By: Karen Dennis From The Next Best Thing To Mummy
For as long as I can remember,I have always loved babies, children and anything to do with them, including an interest in pregnancy and birth.
All I ever wanted to do, when I was growing up, was to get married and have children. I did get married, aged 19 and had two sons, when I was 22 and 24, sadly for my boys I then got divorced, bot I remarried, gained a step-son and had a third son, with my new husband, when I was 29. I would happily have carried on having more babies, until I was too old, to have any more, but, my husband, who was more sense able, said we had enough. ( although, secretly, I suspect, he would have liked a daughter too).
When I heard about child minding, it seemed the obvious choice of career, I had worked as a clerical assistant, for the Inland Revenue, before becoming a mother and had no real desire to go back to that and have to leave my children with someone else, while I was working. Becoming a child minder would mean, that I could earn some much needed money ( of which, I earned a decent amount, when I became experienced and established, as a child minder ) and look after my own children at the same time. When I first started, my three eldest, where at school, so being a child minder, also meant that my youngest had play mates, during the day.When they were all in school, it meant that I didn’t have to miss out on important events, such as, sport’s days and Nativity plays. It sometimes meant taking a few child minded children along with me, but we all benefited from these occasions.
I made the initial enquiries and was invited to attend an informal pre-registration meeting, to find out more. At this time, such events were oraganised by Social Services, but it is different now. After attending this and liking what I learned, I took the next step and a lovely lady came to inspect my home for suitability, she approved the house and left me with a lot of paperwork to complete, including C.R.B. Checks, for both myself and my husband ( my boys were also C.R.B. Checked when they reached 16 years of age).
Three months, or so, later I received my Registration Certificate, of which I was extremely proud and my child minding journey began.
I worked as a child minder for 14 years, achieving OUTSTANDING at my last inspection.
Sadly ill health forced me to give up, almost ten years ago, but I still have many happy memories, am still in touch with many of the children and their parents, and am proud to say that two of them refer to me as their second mum.
I hope to make a full recovery and one day be able to go back to this wonderful vocation.
I can’t say that I found anything about child minding a challenge, as I had a lot of support from the Devon Childminding association (D,M,C,A,) and was an active member of their child minding network, saying that it definitely helps if you are organised, as there is a lot of paperwork to get through and when I was full I would spend more time writing up notes for Ofsted, than I did with the children. I feel. I must point out that I never attempted to do the paperwork, while I had children present, but did that, in the evenings, after they had gone home. Having an inspection can also be a stressful time, but I used to look at it, as a chance to show off how good a child minder I was!
The best part of being a child minder for me, was that , as I have already mentioned, I didn’t have to worry about finding child care for my children while I worked. I have written on how child minding can benefit your own children in an earlier post www.karendennis1.wordpress.com
I would recommend child minding to anyone who enjoys spending time with children, You can read more of my experiences in other blog posts and in my e-book, also called the next best thing to mummy, available to download from Amazon shop to an electronic device.
If this has inspired you to become a child minder, contact pacey www.pacey.org, for more information.