Research the Need
As with all types of childcare services, childminders intending to set up should explore the need in their area by looking at a number of factors including:-
- existing services in the area by type of service provided i.e. pre-school, full day-care and other childminders
- population of pre-school and afterschool children in the area
- local employment trends
- information from parents, others in the area regarding gaps/needs
Consider Your Own Family Circumstances
Before a person decides to set up a Childminding Service, they should consider the full impact providing a childcare service from their home will have on their family and themselves. Childminding in the home will impact on your own children's routine. They will now have to share you and their home with other children.
If after considering the above you are still interested in pursuing a childminding career, the following is a short guide to setting up:-
- Access a copy of the National Guidelines for Childminders, either by downloading them or by getting a free copy from Offaly County Childcare Committee
- Consider how much space you have available in your home and garden. Plan out where the children will play, eat and sleep.
- Consider the age range of children that you are going to cater for in order to help you plan age and stage appropriate programmes and activities, and to purchase age and stage appropriate equipment, toys and materials.
- Decide whether you are going to voluntary notify or notify your service to the HSE
- Access support from Offaly County Childcare Committee in setting up your service by contacting the office on 057-9135878.
- Draft policies and procedures for your service to include Child Protection, Child Development, Outings, Accident and Incidents, Behaviour Management, Drop-off and Collection policies. This list is not exhaustive. Offaly County Childcare Committee will support you with this task.
- Draft records for your service to include a Child Registration Form, Contracts, Daily Activity Records etc. This list is not exhaustive. A staff member of Offaly County Childcare Committee will support you with this task.
- Advertise your service locally.
- Advertise your service on http://www.childminding.ie
- Apply for Garda Vetting
- Investigate childcare training opportunities to learn more about the stages of child development, organising age and stage activities appropriate to the child http://www.laoisoffalyetb.ie.
- Investigate workshops available for childcare providers through Offaly County Childcare Committee
- Aistear is the childhood curriculum for children from birth to six years and its themes are useful for those working with children http://www.ncca.ie/earlylearning
Some Resource Templates for Childminders
The following templates may be of use to Childminders in establishing basic records for a childminding service. Should you require further infortmation or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us on 057-9135878.