People Who Help Us In The Early Years


By: Karen Dennis From The Next Best Thing To Mummy

When I was working as a registered child minder, I did a topic on the theme of people who help us.

We went on a visit to the local fire station, with some other child minders and their children; this was arranged by the leader of our child minding network.

We were all given a talk about fire and how to prevent it, plus the children were given stickers and colouring sheets, we were then shown around the fire station. The children were allowed inside the fire engine and tried on some firefighter helmets. One of my youngest children was afraid of the noise that the fireman’s hose made when he did a demonstration, until I managed to comfort her.

The children then volunteered me to go up on the extension ladder with a fireman; I declined the offer ( much to their disappointment) because I am not good with heights. Afterwards several of the child minders asked why I would turn down the chance of getting close to a fireman? As my ex-husband was a retained firefighter they don’t have the same attraction to me, as most woman seem to have!

A fireman also visited a family workshop group that I attended with the children, where he explained what we should do in the case of a fire.

I think that most fire stations are happy to offer visits to groups, or let groups visit them- so it may be worth getting together with other child minders to arrange this.

Most children are familiar with the police from seeing and hearing a police car speed by. A few years ago I was reading a book to a child who I didn’t know very well, when a police car pulled up outside, as the officer got out of his car, the little girl was afraid and asked me to make him go away. I tried to reassure her saying that she had nothing to worry about as the police are our friends, No they are not she insisted, I don’t like them, ( I could only guess that this child or a member of her family had had an unpleasant experience with the police). As the policeman got back in his car he waved to us before driving away, the child then relaxed and went back to enjoying our story.

I think that most children understand that nurses and doctors are here to help us, although sometimes they may have to hurt us a little in doing so.

My youngest son was excited about starting school; as the youngest of 4 boys, he thought that going to school would make him ‘big’ like his older brothers. I told him that before he could go to school he would have to have a vaccination from a nurse- he was okay about this, until she poked him with the needle and he gave her a hard stare and told her “That hurt me!”

I also took the children to the library to look for books about people who help us and I had posters on display on my playroom wall of these people. I also displayed a few photos that I took of our fire station visit, which my Ofsted inspector asked about when she visited.

I had taught my own children how to dial 999 in the case of an emergency and the child minded children knew that my first aid box was the one with the red cross next to the biscuit tin in the kitchen cupboard ( this was in case I needed a child to pass me the first aid box , while I was seeing to an injured child). Thankfully this was never needed.

As always comments, which I love to read and questions are welcome.

Until next time.