if we are now able to, as childminders, able to draw down early years funding why do parents still want their children to go to pre schools from the age of 2 as well as come to us. i am interested and what could we do to encourage you to leave your children with us instead of using preschool. hope ive worded that ok!
I've just started my DS at a pre-school after using the services of a childminder since he was 10 months old. He is now 2.4 years.
He is enjoying the pre-school in a way I never saw him enjoy going to the childminder's house. In lots of ways I felt he had outgrown the care he had there, and needed the additional stimulation of pre-school. He is quite a sociable little boy, and needed the additional company.
My childminder was great but he never did any real activities there. He was taken to a playgroup every so often, but she didn't do any crafts, or structured activities that I am aware of. He does all this at pre-school, and talks happily about the guinea pigs, and the trains, and his new friends.
I guess if you are a childminder that has animals, and organises activities, then you'll be able to compete. But for us, pre-school seemed like the next stage in his development, almost a bit like going from nappies to the loo, if you see what I mean!
I'm a CM myself but the reason I sent my ds1 to nursery when he turned 3 was to get him ready for school with a bigger group and with a classroom etc. It's attached to the school and certainly helped him prepare and he had friends that moved up to reception with him and now yr 1. I'll be doing the same with ds2 even though he loves all the little ones we have here etc. He's only 8 months atm but I love the school and look forward to him enjoying nursery 5 mornings a week.
I do plenty with the children so it isn't about that, for me it's to get them familiar to the environment.
Having said all that, I'm looking into becoming an Accredited Childminder but that's for those who want that option and don't want to do nursery.
I use both a CM (outstanding - she is fab!) & pre-school. They both offer different "learning" opportunities & experiences. I value both of them.
I could not rely on a pre-school for childcare whilst at work. I think it is good preperation for school - being with a larger grop of children all a similar age and being in the same room for a longish stretch of time.
The CM takes her out & about, they have a close relationship, she has to play with children of different ages.
I'm a CM too and I have started my DS at pre-school (he is 3). They have far more space than me and lots more children and I think he learns different things from it. Not just activities (we do outings and crafts etc etc) but learning other social skills that come from being with a larger group.
Im an accredited cm and I actually advise parents to use at least 1 session at a preschool so that school doesn't come as such a shock. I find out what the preschool aims to concentrate on that term and let them know what I'm doing with child and we offer complementory education to give the child as broad an education as possible.
My CM doesn't she is just like a CM and we parents who use early years funding sessions with her are very happy to pay a donation towards the costs of trip etc that the EYF grant doesn't cover the cost of.
I use both - I think they offer different things - I like that fact that my preschooler is mixing with lots of children her own age and is getting 'ready' for school in September, but I also like the fact that she has the homey atmosphere of the CM's.