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#Prospects2014: Supporting Childminders in Medway

17 December 2014

Prospects works with colleagues in Medway to deliver high quality care and learning to our youngest children in the local authority area. Prospects Early Years is contracted by Medway Council to support all childminders in Medway. The support is tailored around individual needs and helps childminders to improve their practice and fulfil their requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. We also support childminders to prepare for their Ofsted inspection. Support, advice and guidance is offered on a one-to-one basis and in the childminders home setting.

Increasing the number of Good and Outstanding childminders supports the aim of having high quality childcare places for the families of Medway and increases parental choice. Since the start of the contract, the national percentage of Good or Outstanding childminders has increased by 8%. In Medway, the percentage has increased by 17%. Prospects Early Years works closely with childminders to deliver up to date support and best practice. On top of termly newsletters, Medway utilises a very active Facebook group page with over 150 users. The social media platform allows staff to work closely with childminders, quickly share latest documents, as well as pose questions and share answers for everyone to access.

#Prospects2014 is part of our ongoing series, looking back at this year’s highlights. Follow us on Twitter (@ProspectsGroup) and join in the conversation.

Amanda’s Story
Since I began childminding nearly 10 years ago, there have been a lot of changes; I have attended training, gained my L3 qualification and been inspected twice – gaining Satisfactory on both occasions. I had worked hard but felt the business side of my practice let me down – all I wanted to do was help children learn, play and grow, however I knew this was an important part of my practice and necessary for parents, children and Ofsted.

So, I had Moira from Prospects visit to provide support – Prospects were prepared to visit as many times as I needed to ensure I was confident with all aspects of my practice and prepare me for my Ofsted inspection. On some occasions I would become upset, I found the paperwork aspect of my practice very difficult, it was time consuming and sometimes I considered giving up. However, Moira worked with me to work out how best to support me. My husband became my assistant and with Moira’s advice we worked hard to ensure the setting, including the garden and a new play room provided the children with what they needed, and even attended an exhibition which gave us further ideas. Moira’s visits became less, but advice from Moira and the Prospects team was also available by telephone, so when it came to my Ofsted inspection – I just got on with my childminding day!

The inspector looked at my paperwork and the setting, sat with us while we carried out an activity with the children, she asked me and the children questions – it all went so well, but when she told me I had Outstanding in all areas I cried and hugged her!

I’m so pleased, and thankful to my family, my parents and Prospects for the support they have given me; the support is there for all Medway childminders, whether you are new to childminding or been childminding for years – just call for support.

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