Smoother and Safer Mealtimes for Childminders

From September 2023 the EYFS requires that children are within your hearing and sight while they are eating. However this is a really good rule to follow straight away so don’t wait. Here are my five tips for smoother and safer mealtimes. (Learned via lots of trial and many errors!)

ONE: Get children into good routines.

Start training ALL the children to go to the toilet and wash their hands before they eat. You should already be helping children wash their hands before they eat so it shouldn’t be too hard to add an extra step if necessary. Make sure you plan in lots of time for this, especially at first, it may take longer than you think but it will be worth it!

It is good for the children to learn simple routines such as this and seeing older children go to the toilet while hopefully inspire the younger children when it comes to their turn to potty train. (There’s nothing like a bit of gentle ‘peer pressure,’ even if you are only two!) Making sure everyone has gone to the toilet before you eat will also reduce the chance of someone needing it halfway through your meal.

Obviously babies and very young children will not be at the ‘go to the toilet’ stage yet but they can start learning how to wash their hands properly. I use a poster with simplified steps as a visual prompt for very young children so they can practise while I support them.

TWO: Get everything ready before you sit down. (This is harder than it looks – I know from experience! Don’t worry if it takes a few goes to get into a routine.)

Make sure you have everything you will need before you sit. Will you need a jug of water? Flannels or a cloth for spills or sticky hands? Tissues for runny noses? If you have lots of children invest in an apron with a large pocket that you can pop things in so they are handy when you need them.

Don’t forget something for you to eat and drink too, even if it is only something small if you like to eat the majority of your meal later. This helps you model things like good manners and will help you feel better and more rested too.

THREE: Have a useful distraction for early finishers.

It happens to us all! You have one child that has eaten everything before you have barely put the plate down and another one that can take an hour to eat half a sandwich. Children should be encouraged to start to sit and wait for others to finish eating but this can be a big ask for some little ones! I find it really helpful to have a copy of the book we are concentrating on, (currently Goldilocks and the Three Bears,) so that I can read it to the children while they eat, or I can give it to early finishers to look at the pictures.

FOUR: Make sure you plan meal times around drop off and pick up times.

The last thing you need is parents arriving in the middle of your mealtimes and disrupting everything. Plan when you have your mealtimes so that you have time for each child to finish calmly before you have to answer the door to parents. It can be really helpful to share the times you have your meals with parents and tell them that you are unable to answer the door during those times. Then stick to your guns! After all it is for their child’s benefit and safety that you are doing this.

FIVE: Train children to expect the unexpected. You cannot plan for every eventuality. Sooner or later something will happen that you do not expect. If something happens that means that you must leave the children to attend quickly to an emergency but will be unable to see them then move their food somewhere where they cannot reach it while you attend to the emergency. You can practise this with the children so they get the idea that they will get their food back. (For example if you are practising tip TWO, forget something you need and have to pop into another room to get it.) However, remember an upset child is far better than a child being injured or worse if you cannot see them choking.

Written 24/07/2023

Do you have any more tips for safe and smooth mealtimes? Share them in the comments below.


You may also like:

Safeguarding for Childminders

Making sure children are safe at mealtimes is just one of the things that you must do to ensure that you are following all the EYFS safeguarding requirements. If you would like some support with this I recommend the NEW 3 in 1 safeguarding pack for childminders. This pack contains three useful tools in one pack. An editable safeguarding policy, 40 multiple choice safeguarding questions and a safeguarding audit list. You can find out more by following the link below:

If you enjoyed this blog and would like more helpful advice, tips, news and ideas please sign up for my FREE Childminding Best Practice newsletter. To sign up please go to the sign up page here:

Why not get the children involved with some health and safety topics too?

Health and Safety Activities for Childminders

As a childminder you have a choice about what activities you do with the children you look after so why not do some topics that could really make a difference to their lives? Taking the time to explore topics like healthy eating, making friends, sun safety, oral health, fire and road safety will not only really help the children, but it will make you feel that you are doing something truly valuable with the time you are spending with them. The ‘Be Safe Be Healthy,’ pack is a collection of 14 mini printable packs with resources to help childminders to teach 14 health and safety topics to 2-5 year old children. 

Childminding Best Practice Newsletter 11th July 2023

Note: The company I normally send out the weekly newsletters with is having issues this week meaning I cannot send out this email the normal way. So that no-one misses out I am sharing it here instead. Please share this with anyone you know as they may also normally receive the newsletter and may be wondering where it is!

Thank you,

Jennifer x


Childminding Best Practice Newsletter

11th of July 2023

Ofsted Change coming? Plus, New Funding Rates News

The Head of Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, is leaving at the end of this year. It is not yet known who will replace her but I suspect that more changes will accompany whoever takes her place as they will want to make their own mark.

Should childminders, worry about this? Those of you who, like me, have been involved in childcare or education for a long time will have seen trends come and go. (Does anyone remember the craze for having windmills in the garden?!) However the fundamentals of what children need to learn and grow, remain the same.

One of the things that are really important to understand are the Characteristics of Effective Learning, (also know as the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning.) It is a requirement of the EYFS to understand these and promote them with the children in your care.

Helping children develop the Characteristics of Effective Learning does not have to be complicated or expensive. Traditional activities such as completing jigsaws or building things with bricks are simple and effective and can be easy for parents to provide at home too. Practice observing children and see if you can work out how they are ‘planning and exploring,’ ‘actively learning,’ and ‘thinking creatively and critically.’

Start by having a go at this sample 10 minute CPD activity from a ‘Childminding Best Practice Club’ toolkit:

Don’t forget to involve parents. You can do this informally by talking about which characteristics their child has shown during the day, or on a more formal basis. If you use the ‘Super Summative Assessment and Gap Tracker Kit,’ you will notice that there is a section for your to report to parents about their child’s developing COEL. The ‘Progress Check at Age Two‘ pack also includes a template for reporting on the Characteristics so you may find it useful to sit down with the parent and talk about them as part of your review meeting. (If you find dealing with parents tricky I recommend the ‘Partnership with Parents’ Pack.If you would like a copy I’ll put a link at the end of this newsletter for you.)

You will find short guides to the COEL in both the ‘Birth to Five Matters,’ and the ‘Development Matters’ documents but for a easy to understand guide for childminders I recommend the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning Pack‘ which has activity ideas, templates and evaluation resources as well as practical guides to what the COEL actually mean for childminders.

