Childminders – How to Make Your Home Childcare-Friendly
Childminders take care of children in their own homes, so it’s important that your home is not only child-friendly and safe, but also suitable for childcare. Ensuring your home is correctly set up will make your life easier, and more enjoyable for the children in your care.
Following is a list of ideas you may like to use to help your home function as an efficient, yet still a home-from-home, childcare setting.
You may not have thought much about your toilet facilities before setting up as a childminder, but it is something that will need your attention. As a childminder, you will be looking after children of different age groups whose toileting needs may be different to one another.
- Invest in a potty and a special toddler toilet seat for younger children to use whilst in your home, and have a pack of wet wipes and disposable nappies available for emergencies.
- You may not wish to have a lock on the door that is accessible to small hands. Instead, provide a “do not disturb” sign that can be hung on the door whilst the toilet is in use by a child who wants privacy – and ensure that everybody knows what the sign means!
- Liquid soap in a pump bottle is less messy, easier to use and more hygienic than traditional block soap.
- A nice way to help children feel at home – and to help minimise the spreading of germs, particularly during this pandemic – is to provide individual hand towels for each child, or one if you can one use towel which you can wash and replace each day, hang them on a hook with their name above it. Inexpensive self-adhesive hooks can be bought from DIY shops, and sticky labels from anywhere that sells stationery.
Personal property box
Young children tend to come with a lot of extra baggage. Spare clothes, changing bags, sunblock, umbrellas and special toys may all be spending the day at your house too. When you find yourself minding three or four children, things can get pretty cluttered and crowded as you can probably imagine! Not all of us are lucky enough to live in large houses where a whole room can be dedicated to storing the children’s things, so you will need to be creative. A good way for childminders to get around this is purchasing some inexpensive plastic storage tubs and allocating one to each child you regularly care for. These can be placed in a row somewhere in the house and will help you stay organised. It will become part of the child’s routine to put any item they need to keep safe in the box, and to collect the contents of the box before leaving.
Younger children will probably require special plates, cups and cutlery to help them feed themselves. If you can, dedicating a separate cupboard to these things will make your life a lot easier when it’s lunchtime or snack time.
Overall, the most important thing to remember is to stay organised. The old saying, “a place for everything and everything in its place”, is very apt for those who are providing childcare in their homes. A little forward planning will make your life exponentially easier.