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Childminder With A Dog?


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Hi all,

 

I'm hoping someone can help me out. I'm considering becoming a childminder, but can't seem to find information to let me know if the fact that I have a west highland terrier who is 9 months old is likely to cause issues. I don't have the facilities in my home for her to be kept separate from the children at all times, though I can divide the garden so they would have separate outdoor spaces... this would mean she could be outside for part of the day, or even all of it in summer, but in winter I couldn't leave her out for very long, she'd have to be inside with the children. Any help or pointers would be wonderful!!

 

Danielle

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Hi,

 

I don't know what the regulations are nowadays, but I childminded years ago and always had my dogs inside. Children need to learn how to respect other living things and how to be safe around dogs. So saying you also need to keep your dog safe from the children! Even the nicest child can do something awful which could end in tragedy. I literally turned my back on an angelic 2 year old, she bit my dog and skinned her, and the dog ran off shaking like a leaf. Many other dogs would've turned round and bitten her, and I was totally shaken with fear that my dog could've mauled the child and scarred her for life. It turned out that her daddy let her torment the family cats so she really didn't know any better. Luckily, mum was more concerned about my shock and the poor dog! I continued to look after her and she learned how to be nice to dogs etc. and my little dog still loved her! After that I made sure that any dog in my house had somewhere safe to sleep. I never let my minded children in the kitchen so I had a gate across the door and the dogs could have a bed in the kitchen so we could all relax. I think your little dog needs somewhere she can sleep or play where the children can't get to her.

 

As I said, I childminded for years, and brought up two boys, without any other incidents. My policy was not to take children that a) my boys didn't really gel with :o who had any problems with my animals - family, including pets, came first so any children I minded had to become part of the family too. It is lovely to see children look after animals and treat them appropriately.

 

Good luck.

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Welcome to the Forum, curlydannii and Sharky because I don't think I've welcomed you before.

 

I'm not a chidminder but was on a course with quite a few last week, one of whom was talking about how her minded children love her dogs. I'm sure there is a section in the practice guidance about animals so I'm sure there isn't a problem with having animals - just that you need to have clear procedures etc. Have you spoken to your LA about it - they'll have all the information you need and it will all be covered during your registration process I would have thought.

 

There are lots of experienced childminders on here who will be able to give you chapter and verse, no doubt!

 

Incidentally, if haven't already done so, you can download a PDF of the practice guidance and statutory framework of the EYFS here. I find it very useful because you can do a search and get to the right places in the document without having to flick through the pages!

 

Maz

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I don't know about regulations but what better way to learn how to care for living things??

In an ideal world I would open a city nursery that had a city farm attached or amongst it. My childhood compared to the children I work with couldn't be more different and I feel that children really learn alot from caring for and being around animals.

I think the chidlren you care for are very lucky. My children have got Giant African Land snails!!

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Hello, I am a childminder and have a Border Terrier. I have had him for the 5 years I have been childminding. I have had an initial Ofsted inspection and 2 further Ofsted inspections and the dog has never been an issue. I got outstanding in every area on my last one, so obviously has no effect as far as Ofsted is concerned.

 

He is regularly wormed and has all his vaccinations. Although he tends to be in the utility in the daytime when I am childminding, he does come in with us sometimes. We take him for lots of walks and the children love him. He has a very friendly nature. When we are in the garden, he is often there with us. I teach the children to treat him with respect and be kind.

 

It is mentioned on my Children's Information Service details for parents to see, that I have a small dog. All of the parents that have visited are aware that I have a dog.

 

I think you will be fine, and would like to add that childminding is the best job in the world!

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I've been childminding for 11 years and have always had dogs.

 

They're part of the family and are around with the children but they do have access to their baskets in a separate room for when they want to be on their own. A childminder I know has a crate for her dog to use for the same purpose.

 

Ofsted have never raised any concerns over our pets (2 dogs, 1 cat, 2 rabbits, 2 parrotlets, 4 chickens and some doves - I forget how many! - in the garden! I have policies and procedures in place, the children are all taught to love and respect the animals and the pets are regularly wormed, de-flead etc as advised by the vet.

 

Most of the families I childmind for have pets at home. Those that don't appreciate the fact that their child is growing up around animals when their working hours prevent them having pets at home. It's quite a selling point for my home and childminding service!

 

Nona

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Thankyou all so much for your advice - it's inspiring to know that there are people out there who have managed to merge a normal family life (including their pets) with a rewarding career. I'll let you all know how the pre-registration meeting goes... hopefully I'll be joining you in the world of childminding soon!!!

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Hi -i had a dog, wonderful temperament, but had an incident where the dog became agitated with a particularly persistent child – growled and snapped- Didn’t actually bite, but I felt it was a warning sign- so dog unfortunately found new home. I don’t think the two mix- the risk is too big!!!

 

Ofsted ok. about dogs- just need parents permision.

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hi, this remind me of a nursey i used to visit as an nvq assessor about 4 year ago!- they actually had a dog in the nursery!! a big black lab that had its own file! (dob, vacinations etc!) the children loved it and so did ofsted!

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Hi

 

I have been a registered childminder since 1995 and I have always had a dog, some parents choose to come to me because of this, they would love a dog themselves but as they are out all day working they are not in a position to keep a dog or parents who do not want a dog but would like their child to be comfortable in the company of dogs. I also have a dog crate (door open) with his bed in it, the children are aware this is his space and do not go in, I find even small children are able to accept these boundaries.

 

I ensure that the dog has a space that is his own, i.e. I have a baby gate between the kitchen and this allows for time out ie if the children are being really excited/noisy.

 

He helps the children learn about care, respect for animals, etc, we take him for walks and he plays with the children in the garden and over the park.

 

Obviously the kind of dog you have makes a difference and as long as you respect the dog and the children's rights then we have found it works well.

 

Deb

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