To find links to these documents plus links to other essential documents bookmark the official documents links page from the Childminding Best Practice website:

In other news the Department of Education has now confirmed the new funding rates. From September, these will increase to an average of £5.62 for three and four-year-olds and £7.95 for two-year-olds.

If you are not yet registered to accept funded children it is a good time to start looking into it, rather than having to do it in a rush when (if!) the proposed changes to funding come into place. You do not necessarily have to do anything yet but having the correct information will help you make informed decisions. If you have not accepted funded children before you may not have realised that you get more money for two year olds. However it is really important to check rates with your local council as although we are used to seeing the ‘headline’ rate they can vary widely from area to area.

You may also like:

Check you have all the essentials in place, including the absolute nitty gritty of the Characteristics of Effective Learning with Ultimate Childminding Checklist.

Develop a professional relationship with parents with help from the ‘Partnership with Parents,’ pack.

Special offers and deals:

Save £10 and get inspection ready with the Ultimate Childminding Inspection Preparation Pack, containing full versions of the 3 in 1 Safeguarding Pack and the Ultimate Childminding Checklist as well as Focus point questions for the Guided Self Evaluation Pack (and some puzzles to unwind with!)

Save £6 with the Super Summative Assessment Bundle Deal. Containing full versions of both the Super Summative Assessment and Gap Tracker Kit and the Progress Check at Age 2 Pack.

I hope you found this newsletter useful. Apologies for the unusual way of getting it to you all. Hopefully normal service will resume next week!

Best Wishes

Jennifer x

5 Nature-Related International Days To Mark With Kids

By Guest Blogger, Elizabeth Borley.

Written 23/02/2023

There are so many benefits to outdoor outings for carers of young children – both for you as a childminder and for the children you care for.

And there’s a lot to be said for familiarity of the same woodland walk.

But if you’re looking for new ideas to expand what you talk about when you’re outdoors, then maybe linking your childcare activities to the many international global awareness days will help you approach outings with fresh eyes.

Here are 5 nature-related international observances that are easy to incorporate into your childminding practice.

1. World Wildlife Day

When: 3 March

World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to be thankful for the diversity we find in nature. It creates a talking point for how we live with and interact with nature, and how we use the natural resources around us.

What to do

Who lives here?

Go for a nature walk. Spot minibeasts and find the habitats they live in. Talk about the different bird species you can see and hear.

Make posters of your favourite animals and talk about how important it is to look after the nature around us.

This is quite a well-known and popular event, so you might find local groups doing something like a litter pick that you can join in with (or why not organise your own?).

2. International Day of Forests

When: 21 March

International Day of Forests is the perfect moment to take the children in your care out to the woods! It’s a day that emphasises sustainable forestry and the management of woodlands as being crucial to well-being – something that Forest Childcare Association members won’t need convincing about.

What to do

Take a tree identification guide printable out on a walk and see what species you can find in your local woodland.

Make bark rubbings. Try to find the largest leaf. Talk about the trees that lose their leaves and the ones that keep them during the winter.

Look for evidence of things that live in and use the forests, like animal footprints and droppings, nests and minibeast homes. Talk about how we use the forest for walks and exploring.

3. World Water Day

When: 22 March

World Water Day is really close to International Day of Forests, so it might not make sense to mark them both in the same week with the children you childmind. You can always do an activity related to a global awareness day at some point in the same month if you can’t manage to tie it in with the exact day.

This event focuses attention on fresh water (so not oceans). It’s about raising awareness of the need for sustainable management of water resources.

What to do

Make a rain gauge from a bottle and put it outside. How much water can you collect while the children are with you?

Invite the children to make their own flavoured water to drink: add raspberries, cucumber, mint or orange slices to a glass of water.

Visit a reservoir or put your wellies on and splash in a stream! Talk about what lives in the water and how water is used.

4. World Migratory Bird Day

When: 13 May and 14 October

World Migratory Bird Day is marked twice in a year, so if you miss the opportunity to do something related in May, you can catch up in October! Different birds migrate to different places at different times of the year, so there are two moments annually for focused activities.

It’s a day to raise awareness of the need to conserve the habitats of migratory birds and the threats facing them.

What to do

Go bird watching! Find a hide at your local nature reserve and break out the binoculars. Look at library books that are a guide to the different species of birds and see which ones you can spot.

If you can’t get to a nature reserve, you can lie in the garden or in a park and look at birds flying overhead.

Draw pictures of birds, look at their flight paths on a map and talk about where they migrate to and why they go. How many countries do they cross?

5. World Soil Day

When: 5 December

Need something to do during December? How about marking World Soil Day?

Soil is essential for so many things: growing food for humans, sustaining plant life, as a habitat for worms and minibeasts and much more. The day is all about raising awareness of the nutrients in soil and how poor soil management strips out what is naturally occurring, leading to nutrient loss and lower quality food for us all.

What to do

The obvious thing to do today is go and play in the mud! Make mud pies and sculptures, splash in muddy puddles, dig holes and get dirty!

For a cleaner alternative, plant some seeds. Broad beans and onion seeds are good for this time of year, or look for quick growing hardy salad leaves like lamb’s lettuce. Alternatively, just ditch the soil and go for a classic runner bean in a jam jar or some cress!

You could also visit a local farm and talk about how they use the soil for growing crops.

Make it your own

You don’t have to mark an awareness day on the actual day. If it’s easier for you and the children you mind, find an alternative moment to do some of these activities, or create your own.

There are awareness days every month, so if you would like some new ideas for activities to do with your children that get them outdoors, take some inspiration from the international events calendars on the UN and UNESCO websites.


About the author

Elizabeth Borley is a member of the Forest Childcare Association and administrator at The Practical Forest School, a Sussex-based provider of afterschool clubs and in-school forest school activities.


Forest Childcare Association

The Forest Childcare Association is a best practice initiative for childcare providers who want to demonstrate their commitment to taking small children outdoors on a regular basis. By making a commitment to regular outdoor outings you can make a discernible difference to your children AND your business. When you join you will receive a Forest Childcare Starter Pack containing training information as well as business tools, a certificate to display and 50 Crafts and Activities to get you started.


Sign up for the free Kids To Go Newsletter for Childminders and we will send you best practice ideas, childminding news, EYFS tips, outstanding ideas, stories from other childminders, arts and crafts project templates, new products, and links.

