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Outdoor child minder - interested?

(26 Posts)
junkyardgyp Wed 14-Nov-12 16:45:16

Hi I am considering registering as a child minder but with a difference. My idea is to have parents drop off and pick up their little ones at my house where I will then drive them out of the city (20 mins approx) to a lovely rural location with a yurt and a wood burner. Where we will immerse ourselves in all things muddy and natural. I am a primary teacher with outdoor experience and a forest school level 2 qualification. Please let me know if you think this sounds like a service you would use for your little one. Thankyou

GrimAndHumourless Wed 14-Nov-12 16:50:58

There is a nursery in Scotland that is totally outdoor-based

I think there was an article in the Times a while back along these lines (can't link as Paywall, and I read in the paper version) with some CMs and preschools whose settings are outdoor based giving their experiences/viewpoints

You need to do your research, and think about things like what if parents don't want a set drop off/pick up, H and S implications, permission from landowner yadda yadda

I think it's a FAB idea, v appealing

cashmere Wed 14-Nov-12 16:51:17

My little boy would love that (2,8 years). Currently sat in the back garden in the dark. Have put his igloo tent together today and he's sat inside with a cup of tea!
Where do you live?

lisad123 Wed 14-Nov-12 16:53:07

Sounds wonderful grin

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Wed 14-Nov-12 16:53:28

My dses are past that age now, but if it had been a possibility when they were in nursery, I would definitely have considered it - they would have loved it!

Would you be considering taking babies, or just toddlers?

Hopefully Wed 14-Nov-12 17:34:03

Brilliant idea! I would def have considered for DSs. My questions would have been:
- various H&S questions (emergencies etc)
- bad weather plans
- how to stop different age kids getting cold/bored
- how to have chill out time
- naps
- keeping them warm/not sunburned

Tanith Wed 14-Nov-12 18:16:14

I run a forest school playgroup and I know that, in Scandinavian countries, the childreb do stay outside all day, napping and eating, all ages, whatever the weather.

I do think their weather is different to ours, though, and we've been advised that the heavy fogs and especially high winds that we get here are not good for the children to be outside in. I think you'd need to plan how you'd address those issues.

Love to watch your OFSTED inspection, though grin My last inspector was immaculate!

HSMM Wed 14-Nov-12 18:39:35

Sounds great. We are home based CMs with a forest school emphasis (so we are in the woods a lot). Our children arrive between 8 and 10 in the morning and leave between 4 and 6 in the evening. You might need set times.

I'd love to see you environmental health visit as well as Ofsted grin.

BackforGood Wed 14-Nov-12 18:43:38

Sounds a great thing to do sometimes but I wouldn't have wanted mine to be outside all day, every day.

TheDetective Wed 14-Nov-12 18:49:11

What do you do about those who drop their children off at different times?

I'm a shift worker. I'd be totally put off if I couldn't drop my child off at the appropriate times for my shifts.

RarelyUnreasonable Wed 14-Nov-12 19:13:08

Sounds awesome. Where do you live?!

BooyhooRemembering Wed 14-Nov-12 19:19:42

sounds good in theory.

the fact that you are 20 miles away from where the dcs are dropped off and picked up would put me off. how close are you to the schools you would be picking up/dropping off from? what about parents/grandparents picking up in an emergency? would you need a different type of CM insurance?

HSMM Wed 14-Nov-12 19:48:56

It wouldnt be easy to get a sick child collected if you are too far away. You might be better with children who can get dropped off where you are spending the day and picked up from there?

calmlychaotic Wed 14-Nov-12 20:10:02

i love the idea, as a parent i would worry about cold weather, and what they do when they have a bit of a cold, my own and mindees are all snuffly and bunged up at the moment and i wouldnt like the idea of sending them out in all weathers just now. i think if you could offer a bad weather alternatve. also and this may be irrational woulnt starting school be a massive shock to the system from something so different?

maybenow Wed 14-Nov-12 20:14:17

I'd go for a forest nursery and wouldn't mind about the 'all weather's if there's a yurt - I prefer being outdoors if i have a cold anyway and we're happy outdoors in all weathers when we camp.

