Members of the Forest Childcare Association make a commitment to take childminded children on weekly outdoor outings to wild places. The outings take place year round, whatever the weather, so this is a big pledge to live up to. For those who take on the challenge it is mark of quality that parents and Ofsted inspectors alike will trust and respect.
When you join the Forest Childcare Association for £15 for a lifetime membership you will be sent a Forest Childcare Pack which contains information about risk assessments, permissions, and forms you will need, a membership certificate, the right to use the logo on your website and advertising material, and 50 crafts and activities for Forest Childcare.
How much do you know about what you’re allowed to do and what you’re not allowed to do when you are taking childminded children on an outing to the woods? [more]
It is a statutory requirement that the childminded children are ‘within our sight or hearing at all times’. Never-the-less I don’t know a single childminder who hasn’t at some point found themselves in the frightening situation of losing a child. It is at these rare moments when childminded children find themselves alone that they may need to know what to do about the problem of strangers [more]
Unfortunately small children wander off. It’s one of the most terrifying aspects of being a childminder… so it is important to have a real set of procedures in place for both you and the child to know what to do if they find themselves lost. [more]
Do you have a poison childminding garden?
Do you know which of the six plants pictured here are poisonous? Article also contains some plants you may meet while you are out walking. [more]
Getting Childminded Children Back To Nature – without Forest School Training.
Why you shouldn’t let lack of ‘Forest school qualifications’ put you off taking childminded children to the woods. [more]
The Forest Childcare Association celebrates its fifth anniversary
Promoting good practice in outdoor outings [more]
Follow on Facebook for arts and craft ideas and stories to inspire you
Please like my Forest Childcare Facebook Page and enjoy the links, stories, craft and activity ideas, poetry, photos and inspirational ideas I share. Please like the page to help support the Forest Childcare Association.
Free risk assessment forms for childminders
You can use these free risk assessment forms with examples to risk assess your Forest Childcare outings. Download the free templates plus list of what to write on them here.
Free “Litter Bin in the Woods” printable
What belongs in the woods and what should be thrown in the bin? Free printable template here with guided EYFS observations.
Free Scarecrow printable with guided EYFS observations
Use this scarecrow printable to explore pasta, beans and seeds in this guided EYFS art project to help children to learn about the natural world.
Free printable for after a rainy walk
Colour matching or counting umbrella project. Download the free template here.
Free sun safety printable
Here is a free printable you can use to encourage small children to think about sun safety.
Free Snail Printable for snaily-days
Free snail mark making activity with guided EYFS observations.
Buy a Forest Childcare Pack to join the Forest Childcare Association
Members of the Forest Childcare Association make a commitment to taking children on weekly outdoor outings. The information pack includes 50 crafts and activities with outdoor themes. All the information is available on the Forest Childcare website.
According to the Statutory Framework, all childminders must ensure that children have the opportunity to play outdoors on a daily basis. Forest Childcare goes much, much further than this. It is a best practice initiative designed for childminders who want to offer an outstanding service to parents and a wonderful opportunity for the children they look after.