By samanthagowland, Feb 17 2016 08:10PM
I can't say I watched GMTV this morning so I seem to have missed the controversy about the role of a childminder. I haven't time to watch TV on a morning on account of setting up for the day ahead. I've young minds to stretch, fires to ignite, ...oh wait... apparently I've got it wrong, I'm not an educator according to some nobody on TV this morning. What a waste of my degree and qualified teacher status it seems.
On a serious note whilst I'm sure all my parents/grandparents/carers know and understand the role of a childminder as an educator of young minds the general population do not.
It is more than overdue that society was educated on the role of a childminder as more than a mere 'babysitter' and it needs to start with the media who often interchange, often within the same paragraph, the words 'childminder' and 'babysitter' without understanding the difference.
A childminder needs to be registered and is inspected by Ofsted, they follow the Early Years Foundation Stage just like other early years providers. They are required to be insured, to have an up to date paediatric first aid certificate (12 hour course every 3 years), to have a food hygiene certificate and to be inspected by environmental health. They are required to attend safeguarding training, have policies and procedures and although they’re not now required to write them down, risk assessments.
Childminders observe learning, plan for next steps, put interventions in place for delays and review the whole process reflecting on what did or didn't work. They make learning fun, creative and engaging. Every child is recognised as an individual and planning incorporates both the child’s interests and their developmental needs.
They attend training that they pay for themselves, often on weekends and evenings as they work during the day and unlike other early years providers they don't generally have cover to allow them to attend training 9-5 Monday -Friday.
Babysitters generally look after your child (in your home), there are no legal requirements for them to do that job. Ofsted don’t visit them; they don’t need to have any first aid training nor do they need to think about or plan for your child’s development.