PROFILE OF NIKKI FULLERTON, CHILDMINDER, DONAGAHDEE
‘Working full time as an account manager for a telecommunication company more often than not I found myself drifting off wondering how my own little daughter was doing at the day nursery. I had mixed emotions; I was very fortunate to be in such a well paid job but money really meant nothing when I fretted day and night about leaving her, especially as she was so very upset when I dropped her off in the mornings’.
‘I can remember the feeling as I pulled up after work and literally sprinted into the nursery to collect her knowing all too soon it would be the morning and I would have to do it all over again. I kept this going for nearly two years until it started to make me ill. I knew I had to do something to change my work life balance but just what to do or how to do it I had no clue’.
‘There was only one thing I knew for certain and that was I needed to work but I wanted to be at home and I wanted to be the one who cared for our daughter.
A chance poster in a local store got me thinking it also got me very excited... Childminding... This was the perfect solution. I contacted NICMA with my initial enquiry and from that first call the advice and encouragement given to me was great.
Just at around the same time redundancy packages were being offered at work and I took this as a sign and I jumped at the chance’.
‘Shortly afterwards I was contacted by the NICMA Childminding Development Officer who told me about a new project about to start and as I lived in Donaghadee I would be eligible to apply for a place. I was successful in my application and I joined the Rural Childminding Project. The projects aim was to recruit new childminders to rural areas. Once the project got under way all of my queries and concerns were addressed. We were supported every step by training including the NICMA ‘Introduction to home based child care’, paediatric first aid and "How to Promote your business" . We were also given a fantastic starter pack that included first aid kit, fire blanket, safety drawer cupboard and plug locks, digital thermometer, a toy and activity chest and contents worth hundreds of pounds and NICMA membership for a year not to mention the support of the Project Co-ordinator Maeve Milne and admin. Support’.
‘In less than 18 months my life had changed dramatically. I am now a registered childminder with 9 children on my books - my own real life jigsaw puzzle where I juggle to make each piece fit perfectly so I never exceed my numbers. Their ages range between 11 months and 11 years. Some are in full time care, others mornings or afternoons and even one who I only look after one hour each day. I never rejected any enquiry due to hours as being flexible has been the key to my success. My home is open from 7am to 6pm and I even offer breakfast and dinner if required.
Childminding is extremely hard work but at the same time extremely rewarding. I now have the joy of bringing our own daughter to and from school. We share our home with other children from different backgrounds and ages. We all are great friends and we all learn from each other’.
‘The best reward for me is when home time comes and parents arrive and my minded children don't want to leave’!!
‘Thank you everyone involved in the Project it has been fantastic’.
CHILDMINDING AND DAYCARE FOR CHILDREN UNDER AGE 12MINIMUM STANDARDS
The ‘Minimum Standards’ were launched in July 12 as a means of providing a consistent level of quality for all childminding and daycare services and to ensure a consistent regional approach to registration and inspection.
There are 2 documents relating to Minimum Standards:
- Childminding and DayCare for Children under age 12 – Minimum Standards – July 12
- Childminding and DayCare for Children under age 12 – Minimum Standards – IMPLEMENTATION GUIDANCE – July 13
It is essential that as Childminders, you have copies of both of these documents and that you take the time to read, understand and know how they impact on your Childminding practice. You will also need to be familiar with the Standards in order to be ready for your Childminding Inspection. This is YOUR responsibility as part of running your own Childminding business.
If you have any queries with regard to the Standards, please contact your Early Years Social Worker.
If you do not have copies of these documents, contact your Trust Early Years teams or alternately, they can be downloaded via the links above.
One of the requirements of the Minimum Standards for Childminding and Daycare is that all registered Childminders have a range of Policies in place to ensure good practice.
The full range of Policies and Fact Sheets are available to download FREE OF CHARGE from the Members section of our website as part of NICMA membership once you are registered.
HOWEVER, NICMA can offer for purchase a full pack of 29 Policies, a template ‘Statement of Purpose’ and NEW Risk Assessment & Fire Log Booklet information for any non-members. The cost is £25 and this will be DEDUCTABLE from your first year’s Membership Fee once you are registered and join NICMA.
Click here for more information and to find out which policies have been updated.