10 Mistakes Childminders make on Parent Questionnaires

Last updated 15/02/2023

Sending out parent questionnaires is something that many childminders do. They are a great way to prove in writing that you are ‘communicating with parents’ and seeking their views about ways to improve your service.

But have you asked yourself WHY you are sending them? What is their purpose? What are you trying to achieve from the paperwork you are sending home and parents are spending their evenings diligently filling in?

Many childminders are making these mistakes on their parent questionnaires. Are you?

Asking “yes” or “no” questions 

Questions on parent questionnaires need to be open-ended, otherwise you are unlikely to gather any useful information from the parent. If you send home a list of statements asking the parent to circle yes/no or true/false then a yes or no answer is all the information you will find out. How are yes/no answers meaningful?

For example, suppose you ask a parent:

  • Are you happy with the quality of food I provide? Yes/No
  • Do you feel that I am helping your child to be ready for school? Yes/No

Then you force them to circle either a yes or a no. What have you learned from those answers? Nothing helpful at all.

Here are open-ended versions of the same questions:

  • How satisfied are you with the quality of the food and snacks I provide? Is there any way I could improve this?
  • Is there anything more you wish I would do here to help to prepare your child for school

You will learn a lot more from asking open ended questions than you would ever learn from closed ones.

Doing parent questionnaires for the Ofsted inspectorchildminding paperwork

Only use parent questionnaires if you really plan to use them to improve your business. While they are a great way to prove in writing that you are communicating with parents, please keep in mind that they take up not only a lot of parents’ time, but your time too. If you are just doing them to stick them in a file to show Ofsted then you are completely wasting everybody’s time. The Ofsted inspector doesn’t care that you have stacks of paperwork – they care about how you are gathering the views of others and acting on suggestions for improvement.

Not reading what the parents have written

I heard of a childminder who was marked down at an inspection because she couldn’t read the questionnaire a parent had completed in front of the inspector. The childminder couldn’t make out the parent’s handwriting and thought it was unfair. But seriously?  What is the point of asking the parent to fill it out if you can’t read what they say and don’t care enough about their answer to bother asking them to clarify? 

Asking questions you don’t care about the answers to

For every question you write on your parent questionnaire, ask yourself: what am I going to DO with the answer I receive? If the answer is ‘NOTHING’ then don’t ask the question. Only ask questions that you care about the answers to. Only ask questions that matter and those with potential solutions.

Making questionnaires too long

Parents are busy. Really busy. Just like you. They do not have time to fill in pages and pages of pointless forms for their childminder. Parents will feel that they are doing you a favour by filling in your questionnaire. They are doing something to help you. So you should treat their time and effort with respect by not taking up too much of it, by taking a genuine interest in their answers, by responding positively to any criticism you receive and by not expecting them to write too much or too often.

Sending questionnaires home too frequently

For exactly the same reasons as above, as well as making them too long, don’t send them home too frequently. If you want parents to fill in your forms properly, then about once a year is really the maximum frequency you can expect meaningful responses from busy parents.

Taking suggestions for improvements poorly

In business one of the BEST things that people can do is to complain to you about something. If one person complains directly to you, it is an opportunity for you to fix a problem that is probably affecting other people too. Sometimes it can be hard getting negative feedback. Try to remember that honest, negative feedback given directly to you is better than parents spreading rumours and complaining behind your back.

Filing them away without acting on anything

If parents take the time to fill in your questionnaire, it is important not just to read them but to have in place a procedure to act on the changes they suggest. Perhaps you have a self-evaluation document you can use? How will you hold yourself accountable for making the change?

Not feeding back to parents about changes you have made as a result of their suggestions

Make sure you have a method in place to show that you are acting on any problems, changes or things that need improvement that your questionnaires raise – one idea is to have a ‘You asked, We did’ board for example. If parents take the time to comment and suggest improvements they will be flattered that you listened and changed something as a result of something they suggested. This will make the parents feel happy and is a very professional way to treat people!

Not asking for the children’s opinions as well

 The last thing that many childminders do with parent questionnaires is to have a small section on them to gather the children’s opinions as well. I think the best way to do this is to ask the parents to speak to their children and to write what they say. Think very carefully about the types of questions you want answers to from the children. Like the parents there is no point in asking the question if you have no intention of using the answers they have provided to make useful changes.  

In conclusion

Used properly, parent questionnaires can be a great way to show that you are communicating with parents and acting on suggestions for improvements given by others. Remember to treat everyone’s time and effort with respect by not taking up too much of it, by taking a genuine interest in parents’ answers, by responding positively to any criticism you receive and by not overusing questionnaires.


Partnership with Parents Pack

The Kids To Go ‘Partnership with Parents’ Pack includes tools to help you to improve how you communicate with parents including sample open ended parent and child questionnaires you can use for your setting. The pack also includes how to extend learning at home, working in partnership in difficult situations, your transition programme, marketing your services and sample late payment and contract termination letters. 


 Childminding Best Practice Newsletter

Sign up for the free weekly Childminding Best Practice Newsletter and I will send you best practice ideas, childminding news, EYFS tips, outstanding ideas, stories from other childminders, arts and crafts project templates, new products, and links,


About Kids To Go

Kids To Go was established in 2008. Products include the Ultimate Childminding Checklist, and best practice resources promoting diversity, safety and childminding in the great outdoors (Forest Childcare).

How to burn out at childminding…. in 10 easy steps

Last updated 12/02/2023

I tried nearly all of these when I first started childminding. So now I want to share. If you want to burn out at childminding… really fast…. follow these ten easy steps:

1. Save all your housework and shopping for the weekends and evenings

All childminders should buy really expensive home corner play sets for their childminding settings but should never be seen to do actual, real housework around their houses while the children are present. Children should never be given real chores to do – they are paying customers, not servants! Children learn nothing from being asked to empty a washing machine and count out clothes pegs. They should certainly never be asked to help with shopping. Parents don’t send their children to childminders so they can be given chores like real children in actual homes. You need to do all housework and shopping in your own time.

2. Children always come first

It is really important that if small children want to speak to you that you drop everything you are doing and respond instantly to their request. If you are chatting to an adult friend or engaged in a task, and a small child tugs on your skirt or interrupts you, it is important that you attend straight away to the child’s needs. Never make a child wait or he will think his needs are less important than yours.

