Many people are of the impression that child minders just put their little ones in front of the television and leave them to get on with it.
Hopefully, my account of a typical day for me when I was a child minder, will show that for most this is far from the truth.
A typical, let’s say Monday for me would begin with my first child and parent arriving at 8am, before which I had walked my dog and set up my play room with age appropriate toys. Once the parent had left for work we would drive my children to school (my youngest attended a village school in the countryside so we looked out for tractors on the way.)
On return home, the second child arrives at 8.30 and soon after we set off to the children’s centre for a child minders drop in. Weather permitting we would walk, with walking children wearing reins and being encouraged to hold onto the buggy walking on the inside so they were away from the road ( see earlier piece on road safety) I teach the children about the importance of using pelican and zebra crossings to cross the road. If the weather is wet or cold, we would go in the car, ensuring all children are seated safely in age appropriate seats or booster cushions.
On arrival to the drop in, the children play and socialise with other minded children, while learning to share and turn take. The adults get a chance to give each other support and share vacancies. After being encouraged to help tidy away the toys, the children sit around a table and have a fruit snack, biscuit and drink, while adults get a warm tea or coffee. When sack is consumed we leave to collect my third child from his school nursery.
We then head back to my house for lunch, mostly the children bring a packed lunch from home. After lunch, any child requiring a nap does so and the other children do a quiet activity, like painting or play dough.
When everyone is awake and I have changed nappies, we either go into the garden or head for the park, where we feed the ducks, before playing on the equipment. We collect my children from school at 3.00 and then we have a story or singing time, before the minded chlidren go home, between 4 and 5. I then feed my own children and finally write up any notes needed for Ofsted and to help my planning for future activities.
As this shows, we had little time for television. I’m not saying we never watched it, as if monitored, I believe some programmes can be educational.
Other days I would take the children to toddler groups, family work shops and visits to the library, for story time or singing groups. During the school holidays I had more children, so we had even more fun.
If you are thinking of hiring a child minder, see my earlier post on looking for child care,
As always comments/ questions are welcome.
If anyone wants to contact me directly, do so by clicking here