Many families don't have the luxury of a parent staying at home to raise their children, many families require two incomes to support themselves, and it's a sad truth that your childminder may see more of your young children than you do. Given the amount of time spent away from your children, how do you know that they are in good hands? ...that your nanny, childminder or nursery is really great with them?
Part of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) mandates good lines of communication between carers and parents. It is important for parents to know what their children have been doing, what they are learning and how they are progressing. ToucanLearn's Daily Diary offers one way in which carers can share their experiences with parents. Nanny's don't have to follow EYFS but it is still good practice for you to develop a formal or informal way that lets them tell you what has been happening.
If you have doubts about the quality of your child care, you should raise it with the care provider in the first instance. If matters remain unresolved, you can take complaints to OFSTED. They will investigate not only people registered as OFSTED carers, but also people providing care services that aren't enrolled on their registers. You can find out more about how OFSTED respond to complaints in this document. Child services are, understandably, a hugely important and sensitive area. OFSTED will take your issues seriously, and will work with both sides to ensure a high standard of care, and the implementation of best practice.
12th -19th June 2010 will be this year's National Childminding Week and registered childminders and nannies all over the country will be doing events and activities to celebrate! They aim to promote home-based childcare and hope to spread the word about the services they offer. The event has been organised by the National Childminding Association and this year's theme is "Reaching the right notes". The focus will be music and singing and there is even a special song: Ode To Childminding.
Childminders are registered professional child care providers and thousands of children throughout the country rely on the caring environment of a childminder's home.
Music is an integral and vital part of learning and can help children with vocabulary, speech, confidence building and simply having fun!
Scientific research shows that the neurological and developmental effects of music on children can be significant. It has fascinated scientists for years and they are yet to be completely in agreement. Compared to the long history of research on language, music is relatively un-researched and much less understood. It doesn't have to be classical music: all music can be beneficial from pop, to tunes on a child's toy, to the music at the ballet lesson. All music can be fun and encourage a child's physical, emotional and educational development.
Does music make children clever?
It does because whether they are learning a tune, a song a dance they are learning and using their body and mind to do something. Music helps spatial-temporal reasoning (which is vital for learning and understanding maths) and moving to music helps physical movement and develops the gross motor skills needed for moving and running. Fun is an important part of music too and is probably what toddlers and children are most interested in!
So, put on some music, have fun, and let's celebrate National Childminding Week in style!
Nannies have been depicted in all sorts of ways over the years in books and films, here are some of the most famous...
Mary Poppins: the all singing, all dancing and rather beautiful Nanny of the two sweet little Edwardian children, Jane and Michael Banks. The film saw Mary (played by Julie Andrews) jump into pavement drawings, win a horse race on a carousel horse and take tea and cake on the ceiling! She looked after the children with a firm but certainly magical and neatly gloved hand. She was famous for the tidying of the nursery with a song, a little dance and the famous "spoonful of sugar"!
Nanny McPhee: slightly less beautiful, but all the more direct Nanny played by Emma Thompson in the 2005 and 2010 films. She begins her tale rather grusome and threatening to the wayward children and as time goes by loses her ugliness. She instills five important lessons to the children and as they learn each one, so she becomes more attractive and loses her warts, grey straggly hair and droopy ear lobes.
Nana: the Newfoundland dog in Peter Pan is a huge cuddly dog wearing a mop cap that looks after the Darling children. It's only when Nana is tied up and unable to protect them that the children head off with the magical pixie Peter Pan and disappear to Neverland to have their adventures. One surmises that had Nana not been thrown out of the house by Father, the children would have remained safe.
Mrs Doubtfire: the wonderfully funny Robin Williams as the homely Nanny of 3 American children. The film was made in 1993 and is hailed as one of the hundred most funny films of all times. The plot tells of an out of work actor who takes a job as a Nanny to his own children by dressing up in full make-up, including prosthetic hips and frilly aprons. The consequences are hilarious!
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