Have you ever thought about becoming a childminder and starting a new career, but didn’t know where to start? Well, here are the top 10 amazing things about being a childminder, direct from those already doing, what they feel, is the best job in the world!
This post is sponsored by Pacey, the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years.
1. You can work from home, and raise a family while doing so
Being a childminder means not only can you have your career at home, but you can raise a family at the same time. Jan said the best thing about being a childminder is “being able to be home with my own children”. Livia adds, “I use my qualifications and experiences to continue in a career that completely suits my young family, it’s brilliant”.
2. You don’t have a commute to work
While the majority of us probably work in an office, commuting every day, for a childminder, the commute is simple! Lianne used to work in the city and definitely doesn’t miss the daily struggle, “walking downstairs to get to work definitely beats the joys of navigating the DLR and tube systems”.
3. You can be your own boss
You have a new career, your own business and now you can embrace the fact that you are an entrepreneur in your own right. Livia agrees that this is definitely one of the perks of becoming a childminder, “being able to call the shots for my business is the best part.”
4. You are never stuck in an office!
While you don’t have to commute, you also don’t have to sit at a desk for the majority of your day and have the chance to engage with the local community. For a childminder, every day is different. For International Circus Day, Lianne contacted the local circus school to see if they could watch. They ended up “being given a private tour of all the equipment, taking turns on it, watching the owners rehearse the show and having our very own private circus show”. That isn’t something you could do in an office.
5. Every day is rewarding
Being a childminder means you can work with the younger generation every day, teaching them about the world and watching them grow. There is definitely something about working in childcare that gives practitioners a real buzz. Ruth comments that she is “so proud of them when they learn new things”. Lianne adds, “I look around and feel so proud and happy of the amazing experiences all the children I look after have every day. It makes a real difference to the lives of the world’s most important people – the younger generation”.
6. You can always have fun, whatever the weather
When you are a childminder, the world is your oyster; there is nothing stopping you from getting outside and having fun with the children. For Laura, that is one of the best things about childminding, “being outside doing things with the children come rain or shine – although I especially enjoy it in the summer”. You can have a day on the beach when the sun is out and jump in muddy muddles if it rains!
7. You can teach children unique skills
Having your own business means you can tailor your business in any way that you want. Some settings might be exclusively outdoors, or perhaps you only use wooden toys to encourage environmental awareness.
For Lianne, that meant immersing Spanish into her setting, Bonitots, to encourage more children to learn a language and be bilingual: “seeing English children swap effortlessly from English to Spanish on the doorstep never ceases to amaze me! I can’t begin to explain how proud I am that we’ve given them such an amazing skill.”
8. You create close relationships with parents and their families
For many childminders, the career means that you become part of a child’s extended family. Livia says the thoughtful gifts are the best. One year, the children got her passes to Kidzania “it was a thoughtful family gift, they were saying ‘here is a fun day out for you after taking me out on so many fun days’. So lovely”.
Ruth loves it when she “hears children and family members say kind things and people approaching me because they have heard good things…it is so special”.
9. You can make new friends in the community
Going about your day to day routine means you can meet other childminders or parents. Jan made friends “at the school gate or the summer fair, without having to use any annual leave”, the mindees “get a good foundation for being at school” and she gets to meet others in the sector. While getting a family and life balance, “you can still create a wider network of friends” adds Livia.
10. You can give a child a great start in life and cater to their individual needs
Through your career, you will get to support children through the early years and into school, “watching the children develop and mature” is amazing, Ruth says.
Sometimes, there may be children that have learning disabilities, who need extra care and development support. Livia had a child with global delay and looked after her for three years. When she went to school, the teacher commented that “all the work I had done to put in place the measures that best suited her needs were the most thorough she had ever seen”.