Choosing the Right Childminder
Choosing the right childcare provider is such an important decision - I have been in that position too and it can be so daunting! It's only natural to feel anxious about leaving your child in the care of someone else, a person that you initially don't even know very well. This is why I have included so much information on my website, so visitors can have a good nosey and find out lots about me before they even get in touch. Please have a read of the testimonials made by the parents of mindees who have left and those who are still attending - all of them are part of our Blue Button family! If you think that our families maybe a good fit, you're welcome to arrange a visit so you can come and meet me and ask all the questions you like.
A solid partnership with parents/carers and a strong bond with my mindees is at the epicentre of Blue Button Childcare. My mindees (past and present) mean the world to me and their parents/carers know this - they genuinely appreciate the care I take of their children and we have a deep seated respect for each other. This has grown over time and I look forward to developing the same level of trust with new families that join our Blue Button family.
What Can New Parents/Carers Expect?
When a family joins Blue Button, they are given a big Welcome Pack with the contract, policies, child record form and permission forms to fill out and return before they start settling in sessions. It also includes an All About Me Pack for parents/carers to complete so that I can gather as much information as possible about the child before they start.
From there, the child starts settling in sessions so that we can get to know each other and they can begin to explore the playroom and meet their new friends whilst I learn their routines. I offer a 4 week settling in period for full time children and an 8 week settling in period for part time children. Once the child starts their full days and is really beginning to settle (this may take several weeks and that's ok), I will send home a Starting Points Pack for parents/carers to fill out. This helps to ascertain where they are up to in their development and what they need to learn next.
Every child in my care has a Learning Journey, which is started on their first day at Blue Button Childcare and they take it home on their last day. Every family absolutely treasures their child's learning journey - a tangible and lasting reminder of their first years and Blue Button adventures! Parents/carers are welcome to see them anytime and they take them home each term along with their child's Learning Update and a Parent/Carer Feedback Form.
Parents/carers hear about their child's day when they collect them and they always share their time away from the setting at drop off in the morning. For example, if they haven't slept well, if they've already had breakfast at home or if they learnt a new word the day before!
During the day, I communicate with parents/carers using WhatsApp in a private group that's just about their child. I send regular 'in the moment photographs' and updates about our day. They also send back messages, photos and videos during our time apart, which I always look forward to receiving. I often cast these onto the TV in the 'chill out room' so my mindees can share their family adventures with everyone.
Our WhatsApp conversations are daily diaries and I provide lots of information about the children. Here are some examples of the sorts of things that are shared:
- our plans for the day
- when we've arrived somewhere
- when we've returned home
- meals provided and how much they've eaten
- falls and bumps (if there is any cause for concern, parents/carers are always called instead of being messaged)
- things they've found tricky so we can work on them together
- achievements and marvellous moments
- naps and nappy changes
- any concerns
- the funny things they say and do!