3. Assume you will be able to do everything you did before you started childminding

Everyone knows that childminding isn’t like going out to work at a real job, so there should be no reason why you couldn’t do everything you did before you started childminding. And to exactly the same high standards. You should be able to keep up all the housework, do the shopping, look after your neighbour, continue to be a volunteer school governor, and take your own children to every single club and class you used to take them to. The childminded children will just sort of tag along and join in or watch. It’ll be easy.

4. Do lots and lots and lots of paperwork

childminding paperwork isn't really measured by length

When Ofsted come to visit you they bring a tape measure and a set of weighing scales. The Ofsted inspector will weigh your learning journeys and compare them to Ofsted standard learning journey weights which are outlined in their Inspection Guide. Policies are usually measured on length, by the metre – the longer your policies document, the better. Paperwork is great for parents too. The more bits of paper you get them to sign when they start in your setting, the happier they will feel about your ability to look after their child. So make sure you spend your evenings doing lots and lots of paperwork if you want to really impress both parents and the Ofsted inspector.

5. At the weekends, keep childminding your own kids and never ask for a break

All childminders love all children. All the time. It’s a fact. Childminders are all warm and fuzzy and cuddly types of people who want to be around children ALL the time.  If you don’t feel this way about children, then you should never let anybody find out because they will think you must be a bad childminder. At weekends you should never ask your partner to look after your own children for a while so you can have some ‘alone time’ or some time with other adults. If you ask for a break your partner will think you are weak, a bad parent for not wanting family time, will suspect you are failing at childminding and will tell you to go and get a real job.

6. Never sit and read a book while the childminded children are around

It is well known that if children see adults reading a book they will think that reading is bad. Never, ever let a childminded child catch you sitting down with a cup of tea reading a magazine or a book. Parents and other childminders will also think you are being lazy if you take breaks during the day.

7. Never let parents think you don’t know what you are doing

Most people who become childminders have a four-year teaching degree, a PhD in child development and child psychology and have taken a night course in police crowd control tactics. Many childminders (or at least those of us who want to get the best Ofsted grades) spend their weekends doing open university training on early brain development, plus politics and economics so that we can better understand how to ‘narrow the attainment gap’ in the children we look after. With all of this training, people rightly expect us to know everything about raising children, so it is important that if you have had less training or less experience than this yourself that you don’t let parents find out or they won’t send their children to you.

8. Set impossibly high expectations for yourself

Before you even open your doors on your childminding setting it is important that you have weekly plans in place for the next 5 years for your practice. As well as memorising all the Ofsted manuals, you should read through every Facebook forum and all of the back issues of the Childminding Best Practice Newsletters. Every morning when you brush your teeth you should look in the mirror and say “I am like Mary Poppins: practically perfect in every way”. This will give you the right mindset to face every day.

9. Never ask for help. People will think you are weak and don’t know what you are doing.

Never admit that you are struggling. Ever. Nobody will ever have faced the problem that you are having before and be able to offer you advice or support. Every child is different, every problem is so unique that nobody in the history of mankind will ever have faced a childcare challenge similar to the one you are struggling with. Nobody can help you so it is best to keep your problems to yourself. Only weak people ask for advice anyway.

10. Never make mistakes of any kind

I saw a great bumper sticker once. It said: “If at first you don’t succeed, hang gliding is not for you.” Childminding is like this. There is no room for error. If you do something wrong around a child, it’s pretty much game over for that child. If you ever get discipline wrong, speak to a child in the wrong tone of voice, or (horror) lose your temper and shout at one, you will mess that child up foreverInstead of doing school-readiness activities, you might just as well do prison-readiness activities. Remember that if that child turns out badly, it will probably be because of that one mistake you made when you childminded them. So just don’t screw up. Ever.


Childminding Best Practice Newsletter

Sign up for the free Childminding Best Practice Newsletter and I will send you best practice ideas, childminding news, EYFS tips, outstanding ideas, stories from other childminders, arts and crafts project templates, new products, and links.

About Kids To Go

Kids To Go was established in 2008. Products include the Ultimate Childminding Checklist, and observation and assessment and best practice resources promoting diversity, safety and childminding in the great outdoors (Forest Childcare).

Communication, Language and Curriculum according to Ofsted- a childminder’s perspective.

Observations from the North-West Ofsted Big Conversation January 2023.

Introduction:

This blog was originally going to cover the whole Ofsted Big Conversation event. However, after trying to fit in all the information and re-writing it several times I have decided, to provide you with concise and useful information, this particular blog will just cover Ofsted’s main focus at the event – Communication and Language.

On the 28th January 2023, along with around 700 other attendees I took part the Northwest Ofsted Big Conversation. The main theme from the Ofsted section centred around communication and language.

Amanda Spielman, Head of Ofsted, was the first Ofsted member to speak, followed by Ofsted colleagues from the Northwest Region, Kirsty Godfry, Head of the Curriculum Unit who spoke about communication and language curriculum requirements, and Rachel Flesher, a Senior Ofsted Inspector who spoke about how Ofsted look at communication and Language during inspections.

Amanda spoke about the importance of rebalancing the curriculum to give greater weight to communication and language. She emphasised, that as far as Ofsted are concerned, spoken language and communication is the most vital area in Early Years. I can see where Ofsted are coming from given the impact of the pandemic lockdowns seen on children’s speech and language abilities, however I think it is very important to judge your children’s skills and needs yourself as not every child has been affected in the same way. I also think it is a mistake to forget about the holistic needs of the child. I have worked with children with communication difficulties, but this does not mean that the other two prime areas of learning, personal, social and emotional development and physical development, were not equally as important to their development. I am glad that the Early Years Alliance have been challenging this with Ofsted and the Department of Education.

The Curriculum for Communication and Language

After Amanda’s speech, Kirsty Godfry, spoke about the curriculum for communication and language. These are the main points:

  • The curriculum for communication and language underpins all areas of learning. This is now re-iterated in the EYFS: ‘The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development.’ Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage, Page 8.

(While this is true, I would personally also argue that all three prime areas perform this function and if you neglect one area you will find children struggling in the others.)

