Championing Childminders

When I tell people I meet that some of my work is with childminders some mistakenly have the impression that childminders, just put their little ones  in front of the television and leave them to get on with it.

They could not be more wrong.

Throughout my career as a teacher I have always enjoyed very good relationships with childminders and since the launch of chatta have I really been able to see for myself the invaluable role childminders play in the development and education of young children.

Childminders have a huge amount of experience of what children need, including their development through play and a range of experiences.

Childminder Pippa Ashton author of the brilliant blog “Worm’s Eye View” writes “I believe in lots of outdoor play, trips to the fields and woods, bug hunting, puddle splashing, conker collecting, gardening, den making…….. you name it! Lots of open ended and child led play, which is the very best way for a child to learn. Lots of hands on learning experiences, junk modelling, small world play, music, climbing, exploring and cooking”

Childminders do such a crucial job and do it so well, combining care, years of experience, a real understanding of children’s developmental needs.

Over the last 3 years I have spent time and worked with many childminders, and I was delighted to visit childminder Margaret Lonsdale last week to present a “chatta champion” award.

Margaret has been been supported by chatta training and resources and uses chatta to capture images of activities children have done to use for reflection and discussion. She is also recording her own and the children’s voices making the essential link between experiences and language.

“chatta is a good tool to capture play that is already happening. It doesn’t get in the way.” says Margaret. “The training is very clear and support from the chatta team is great. Everyone should try it- childminders like me and parents, as well as nurseries and schools”

Margaret has seen success with a number of children she works with.

“ I have used chatta with a boy called Oliver and have noticed an improvement in his language development.” explains Margaret “Oliver’s mum, Jill, saves all of the chats I share with her as a memory bank for him to receive when he is 18. chatta is not just for the child’s development, it’s also for the adult who models the language to reflect and for other things too”

More and more childminders are joining chatta. Full training is included along with support at every stage. chatta supports play based learning entirely whilst maximising opportunities to develop spoken language skills and ensuring the strongest partnerships with parents and carers.

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