A popular choice, especially for parents with less regular working patterns or those who are looking for a more homely environment for their young children. There are pros and cons to all types of childcare, but read on to see what the benefits of a childminder are and whether it is the best route for your family.
Benefits to You
- They are often cheaper than a day nursery.
- Many team up with other local childminders to offer cover for sickness or holidays so you won’t have to miss work or rely on family at short notice.
- Times and days can be more flexible such as early starts, late pick-ups and weekend care which day nurseries might not offer, great if you
- work shifts.
- Childminders have regular inspections so you can be confident your child is in a safe environment and is well looked after.
- Benefits to Your Child
Childminders offer many benefits to your child:
- They are cared for in a home setting which is familiar to them and has similar rules to home so they will settle in easier.
- Services provided cover children from new-born right through to school age and beyond.
- Having the same carer right through means your child will form a good attachment and not have to cope with changing carers as they grow.
- Using a childminder for wraparound care for school age children means they can be cared for alongside their younger siblings.
- Childminders often cover several age groups at once meaning your child can learn to interact with a range of developmental stages. They will have the chance to learn from older mindees and show they can be good role models for younger mindees to copy. A great lesson in social skills and a real confidence builder.
Quality of Care
- Are often parents themselves so have a wealth of experience to draw on.
- Care for small groups of children which can mean more one-to-one time for your child. Particularly important if your child has disabilities or special requirements.
- Aren’t limited to one setting. They will take your child to the park, museum, to activity groups or even to the shops, providing a lesson in life skills.
- Follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) so children will learn and develop in line with nurseries.
Studies such as the EPPE project suggest that group care before the age of two years of age is associated with antisocial behaviour. Findings showed that care provided by childminders was not associated with antisocial behaviour, although there were elevated levels in those groups.
Childminders are therefore a great choice for parents who are unable to stay home to care for their young children.