In order to become a child minder, there are some key skills you’re going to have be a master at, so you can provide the best childcare service to parents.
Child minding isn’t for everyone, as it’s a lot more than babysitting other peoples kids. You’ll be working with children under the ages of 5 and may even have a baby in your care as well. Therefore, you’ll need to be able to multi-task with things such as baby changing and feeding, while ensuring the older kids in your care are supervised as well.
For the most part, there’s only 5 skills you need to be a child minder and those are detailed below. If you have the skills, then the only other thing you’ll need is the drive to get your business off the ground.
Communication needs to be done on different professional levels. You’ll be dealing with children, their parents, and other professional bodies, such as your local council, social work departments, school teachers and parents. These are the people you will have to communicate with regularly, so it’s not just about communicating with the children. For some parents who are working, you could find yourself doing a few trips back and forward to the school for the older kids in your care. If anything happens throughout the course of the day, it could be yourself who is called by the school, should the child need sent home. When the parents can’t be there, you’ll have to be able to speak to the school, get the information of what’s happening and update the parents when they return to pick the kids up.
Patience is an absolute necessity and not just a must needed skill. You have to be able to remain calm under the most stressful of situations. Part of your first aid training helps you in this area, as you’ll be tested with different emergencies that could arise with any child in your care. Knowing what to do in those cases will let you test your own ability to remain calm under the most intense of pressure. You’re going to have more than one child in your care too, so you’ll need to be patient with each of the children, and be great a managing child behaviour. Quite often children get upset by the tiniest of things, and this when you need to give some one on one time, while ensuring that the other children in your care aren’t feeling left out.
One of the major roles you’ll have to do is plan and organize your day. Part of your role is going to be support the early learning and development of the children in your care. That will require a great deal of planning for the day ahead. Setting up a schedule of activities such as:
The typical day of a child minder can be really hectic at times, so the better you are at organizing your activities for the day, the more smoother your day will go.
Time management is something that many people struggle with. For child minders you can’t be lacking this skill. One area of every child’s life that’s needed is a routine. Children perform better when they’re in a set routine. Playtime, lunchtime, drawing time, reading time and naptime. You have to set those all out in your schedule and stick to that same routine. You’ll find that the more organized your day is, the better you’ll be able to control the behaviour of each child in your care, as they’ll be more comfortable knowing the routine they have for the day.
Part of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) requirements is to provide a high level of childcare that supports the learning and development of each child in your care. You’ll need to have an understanding of the best child development activities and be able to incorporate those into your day. This is where things differ from babysitting and child minding. The role of a child minder is to support every area of early development and encourage creativity. For this, you’ll need a variety of skills:
Those are just a few areas of child development you’ll be expected to have knowledge on. Having a relevant childcare qualification is also something that can do wonders for your business, as you’ll be able to display to potential clients, how you’re service is more than just child minding and that you take care of all your children as well as provide them with an educational environment that encourages early learning. If you have those 5 skills, you have what it takes to become a child minder, run your own business, and work the hours that suit you.