  • Your communication and language curriculum MUST be based on the education programme laid out in the EYFS. (The section under the Communication and Language title on page 8 of the EYFS in case you are wondering. You can find links to the EYFS and other important documents on my Official Documents Links page here:
  • Leave the teaching of formal reading and writing until reception. There is no need to be teaching phonics to the children. I would agree with this. The way phonics is taught can be complicated and can differ from school to school so unless you have specific training that matches the school your children will move onto and work closely with the support and blessing of the school I would leave formal reading and writing alone.
  • It is important to give children words so that they can express their thoughts and feelings.
  • Activities are not enough. This is the second time I have heard this new Ofsted mantra. Kirsty explained it by giving an example of a group of children playing at a beautifully resourced mud kitchen. She argued that a child without appropriate speech and language skills will be less keen to get involved and will therefore not learn as much as the other children. I do not necessarily agree with this. I had a little one with severe communication difficulties who would happily get stuck into any activity with their peers because their personal skills were strong, this in turn meant that I could support them with their language development as they were engaged and happy. Again, I personally feel, it comes back to a combination of all the prime areas. However this is the position that Ofsted are currently taking so be aware of it.
  • The difference between curriculum and pedagogy. (For anyone who has not heard this term before, pedagogy refers to how you teach something.) Curriculum is what you teach. Pedagogy is how you teach it. Your curriculum must come first. Put simply, decide what you want to teach and then how you are going to do it.

How Ofsted look at communication and language in inspections

  • Ofsted have laid out how they inspect in the Early Years Inspection Handbook. (You can find a copy here:)

Early years inspection handbook for Ofsted-registered provision – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

  • Ofsted will look at what it is like to be a child in your setting.
  • They will talk about how you decide what your children need to learn, what you do to help them learn it and how you know it has worked. (In other words, intent, implementation and impact!) This will probably form part of your learning walk. (Or learning ‘sit’ for childminders as Rachel referred to it.)
  • Your inspector will be observing how you use things like storytelling, role play, conversation and sensitive questioning to support the children’s language development.

Your Inspector will also be interested in finding out:

  • How all the children benefit from your curriculum.
  • What topics or themes do you use, what vocabulary you want the children to learn, is it age appropriate and how will you share this with their parents?
  • How do you encourage children to use new vocabulary and how do stories, rhymes and songs link into what you want the children to learn?
  • What are you doing to help any children who have fallen behind catch up?
  • Are you giving the children enough time to speak and practice new vocabulary and language structures?
  • Are you giving children enough exposure to new language as well as repeating new vocabulary so they can learn it.
  • Are children demonstrating that they have remembered vocabulary by using it in their free play?

You may find the Kids To Go Guided Self-Evaluation Pack helpful to help you think about these sorts of questions. You can buy it on its own or save yourself £6.50 by buying it with the Ultimate Childminding Checklist as part of the special Inspection Pack:


I hope you find this information useful. What do you think? Did you attend too? Do you agree with my points, or have you got another point of view? Let me know in the comments below.

Although I have included a lot of information here this is a very condensed version of what was discussed. As I mentioned in the introduction, far more information was shared during the event than is sensible for me to include in one blog. Therefore, please look out for further blogs about the event from me coming really soon.

The Big Conversation event has evolved since the Covid Pandemic and it is now possible to attend either in person or buy an on-line ticket. I opted to join in via the computer as living in West Cumbria means getting anywhere takes hours, not to mention factoring in things like childcare, transportation and accommodation costs, etc. I hope the organisers continue to provide this option as it really does make the event more accessible to different people. If you have always fancied taking part but find the travel part of the procedure too daunting then joining in on-line may be the way forward for you too.


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8 Things Ofsted wants childminders to STOP doing – by Jennifer Fishpool

Change is upon childminders again! The new EYFS Framework becomes statutory on the 1st of September 2021 and with inspections up and running again and now potentially only once every 6 years, there is more pressure than ever on getting it right on the day. But what about the long stretch of time that falls between inspections? With a six year gap it would now be entirely possible to look after a child from when he was a baby until when he starts school without any paperwork you create for him ever being seen by an inspector. So should childminders stop doing all paperwork?

There is a growing rumour that Ofsted have banned paperwork and some practitioners say that they are going to stop doing ANY except the statutory requirements. This represents a gross misunderstanding of the expectations on childminders. Before you throw the baby out with the bathwater let’s make sure we really understand what Ofsted is asking.

1. Stop ticking boxes on ‘trackers’ and highlighting copies of Development Matters

Trackers are the biggie which lots of people have been talking about. Ofsted have NEVER asked you to highlight copies of Development Matters or to spend hours colouring in boxes on individual trackers. Childminders should be focusing on providing a broad and balanced curriculum for children and one of the reasons Ofsted do NOT want you to use trackers in this way is because some settings were so focused on getting the children to achieve and exceed each one of the ‘statements’ that the children were getting a very narrow learning experience.

However, all that being said, don’t throw away all those trackers just yet! Many practitioners find them very useful and if that applies to you there is no need to stop using them as long as you consider their limitations. If you find yourself using them as a curriculum, a list of goals or next steps for children, or worrying if children miss steps or do not develop in the exact order written on the paperwork then STOP! This is not how trackers should be used. If you use a simple tracker which is quick and easy to use and helps you spot any gaps in learning or key points that may raise concerns, then great, this is a useful way to use this type of assessment.

2. Stop writing pages of meaningless observations

childminding paperwork

It is our job as childminders to constantly observe children to assess their development and needs. However, STOP making pointless observations that simply generate paperwork and don’t really add value for either the childminder or the child. If you know and the parents know that the child can use a spoon you don’t need a photo and accompanying write up to prove it. Think about what you really need to observe and whether writing it down will add value to what you already do. Let me be clear that you should not stop doing written observations altogether, as done properly and with clear purpose, they are extremely useful.

(If you are new to observing children and how to get the most benefit from it without it taking too much time look out for our ‘Don’t Panic! Beginners Guide to Observations,’ coming soon.)

3. Stop generating ‘data’ and ‘evidence’ in general

The new EYFS and Development Matters are intended to give you an opportunity to refresh your setting’s curriculum to ensure that it focusses on your children’s needs. You should stop spending time unnecessarily gathering evidence and you should certainly spend less time generating ‘data’. Data includes photographs that serve no proper purpose and next steps that are not followed up. Instead spend time creating a broad and balanced curriculum.

4. Stop assessing children unnecessarily

Stop doing any assessments that are not beneficial to the children you are looking after. Pages and pages of ‘next steps’ in learning journeys are not helpful. Especially if they are not acted upon. If you instead ‘know’ inside of you from your knowledge of Development Matters what comes next, you don’t need to write this out anymore. You are allowed to use your ‘professional knowledge’ of child development and the child.

