As latest news and statistics are released documenting the significant decrease in the number of childminders across the UK; with so many being forced into closure with the introduction of the new 30 hours funding scheme as well as the continual negative stereotypes and negative assumptions that home-based childcare is a less professional childcare option than that of other early years provisions.
For the first time in it’s history, Pebbles Childcare; two childminders from Worthing, West Sussex were finalists at the prestigious TES (Times Education Supplement) Awards in London’s Park Lane this week, shortlisted as one of the top 8 ‘Early Years Setting of The Year’ across the UK.
Whilst they may not have one the award, the message that their shortlisting sent to the local childminding community and early years settings in the locality, was a positive one; childminders are not and will not be defined by the out-dated stereotypes that society holds over them, and Pebbles Childcare act as advocated for changing the face of childminding and getting it the respect it deserves within the sector. Childminders are professionals too, following the same curriculum, facing the same inspection process and meeting the same legal requirements the every other Early Years Setting has to meet. So why should we be considered less professional? Just because we operate from a home-based setting? The opportunities and learning experiences we provide cannot be replicated or matched within a nursery; the personal care and attention that each child and their family receives within a home-based childcare setting is second to none, and one that more and more parents are striving to find.
We hope the recognition we received from such a prestigious organisation within the education sector, inspires more and more people to become home-based childcarers and to truly embrace and be proud of what we as childminders have to offer, and hopefully one day, society will do the same.
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