Childminders in Wales now have to show they are aware of the principles of the Foundation Phase and the seven areas of learning. Mel Parks hears from four childminders who are already doing just that.
“Using the Foundation Phase helps me feel more professional as I can reflect on whether I’m covering all aspects of a child’s development, and I can be on a par with nurseries and playgroups,” explains Holly Love, experienced piano teacher and childminder from Monmouthshire.
Sara Atkins from Cardiff, who worked in a school before returning to childminding in 2010, agrees, “it makes you evaluate what you provide for the children, allowing you to help them achieve at their own pace.”
And, even though, like Holly and Sara, Tracey Mathias, qualified teacher and childminder is not funded to provide the Foundation Phase, she likes to follow the same path as schools, “so that the transition to school is easier for children.”
Of the four childminders, Wendy Murray from Flintshire Children Come First Childminding Network is the only one funded to deliver early years education. Wendy works with four other childminders from her home, under the name of Strawberry Patch Childcare.