5. Stop making learning journeys without asking yourself why you are making them?

Please notice that I did not say to stop making learning journeys. This is another hot topic of debate on forum discussions and many childminders are overreacting and throwing away their learning journeys. Ofsted does not want you to do this as long as you are making them for the right reasons.

So why make learning journeys?  Do not make learning journeys with photographs of observations and little circled areas of learning and development FOR the Ofsted inspector. They are not interested and may not even ask to see your learning journeys. These documents should only be generated for you and for the parents and only if you find that making them is helpful. Many families enjoy receiving them and you may secretly enjoy making them. However, many parents are perfectly happy with WhatsApp messages and you are allowed to use your ‘professional knowledge’ as long as you really do know where each child is at in his or her stage or development. Personally I think a balance is a good solution. I will still send my parents lots of photos as I love taking them and they love receiving them, but I will not be printing many out and will only include the occasional observation in a much shorter ‘learning story,’ to help me remember where each child is and to provide a lovely memento for the parents when the child eventually leaves my setting.

6. Stop doing unnecessarily detailed written planning you then don’t stick to

STOP doing any paperwork at all that has no use aside from the fact that you think Ofsted might want to look at it. For example horrifically detailed weekly plans that you don’t stick to. The new Development Matters makes it clear that it is up to childminders to use their professional judgment and knowledge to observe children and to plan for their next steps. Julian Grenier led on the revision of Development Matters for the Department for Education. He is clear that you should use Development Matters to help you use your knowledge of each child to facilitate holistic learning that helps children to make progress “without generating unnecessary paperwork.”

This video is a nice overview of the new EYFS and how it links to Development Matters with its goal to “improve outcomes for all children, especially disadvantaged children, and to reduce teacher and practitioner workload.”

7. Stop hitting the target and missing the point with the Early Learning Goals

The Department for Education does not want you to feel restrained by the Early Learning Goals and actually they are primarily there for reception teachers to assess their children against at the end of their time in the Foundation Stage.

The most important point is that a childminder should not write a curriculum plan around a learning goal because the ELGs are really narrow. For example, one of the ELGs under physical development is that children should be able to ‘move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing’. A childminder could read that and decide that since jumping is obviously important that they would buy a trampoline, but not waste their time with ball skills since those are not specifically mentioned. That is pretty much what the Department of Education does not want you to do with the ELGs. Your physical development gross motor skills curriculum should not exclude spending time doing ball and other PE skills

8. Stop doing anything ‘for Ofsted’

They always say this, but nobody really believes them. With inspections now every 6 years, of course you are going to want to get the best grade you possibly can at your inspection because you will be stuck with whatever you get for a long time!  So, of course you should prepare carefully for your inspection as you always would by being mostly ready for inspection all the time, by being the best childminder you can be all the time, but by perhaps reading through a copy of our Ultimate Childminding Checklist before the big day to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything obvious.

In conclusion, childminders need to think about what is really beneficial to support our practice (and this will be different for each practitioner depending on their needs.) It is about finding a sensible balance, not stopping all paperwork.  If you only have one child you may be able to retain all the information you need on their development without writing anything down but how will you share that information with the parents? You may have more children but have a fantastic memory and still not have to write down much in order to be able to confidently tell an Ofsted Inspector the ‘story’ of each child, but will you be able to spot gaps in learning quickly I think that most of us will still find keeping some sort of records beneficial so don’t burn those learning journeys and trackers just yet!

References

Burchall, J. (2021, May). Ofsted early education update . Retrieved from http://www.theofstedbigconversation.co.uk: https://theofstedbigconversation.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Ofsted-presentation-Ofsted-early-education-update-early-years-providers-Summer-2021.pdf

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Kids To Go was established by Kay Woods in 2008 and is now run by Jennifer. We provide childminding and Early Years resources such as the ‘Ultimate Childminding Checklist’, the ‘Childminding Best Practice Club’ and best practice resources promoting diversity, safety and childminding in the great outdoors (Forest Childcare). We also have a Facebook page at ‘Kids To Go’ and a free weekly newsletter which you can subscribe to by sending an email with the subject ‘subscribe’ to jennifer@kidstogo.co.uk

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What is new for childminders in the Sept 2021 EYFS Framework?

Lots of childminders have been asking for a guide to the new September 2021 EYFS Statutory Framework. I have done my best in this article to pull out what I think are the most important points for childminders.

The information in the Educational Programmes Section of the EYFS has been expanded

The biggest change to the new EYFS is the expanded descriptions of what is included in the educational programmes descriptions (ie the Learning and Development areas). I don’t really think this information is in any way ‘new’ or a surprise. But the expanded areas are written explicitly into the EYFS so you should use it as your guide when planning your curriculum. As a childminder it is up to you how you design the curriculum for your setting but you MUST make sure that you are addressing each key point of each learning area. Development Matters and Birth to 5 Matters are designed to help you to do this so make sure you read them when you design your curriculum.

Communication, Language and especially vocabulary have been identified as the most important learning areas

Communication and language are vital and the EYFS states that ‘the development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development’. The other thing that is really stressed is ‘extending vocabulary’ across each of the seven areas of learning.

 

The Early Learning Goals have been rewritten – but MOST of their content remains the same

The level of development that children are expected to have reached by the end of their reception year in school is defined by the early learning goals. As most childminders are not responsible for assessing the learning and development of reception aged children, the goals have always remained mainly in the realm of school reception teachers. Despite the EYFS making it clear that ‘the ELGs should not be used as a curriculum’, it is still useful for childminders to have in mind what the ultimate aim of some of the activities we do with children is heading towards.

Some of the key changes are:

  • Communication and Language: provides more focus on extending vocabulary
  • PSED: self-regulation is included
  • Literacy: comprehension is included
  • Mathematics: a new focus on understanding patterns

 

The role of self-regulation is recognised by making it an early learning goal

Children at the end of reception year should be able to ‘show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly.’ They should also be able to ‘control their immediate impulses when appropriate’ and ‘give focussed attention to what a teacher is saying’. These are all important parts of the characteristics of effective learning that you should have been teaching the children all along, but the fact that they have now been recognised in the ELGs shows the increased importance that is now being placed on the notion of self-regulation. It is truly vital that as childminders you are encouraging children to sit still and concentrate on tasks sometimes, especially on tasks that are not always of the child’s own choosing, so that they can practise a skill that is vital to their success in school.

