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Personal and individual care
Childminders are able to build close relationships with the children and families they work with and offer individual support. They have the freedom to adapt their activities and routines to meet the needs of each child. Children benefit from consistent care from a person who knows their individual interests, needs and personality.
Childminders can provide a homely environment for children even when their parents are working. Children thrive in the familiar, friendly, inviting and relaxed surroundings.
Real life learning experiences
Childminders are able to offer a wide range of activities and outings. Children can enjoy real life learning experiences such as cooking, gardening, shopping and outings in the local community, as well as learn valuable social skills. Childminders can be spontaneous and make the most of the weather or other opportunities for play and learning.
Continuity of care
A childminder can offer consistency and continuity of care from birth right through to adolescence.
Flexibility and practicality
Childminders are self-employed and may be able to offer early or late starts, short-term placements or one-off sessions. They are able to care for a mix of ages, which means that siblings can be cared for together.
Adult to child ratios
A childminder can normally care for up to three children under 5, whereas nurseries and preschools may have just one adult caring for up to thirteen children aged 3 and over.
Childminders are required to complete local authority training, safeguarding training and first aid training before they can register with Ofsted and are encouraged to undergo further training on a regular basis.
As part of the Ofsted registration process childminders are given a medical check, all adults living in the childminder's home have an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check, and the setting is inspected to make sure it is safe for children.
Childminders are inspected by Ofsted and must meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundational Stage, just like nurseries and preschools