BUT, i am not sure how it would work for a CM with the distance you're talking about and schools etc. or would you only take pre-schoolers? also, i'm not sure about clothing for after-school outdoors if the kids are in uniform for school.. in fact, i'm not sure about it working after school at all - just too much of a shock going from school to that environment.

So basically pre-schoolers only then yes.

junkyardgyp Wed 14-Nov-12 20:47:09

Wow great feedback thanks so much. Yeah I potentially have land available where I can erect a yurt which would have a wood burner. The yurt, I feel, would be a lovely space to spend time in. Kids can nap there and also spend time in when chilly and wet. I am based in Glasgow and I would only consider pre schoolers 2 1/2 - 5. I would ensure a supply of warm, outdoor, weather proof gear at yurt to stay warm. I was concerned that the notion of the travel would put parents off so thanks for comments lots of food for thought. Will keep you posted!

cashmere Wed 14-Nov-12 20:56:08

Oh we're Northern England : (
I put DS in tights or thermal leggings (cheap in Sainsburys) if we'll be outside for a long time- he doesn't seem to feel the cold though.
We stayed in 2 yurts (for a week total) when he was 5 months old and he napped/slept fine. We want to do it again but will prob wait a while because of the woodburner. Would need to make sure it had a fire guard in case he tripped near it.
What set up would you have for toilets- would they be those compost ones?

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Wed 14-Nov-12 20:57:30

I'm near Glasgow - I'd love to see your yurt when it's up and running.

OddBoots Wed 14-Nov-12 20:59:35

I love the idea of children spending lots of time outside but I'd want there to be more than one adult with them for it.

GrimAndHumourless Wed 14-Nov-12 21:47:39

this page from the Secret Garden Outdoor Nursery makes me want to weep with joy What a lovely place to learn, the enthusiasm and passion flows boundlessly


junkyardgyp Wed 14-Nov-12 22:19:05

I would absolutely want to do it with another adult for sure, to be able to share ideas, thoughts also for H&S. I love the secret garden they really know what they are doing, their nurturing ethos really comes through in their website. Toilets are available already on site although I really like the idea of going as green as possible ie compost toilet. Have this wonderful memory with my children in Mabie forest Dumfries of sitting on the loo watching squirrels leaping in the trees, love it!

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Wed 14-Nov-12 22:42:57

I like the idea of it as a pre-school/playgroup thing, but not for childcare.

Partly because if I'm going to work then I'm going to need childcare from pre-2.5 years old and post 5 years old. I wouldn't want to settle my child with one childcarer as a baby, then move them at 2.5 and them move them again at 5 when they start school.

The other reason would be that I know there would be times when it was very cold/wet/windy or times when they were tired/under the weather that I wouldn't want them in that environment. Fine if I'm at home and using it as a playgroup because I can just keep them off, but no use if I have to send them because I need to be at work. I'm not very outdoorsy though so maybe not a problem for others.

Welovecouscous Wed 14-Nov-12 23:00:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RyleDup Wed 14-Nov-12 23:03:16

Sounds brilliant.

BackforGood Thu 15-Nov-12 14:54:28

Today, where I live, it's been really foggy. Just one of those damp, dark, yucky days.
I'm all for getting outside everyday. I'm all for getting down and getting muddy. One or another or even any combination of my family are away camping for the majority of weekends over a year.
I certainly wouldn't want my child(ren) doing that for 9 hrs a day, 5 days a week. It's a great thing to do, but then, so is walking to the post office, or watching the men dig up the road, or doing some baking, or washing all the dolls clothes and pegging them on the line, or going to a toddler group in a local church hall, or snuggling up on the settee when you've come in on a rainy day. It's about balance, for me, and I don't think spending that many hours in a forest, all day every day, is very balanced.

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