Balance is the key. Your curriculum and how you teach it is up to you but as children grow older the focus should change from the prime to specific areas of learning and development

It is up to each childminder to plan their curriculum which is in a broad sense what you want the children to learn while they are with you from when they are babies until they start school. The new EYFS says ‘Practitioners need to decide what they want children to learn and the most effective way to teach it’. There are several key points here. Firstly, it is up to you to decide the right balance between adult led activities and free play time given to children. Secondly, as children grow older you should spend more time ‘teaching’ them and less time just letting them have free play. Lastly, the focus of your teaching should gradually move away from the ‘prime’ areas (language, PSE, physical development) and include more focus on the ‘specific’ areas (mathematics, literacy etc.)

 

Assessment remains important but physical evidence of this assessment is not

Before you throw away your learning journeys and the pages of next steps: STOP. The EYFS is still very clear that ‘ongoing assessment (also known as formative assessment) is an integral part of children’s learning and development. What has changed in the new EYFS is the emphasis on the ‘professional knowledge’ of the childminder. When doing the ‘assessment’ part of the planning – implementation – assessment process, ‘Practitioners should draw on their own knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgment and should not be required to prove this through a collection of physical evidence’.

Ofsted is making it clear that they do not want to see data. They are not going to look at your learning journeys with random snapshot photos and hundreds of ‘next steps’ written out because that sort of data is often meaningless. You still need to assess children and be very aware of exactly where each child is in their learning and development. But you no longer need to feel you have to ‘prove’ the observation.

When you do assessments you should:

  • Focus on what is useful
  • Establish starting points
  • Use the checkpoints in Development Matters as checkpoints, not checklists
  • Involve the parents
  • Take the attitude of inclusion: every child can thrive

 

You must promote oral health

The new EYFS makes it clear that you ‘must promote the good health including oral health of the children you look after. This is an addition to what was previously there and is in response to the growing problem of tooth decay in young children, particularly children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The basic message you are hoping to teach to children is that too many sugary foods are bad for you, and that you should brush your teeth.

Planning activities to promote oral health into your curriculum does not have to be complicated. Suppose you look after a child from a home where you know the parents very rarely brush his teeth?  You can make an enormous difference to that child’s oral health if YOU brush his teeth after he eats lunch with you. You are teaching him a skill he needs that will hopefully become a good habit. Furthermore, you are ensuring that his teeth are, at the very least, being brushed once a day while you look after him. And if you really want to do your bit towards helping him even more you can gently encourage the parents to help him at home, perhaps with a take home reward chart he can use each time he brushes his teeth at home?

Specific activities and resources for promoting oral health are available in my Be Safe Be Healthy pack.

Non-prescription medication does not need a doctor’s note

GPs have been finding that providers were requiring parents to get prescriptions for non-prescription medications. The new EYFS makes it clear that providers only need to have a prescription for prescription medication. So a child does not have to have a prescription for the Calpol for you to give it to him. Nothing else has really changed. You still need to get permission in writing for every medication (including Calpol) and you can only give prescription medicines that have been prescribed by a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist.

In practice all childminders should have both a long term medication permission form (for Calpol etc) and a short term medication form (for antibiotics), a written record each time a medicine is administered to a child, and a way to ensure that the parent is informed ‘on the same day or as soon as reasonably practicable’. While the EYFS does not specifically state that a parent must sign your ‘medicines administered book’, I think this is a good, tidy, more traceable method than relying on a Whatsapp message.

Are you putting infants down to sleep properly and safely according to the EYFS guidelines? 

The new EYFS includes a link to the NHS guidance on reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. What this means for childminders is that how you put a baby down to sleep while they are in your care is no longer at the discretion of parents – so please make sure you are familiar with the details in this link – there’s more than just putting babies on their backs.

Cyber Security for Early Years – are you doing everything you should be?

This page is full of practical information that childminders can use to check that you are doing everything you can to keep you, your setting and your data safe from cyber attacks. The site reminds you that “For Early Years practitioners, cyber security also plays a role in safeguarding the children in your care.” The link to this page was included as a footnote in the new EYFS.

Are you supervising children while they are eating?

To me, this has always been absolutely obvious: of course you must supervise children while they are eating – what if they start choking?  However, maybe not everyone was getting this, so this requirement has now been spelled out in the new EYFS. You MUST supervise children while they are eating so that rapid action can be taken if needed to save them! So does this mean that you have to literally keep them in your gaze at all times – what if you have to pop back into the kitchen to grab some ketchup. Please rest assured that ‘supervised’ is clearly defined by the EYFS. “Children must usually be within sight and hearing of staff but always within sight or hearing”.

Recommended menus and food preparation advice for early years

This series of example menus and associated guidance has been developed to support early years settings (such as nurseries and childminders) to offer food and drink in line with current government dietary recommendations for infants and children aged 6 months to 4 years. It also includes food safety, managing food allergies and reading food labels. This guide was included as a footnote in the new EYFS.

You should not vape or use e-cigarettes around children (or smoke)

The new EYFS makes it clear that as well as providers not allowing smoking in or on the premises when children are present that staff should not ‘vape or use e-cigarettes when children are around’ either. This addition is in line with Public Health England’s advice on use of e-cigarettes in the workplace.

Those are the key new points of new release of the Sept 2021 EYFS. You need to read the cited documents and make sure that you are following the new guidelines before they become statutory in September. 

Good luck!

Do you want to improve your understanding of the Characteristics of Effective Learning?

Promoting the Characteristics of Effective Learning PosterFor help putting the Characteristics of Effective Learning into practice including tools, activity ideas, certificates you can give to children, poster and display ideas, CPD worksheets for your setting, examples for your SEF and a setting checklist for the COEL, check out my new Characteristics of Effective Learning Pack for childminders.

About Kay Woods and Kids To Go

Kay Woods Kids To GoKay Woods has been writing and selling childminding resources through her company Kids To Go since 2008. Her products include the Ultimate Childminding Checklist, the Learning Journey Plus for planning, observation and assessment and best practice resources promoting diversity and childminding in the great outdoors (Forest Childcare). She is the author of the Start Learning book set published by Tarquin and she writes the free quarterly Childminding Best Practice Newsletter.

Lots of places offer help to childminders. I provide solutions.

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What does a pedagogy mean to childminders?

