There are many benefits in choosing childminding as your preferred daycare option including:
Children’s individual needs can be met
Through individual attention from the Childminder and interaction with other children of all ages. Babies, particularly, benefit from the individual, family type care provided by Childminders.
Low adult /child ratio
Childminders can be registered to care for up to 3 children of pre-school age and 3 children of school age. This low adult/child ratio allows for children’s individual needs to be met.
Flexibility and choice in hours of care
Children can be cared for on a full or part time basis from babyhood, throughout their pre-school, nursery and school years, and accommodate the varying needs of working parents.
Childminding offers parents the opportunity for all of their children to be cared for in the same setting regardless of age, stage and ability. Childminded children are not segregated because of age or stage. This encourages siblings to bond and so encourages family relationships to fully develop.
Part of the community
Children are cared for in their own community, enabling them to build and develop their own local connections and providing opportunities for close links with community based services and with local schools.
Real life learning
Children looked after by a Childminder enjoy real life experiences like cooking, shopping, gardening, mealtimes etc. From these everyday activities the children can learn basic science, maths, social skills and language skills.
Support and back up
Childminders can provide support to parents by offering homework supervision, back up and emergency care where required.
Childminders can be the most affordable option for parents and as registered provision, are eligible for both vouchers and the childcare element of tax credits
Registered Childminding is the largest childcare sector in Northern Ireland, offering good quality, affordable and flexible childcare. There are currently 3,100 registered childminders offering places for over 17,000 children.
Recent evidence from NICMA’s State of the Childminding Sector 2016 report suggests that ‘Unregistered, illegal childminding’ continues to be a growing problem. 27% of all those childminders surveyed stated that they knew of one or two unregistered childminders operating in their area. A further 10% stated that they knew of three or more unregistered childminders operating in their area.
The law is very clear: anybody looking after children for more than 2 hours a day, for reward, MUST register with the Health & Social Care Trust. The Children Order (1995) NI Guidance and Regulations states that the purpose of registration is:
To protect children
To provide reassurance to persons using childcare
To ensure that services meet acceptable standards
To ensure that people wishing to provide services for children do so within an agreed framework
Article 132 states:
In the case of a childminder, it is an offence to look after children aged under twelve whilst unregistered
Not only does operating illegally potentially put children at risk, it also makes it harder for law-abiding registered childminders to survive when they are faced with this unfair competition.
NICMA – the Childminding Association are asking for your help in promoting the attached ‘UNREGISTERED CHILDMINDING’ flyer through your website, social media sites and e-mail where possible.