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Childminding - Making a difference

Jemma Hogan, 25, from Inverness has childminding in her blood. She has grown up within the world of childminding and has no doubts about her decision to make a career of it.

“My mum was a childminder and I became an assistant in her setting when I was 15. When she took a step back, I took over the care of many of her families and established my own childminding business when I got my own place.

“I’m 25 now, and I’ve been running my own childminding business for almost five years on my own. I enjoy it so much because I love working with children.  It’s so rewarding to know that I’m providing a high-quality childcare service that helps to make a difference to children and their families.

“Although I’m young and I’m not a mum myself, I’ve got a lot of knowledge and experience, and that’s what counts – it might sound odd, but I just love helping – whether it’s the children in my service or the parents.

“I sometimes provide advice to parents when I’ve found something that works for their little one. I once had a mum come to pick-up her baby, I explained that it had been a bit of a grumpy day, but she had settled when I rocked her to sleep. The mum was delighted that I found this little trick. It was nothing special – as always – it’s just something that childminders do without realising the real, positive impact it has on the families we support.  I really enjoy working with families to ensure that their childcare is tailored to individual needs, it’s just one of the aspects of the job which is so rewarding.

“I think it’s important to keep in touch with other childminders and share tips and our experiences. I’m running my own business, which is an exciting opportunity, but it’s also good to have a support network – feeling part of a wider childminding community is a real boost and helps reinforce that childminders are doing an important job providing high quality, professional childcare for the children and families in our communities.

“I’m also a member of the Scottish Childminding Association which has provided me with amazing advice and support throughout my journey.  I’m so lucky that I’ve been able to follow in my mum’s footsteps and to make this my career – it really is the best job in the world.”

www.childminding.org

Jemma Hogan, professional childminder with some of her ‘mindees’

What is professional childminding?

Childminders work closely with children and families to provide a flexible, high-quality family childcare experience in a home-based environment.  It is a hugely rewarding career that provides the opportunity to:

  • contribute to the development, learning and wellbeing of children and support families
  • develop new skills
  • be your own boss and work from home
  • improve your work-life balance
  • be part of a wider childminding community

Childminders provide childcare for children from birth to 12 years old.  A typical day will include a range of real-life experiences and stimulating activities, including creative play and learning, reading and storytelling and participating in activities within the local community.  The workforce is diverse, and includes people with a wide variety of previous life and work experience. The opportunity to run a flexible business from home is also an exciting and attractive prospect, especially for those just starting out in their childcare career.

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Childminding was supposed to be temporary but, 20 years later, I’m still at it! The flexibility it provides has meant I could be there for my son before and after school and during holidays. I had always thought I’d like to be my own boss, and childminding was the answer.

For more information on becoming a childminder visit Scottish Childminding Association