Updated 12/08/2022

By Guest Blogger Samantha Boyd

Ofsted term that appears in the revised EYFS guidance and the new Development Matters

From September 2021, a revised EYFS Framework and version of Development Matters came into force. One of the seven new “Key Features of Good Practice” right in the introduction to the new Development Matters is the idea of “PEDAGOGY” which may be a new concept for many childminders.

Pedagogy (pronounced ped-a-go-gee) is simply your method of teaching. BUT DON’T PANIC! You are already doing this……Let’s look at pedagogies and how we implement them in our settings day to day.

Many of you will have heard of Montessori, Steiner, Te Whariki, Reggio, The Curiosity Approach – all of these are different styles of pedagogy, and the most effective way of teaching is a mixture of all of these. Children learn best through play and observing others – we have all seen children copying what they have seen, heard or experienced in their play as this is their way of working out the world they live in and making sense of it all.

As well as these formal pedagogies, the word can also be applied to the types of planning that childminders do such as deciding the amount of free play you give children vs the amount of guided learning you offer, and how your balance between free play and structure might change as the children grow older. The focus of the Development Matters is on balance – children learn best when you offer a mixture of structured learning and free play; you need to show that you are aware of this balance in the plans you are making.

An enabling environment is definitely the Third Teacher – having uncluttered and inspiring space for children to play in, loose parts such as bricks and natural resources for children to use their imaginations, authentic materials such as items to use in their play like baskets, purses, gloves, hats etc. is all you need – and you already have this. Your role in teaching is to observe, understand the child, and facilitate their next steps in their learning by setting up an environment that allows them to explore and investigate, be curious and to answer their questions, ask them and talk to them, read books with them and sing with them. Playing with children is an inspiring thing. Seeing their eyes light up when they learn, through experience, something new. So you see you are already supporting children and extending their learning through your own knowledge of the children you care for.

So please don’t panic when seeing this word – you are already using your own methods of teaching (your pedagogies) and may be using a mixture of influences to give the children in your care the very, very best. Be proud of this, keep it simple and be confident.

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Established in 2008, Kids To Go specialise in high-quality activities, easy to use paperwork, information and advice for childminders, nannies and nurseries. products include the Ultimate Childminding Checklist, best practice resources promoting diversity, safety and childminding in the great outdoors (Forest Childcare).

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Have childminded children forgotten how to play with others post lock-down? – by guest blogger Samantha Boyd

Have you noticed on social media sites how many childminders are talking about the behaviour of the children – varying in ages – when playing since the return from lockdown? A childminder contacted Kay saying “The children are all very happy but have forgotten how to share and play so we are concentrating on turn taking, sharing and emotions as well as talking lots about family – generally the same as most first terms but the lack of interaction between kids does seem to be a bit more obvious this term. I guess six months without play groups and play dates has taken its toll.” Many other childminders that I have spoken to have been dealing with the same behaviours being displayed by children since returning back to work after lockdown.

For most children, play is where they learn about social interaction. They learn what is acceptable and what is not, and play is a safe place to act out things they have experienced. With lockdown this was denied to them for what is a long period of time (in their short lives) and deprived them of this important aspect of their learning.

During difficult and stressful times, play allows children to make sense of the world around them and helps to support their emotional wellbeing and build resilience. Returning to settings after a long period of being within their family unit, has heightened childrens anxieties, on top of what is already a stressful time with added pressures at home, such as worry about unemployment, finances, strained relationships, grief.

So what, as childcare professionals, can we do to support the children during these transitions. The following 6 suggestions came from http://www.youngminds.org.uk:

  1. Talk to the children about their feelings
  2. Talk to the children about the routines you have; or the rhythm of the day and provide a visual prompt, if this would help (Great for non-verbal or SEN children).
  3. Reassure the children – they are receiving a lot of messages regarding social distancing, washing hands, germs, illness and death – and this is all scary stuff when you are young.
  4. Keep things simple – allow children to play – explain that children do not have to give up a toy if they are still playing with it – snatching – patience and taking turns – facilitate play and have strategies in place to deal with any issues (see below).
  5. Go easy on yourself and ensure that you are looking after your own mental health.

Taking turns is a social skill and http://www.andnextcomesl.com  has some great ideas to teach this –

  1. Use a visual cue ie a talking stick
  2. Use turn taking language – “my turn, your turn”
  3. Model turn taking – show them what to do
  4. Play games that involve turn taking such as board games and card games
  5. Use a social story – see free link to a free printable and video about sharing
  6. Use a timer to indicate how long each turn will be – use oven timer/egg timer. This reinforces fairness and acts as a visual or auditory cue.
  7. Communicating and describing turns – first its x’s turn, then its yours – 5 minutes each.
  8. Use a fidget between turns such as a spinner, putty or ball.

If a child persists in snatching or aggressive behaviour – remove from the activity, explaining “You were having a hard time (taking turns with your friends) and you were not being kind. You need a break” NB THIS IS NOT TIME OUT!. Sit with the child and calmly talk to them about their feelings, the whys and what ifs. Once the child is calm, say they may rejoin the play but only if they can take turns and act kindly.

Remember sharing and turn taking are hard skills to master! So… work with parents to come up with some strategies; be mindful around the children regarding language and show by example; look after yourself.

Some great resources and further information can be found here:

www.outdoorplaycanada.ca/2020/05/13/play-first-supporting-childrens-social-and-emotional-wellbeing-during-and-after-lockdown/

www.youngminds.org.uk/blog/supporting-a-child-returning-to-school-after-lockdown/

www.kids-harbor.com/teach-child-take-turns/

 

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About Samantha Boyd

I am a mum of 3, a qualified Forest School Leader and childminder, graded outstanding in 2015 and 2020 and am currently studying a childhood studies degree with the open university. I have a love for loose parts and the outdoors and am currently working through the Curiosity Approach accreditation. I have a passion to allow children the space and time to explore and love setting up ‘invitations to play’ and seeing where the children will take it.

 

 

About Kay Woods and Kids To Go

Kay Woods Kids To GoKay Woods has been writing and selling childminding resources through her company Kids To Go since 2008. Her products include the Ultimate Childminding Checklist, the Learning Journey Plus for planning, observation and assessment and best practice resources promoting diversity, safety and childminding in the great outdoors (Forest Childcare). She is the author of the Start Learning book set published by Tarquin and she writes the free quarterly Childminding Best Practice Newsletter.

Lots of places offer help to childminders. I provide solutions.

http://www.kidstogo.co.uk/childminders/childminding.html