Choosing a childminder to provide care for your child has many benefits for both the child and the parents. In this article we will outline a few of the reasons of why a childminder can be a really beneficial influence in your child’s life, as well as why they can be a great choice for parents, too.
Child development, security and confidence
In an ideal world, parents would be able to choose to stay home with their children until they felt the child had reached an age that they were able to cope with being separated from them, but unfortunately this can’t always be possible. A childminder offers the child a real sense of safety and security because they can really get to know each other well. The child will not have to get to know a large amount of staff and be used to different people caring for her – instead they only have to settle in to a familiar home environment and one carer. Developmentally speaking this is very important – children need to be able to form secure attachments to their caregivers, and this can be hard if there are many different caregivers in the picture.
Convenience and flexibility
A childminder looks after children in their own home, and as such they can be very useful when trying to find care for children who are already at preschool or school. They generally will be happy to do pick-ups and drop-off’s from/to school and clubs, and some childminders will even pick up children from their homes and drop them back again if they are out and about at that time anyway. This can make life just that little bit easier for busy working parents. Additionally, special requirements (such as dietary needs) can be more easily managed in this kind of environment where care can be individualised.
Many parents worry that their children won’t get adequately socialised if they are not attending childcare in a group setting. In actual fact, large group settings can actually be damaging for confidence and social skills for some children. Research has shown that thrusting children into large groups before they are ready can make quite an impact on their emotional development. With a childminder, children will get to socialise in small groups in a familiar environment. They are able to get to know each other properly and will often become very good friends. Additionally, children will benefit from the opportunity to socialise with children of different age groups, which is a much more realistic form of socialisation – after all, apart from school, where else in life are we confined to groups of people of the same age as us?
Childminders are a very cost-effective choice for parents. Their cost will depend on their experience and any extras included but you can usually expect to pay somewhere between £4.50 and £5.50 per hour, depending on where you live. Some childminders will include the price of meals, snacks and drinks in their hourly rate, whereas others will charge extra. Additionally, childminders often get discounts for local child-friendly attractions, so excursions can be cheaper.
From April the NMW (National Minimum Wage) rates are changing for the 20/21 tax year.
As an employer you must comply with the national minimum wage, if you do not you could end up in an Employment Tribunal or be reported to HMRC and face a fine of up to £20,000.
The new hourly rates for the tax year 2020/21 are:
- Apprentice – £4.15
- 16 to 17 year old – £4.55
- 18 to 20 year old – £6.45
- 21-24 year old – £8.20
- 25+ – £8.72
If nanny lives in the family home and not separate accommodation provided by the employer, then the national minimum wage does not apply.
For live in nannies, there is a daily accommodation offset rate of £8.20 per day, £57.40 a week. These rates are set every April, so it is important to keep up to date with the new legislation. These rates are from April 2020.
For accommodation provided to nanny other than the family home, this will need to be declared as a Benefit In Kind.
If you’re running out of inspiration then have a look at our 101 ideas!
1. Read stories
2. Make a den under a table
3. Give dolls a bath
4. Wash the dolls clothes
5. Have a teddy tea party
6. Have a tickle fight
7. Play dressing up
8. Dance to the radio
9. Have a film screening
10. Transform a cardboard box
1. Run races
2. Have a sack race
4. Draw on the drive/patio with chalk
5. Have a water fight, even if it’s raining
6. Play football
7. Go for a scoot or bike ride
8. Eat a picnic
9. Make a daisy chain
10. Jump in puddles
1. Go on a train to a different town
2. Take a bus to a different park
3. Go to the zoo
4. Take a long walk in the country
5. Visit a ruined castle
6. Go to a museum
7. Visit a farm park
8. Go to soft play
9. Have fun at the seaside
10. Go to a planetarium
In the kitchen
1. Make bread
2. Bake and decorate a cake
3. Build a gingerbread struture
4. Master meringues (egg white + sugar = magic)
5. Make your own butter in a jam jar by shaking whole milk
6. Make jam
7. Ice biscuits
8. Create fruity cocktails
9. Freeze (and eat) your own ice lollies
10. Invent a herb or spice mix or a marinade
Constructing and modelling
1. Make a skyscraper from toothpicks or cocktail sticks and marshmallows
2. Create a Lego or Duplo town
3. Get the railway track out and take over the floor
4. Junk model
5. Create and paint figurines or jewellery from Plaster of Paris
6. Make a marble run
7. Build an outside den
8. Make and sail paper boats
9. Have a competition to build to the tallest tower from a newspaper and roll of sellotape
10. Challenge yourselves with a 3D jigsaw
1. Cook rainbow spaghetti
2. Make playdough
3. Play with gloop (cornflour and water)
4. Mix mud pies
5. Blow bubbles
6. Play with jelly
7. Fill a box with shredded paper
8. Make potions, from anything!
9. Play with diggers in a tray of compost
10. Make glittery cloud dough
Painting and drawing
1. Fill eggshells with paint and throw them
2. Paints with forks, spoons and other kitchen utensils
3. Cut fruit and vegetables to make prints
4. Roll cars through paint on paper
5. Be inventive with hand and foot prints
6. Make your own natural paint from spices
7. Make self-portraits
8. Make a cartoon in a flip notebook
9. Play pictionary
10. Draw blindfolded
1. Put an egg into vinegar and watch the eggshell dissolve
2. Now see what happens when you put an egg into coca-cola
3. Experiment with chromatography
4. Grow cress-heads
5. Inflate a balloon by mixing bicarbonate of soda and vinegar in a bottle
6. Go on a nature hunt and identify the plants and bugs you see
7. ‘Rescue’ playmobile figures from a block of ice
8. Grow salt crystals
9. Make a rainbow on a sunny day
10. Experiment with shadows
1. Sew a dress for a doll or a quilt for a teddy
2. Weave a table mat on a home made loom
3. Make candles
4. Create a bowl from papier maché
5. Make pom-poms
6. Mix up some bath bombs
7. Learn to knit
8. Make a drop spindle
9. Decorate sock puppets
10. Make a necklace or bracelet by threading beads on ribbon
1. Have a grown up ‘coffee’ in a café
2. Visit the library
3. Draw a sketch map of the town
4. Go on a treasure hunt
5. Learn about architecture
6. Research your area’s history
7. Learn to read an OS map
8. Take a different route every day
9. Search the town archives or the internet for old photograhs and drawings of the town and talk about how it has changed
10. Take photographs and make a guidebook showing all your favourite places
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it’s the perfect time for young children to unleash their creativity.
Choose from our top 5 valentine’s activities for young children and have a great day with arts and crafts making gifts for friends, family and nanny!
Taking your child to the hairdresser for the very first time might seem like a daunting experience, but with these top tips, it’ll be a smooth, enjoyable experience for both you and your child.
The first thing to remember is that there’s no set age as to when your child will need their first hair cut and that you won’t be about to lose their precious baby curls!
You only really need to cut your child’s hair if it’s starting to creep towards their eyes, if it’s irritating them in any way or if the fly-away sections of hair at the sides of their face start to look out of control.
If your child is ready for their first trim, remember these top tips: