assistant.

Childminding myth 4: All childcare is equally expensive

While all parents want the best care and education for their little one, we know it also needs to fit within budget constraints.

Nursery is the most common choice among parents in the UK for childcare, and it’s notoriously expensive, it’s a little-known fact that there is a more affordable option: a childminder! This is because a childminder doesn’t have commercial rent and lots of staff members to pay, so they can charge less per day than nurseries.

Instead, childminders provide a home-from-home setting, with lots of individual attention and daily trips out to the local area. 

Childminding myth 5: Kids settle in all childcare settings in the same way

All children are different, so there’s no one size fits all when it comes to the setting they’ll be happiest in. Kids also deal with change differently, and many children find the initial change of routine or an unfamiliar face a shock, before settling into this new way of life.

If your child doesn’t cope well with new environments, then a childminder might be your best bet. Nurseries can be noisy, full of new adults, and of course have lots of children. This is often very different to life during maternity or paternity leave for a little one — so a home-from-home setting like a childminder, where kids aren’t cooped up in one learning environment, are part of a small group, and have a trusted adult on hand, is a great option.

A childminder is a more bespoke option too. You can find someone who has similar values, beliefs or home to yours, which might make the settling process for your child smoother.

Even after choosing a setting for your child that you think will suit them well, there can be some tears and tantrums as they get used to it. We asked our resident Childcare Coaches – what are their top tips for settling.

Kelly suggests that you drop off and collect at the same time each day. She says, “this will support your child with getting used to their routine. It will also reinforce that you will return when you say you will.”. Lianne recommends finding out what they did each day, and really showing an interest in anything they bring home — “it can really help a child to settle when they hear you showing excitement about their day.”

Overall though, their number 1 tip is to build a strong partnership with your child’s Early Educator. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, share news from home or discuss any concerns. Your child will be happiest when there’s some continuity between home and their childcare, and both parties work together.

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