Info for childminders
Childminding networks, especially those approved through the PACEY Children Come First quality assurance scheme, offer lots of benefits to everyone involved, including childminders.
If you join a PACEY Children Come First network you'll benefit from:
The support of your network coordinator
Your network coordinator is on hand to help you make the most of your business. They can offer practical help with filling vacancies, arranging alternative care for the children when you are sick or on holiday, and operating a toy or equipment library.
But, even more importantly, they can help you develop your service and get the most from your childminding career. Not many self-employed businesspeople have the luxury of having a mentor to turn to who can offer them training, one-to-one support and advice.
Having visits from your network coordinator can also be a real selling point when talking to parents, as you can easily show that the service you offer is regularly checked, something that can help reassure parents looking for the best care for their children.
Joining a network gives you a great opportunity to meet other childminders in your area so you'll benefit from support from your peers as well as your network coordinator.
Recent research shows that childminders on approved networks take much more training than those not on a network, all of which can help you develop your childminding career.
If your network holds PACEY Children Come First approval you'll have an easy way of showing parents that you are offering a very high standard of care for their child because the network has been quality assured. PACEY Children Come First is also endorsed by Investors in Children, the government scheme designed to help parents find good quality childcare.
Many childminding networks offer services over and above straightforward childcare, providing support to families and the local community.
For example, only childminders who belong to an PACEY Children Come First network can offer government-funded early education sessions (see Accreditation for more information), while more and more networks will be working as a central part of local schools, children's centres and integrated children's centres. Joining a network can give you a good way of getting involved with these exciting new initiatives.
Other networks offer different services, depending on what's needed in their area. At the moment, there are networks:
- caring for the children of teenage parents as they take qualifications.
- specialising in caring for disabled children.
- offering care at unusual hours, for hospital staff or airlines.
- developing experienced network childminders to become "support childminders" who mentor new childminders in their first year after registration.
Ask your local network about the projects you could get involved with.
You'll find more information for childminders in the Childminder FAQs section.