Welcome to our very first blog post!
We thought you might like to know a little bit about us, who we are, where we come from, where we would like to go and all that jazz!
Ok here it goes... My name is Louise I'm well on the way to be 40 years young and since leaving school have worked in numerous nurseries and pre school settings as well as a few after school clubs, but i have to say my most rewarding career choice was to become a childminder!
Childminding has been my life for a little over a decade and (for my sins) I have worked alongside my childminder mum for almost all of that time. Just kidding we make the best duo and I couldn't ask for a better team mate (Yes she is going to read this blog and I best tell the truth as she cooks me lunch every day!) My mums name is Sharon and before becoming a childminder she was a carer for the elderly and disabled.
Through the years we were childminding together, we saw many many changes. we loved lots and lots of little ones that came through our doors and we saw them all off to school, ready, excited and enthusiastic to start their next chapter.
Within our time we had three Ofsted inspections, the first was an overall good and the next two we both achieved outstanding grades.
Taking care of other peoples children takes a lot of dedication and passion! there are some days where you just want to curl up under a duvet like a normal person and phone in sick, but you don't (unless you truly cannot carry on of course!) you make yourself a coffee (which you will not drink but rather find later in the microwave!) put on a smile and open the door with an air of enthusiasm that you have no idea where came from!
You take care of all of those little people like they were your own and you watch them grow from babies into curious little people who you send off to start a whole new chapter in their little lives.... if you are lucky you will remain in contact with a few!
But what very few people really understand is the journey that takes place in the time between! Childminding has to be the most rewarding but misunderstood profession that I have ever worked in. Nobody really understands the role you play and how important you are the lives of those tiny humans!
On paper it may be observations, policies, procedures, 2 year progress checks and medication forms but in reality it is so much more. You become the second family not only to the children but to their parents also. you go with them through every journey that life takes them on. I cannot count how many times parents have just broken down in the hallway to our setting. They have held themselves together all day, but you and your house are a safe space that they can release that into. As a childminder you take on all of their burdens even when there is very little you can do other than offer a shoulder to cry on. You stay awake thinking of ways in which you can support them and their children during difficult times, Sometimes you feel like you think about other peoples children more than you think about your own! However its definitely not all doom and gloom. You get to see the first steps, hear the first words, feel pride when a child repeats something back to you spontaneously 3 months after you were talking to them about it! You get to shape their early years, the most important years of their lives and you get to be the person who helps them make the best of that time. You get to be the person that sets them of the path for all of their future successes!
In this role you may not get the recognition of the important work you do but you definitely get the satisfaction of knowing that you make a difference, and that is an achievement to be proud of!
However all good things must of course at some time come to an end, which takes me onto where we are now! (a very exciting new chapter that we are writing from scratch!)
We have made an activity box subscription service!
We have gathered our years of expertise and experience to put together a product that we would have used in our own setting! In fact we have used many of the ideas that go into the boxes and we still have a little crew of activity testers now so that you can be confident that your little munchkins will get the maximum out of what they are learning every single month!
We wanted to put together a product that is not only useful but gives you ideas (and sometimes a gentle nudge in the right direction - we all have those days!) but also saves you time and effort. Time and effort that takes you away from your own families at night times and weekends and gives you less time to spend with the little ones that you care for. We wanted to take charge of your planning. Provide you with easy ideas for activities with resources and materials that you will most likely have to hand. Give you weekly themes so that you have a focus for any of the times that you are not indulging in that all important free play. We wanted to make sure that you are kitted out to celebrate all of the festivals and celebrations. I can say with an air of confidence that cultural appreciation is an area that we excel in teaching in the early years! We wanted you to never again have to wake up in a panic at 3am because you have forgotten that tomorrow is Chinese new year! We don't ever want you to have to scramble together an activity idea again!
So now you know where we came from, and where we are now, all that's left to say is where we would like to go!
To add an old cliché, the sky really is the limit! we are so sure that we have designed a product worthy of us in any setting.
We make these products for all the amazing early years professionals and little munchkins that use them, so we are always open to comments and even criticisms' if it means that we can make a product that is not only educational and loved by the little people but is also a useful; and time saving resource for all of you fantastic early years professionals....
planning and preparation should never be the reason that you look frazzled at the end of each day!
If you want to check out what we have to offer....why not pop along to our website and take a look for yourself!