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What Does Your Childminding Network Do For You?


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Hi

I m a network childminder and was keen to join up when the Network was first set up ,but I m begining to question exactly what I m getting for it

We ve got the "t shirt" !! and a fleece !! and ANOTHER file of paperwork and have regular visits from our network co ordinator (who is great and very efficient)

I get to meet up with fellow network childminders which is nice ,but it can be difficult as this is a county network and we are well spread out, and often have to travel quite a distance to meet up .This is difficult as I dont drive so have to rely on others.

 

but cant really think of much else !!

 

Im not sure what I was expecting ,but certainly thought there d be more "incentives" !!

 

 

So network childminders out there

 

What does your network offer you ??

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I am in the process of actually joining my local network but I am wondering if it is worth it?

 

I do get to meet other childminders but they only meet near me every 6-8 weeks, I too get a termly visit from my lovely development worker xD

 

I will be able to offer NEG(they have lost my paperwork so there is a delay) but there is a list of critieria that you have to acheive every year for example attend a certain amount of professional training sessions a year.(cant remember how many) Have unanounced visits from development officer plus extra paperwork :(

 

And we dont even get a T-shirt :o

 

At the end of the day I want to be recognised as a professional people still seem to label childminders as woman who stay at home with nothing better to do :(

 

Tink69

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I'm a Network Childminder.

 

18 months ago I, too, had doubts about continuing and was encouraged to do so as it's a Quality Assured scheme and Ofsted would be looking for this.

 

Additionally, I have the t-shirt, fleece, messenger bag (all in the loft!) letters to give to parents explaining what the Network aims are and the benefits to them - rigorous assessments, 3 announced and 1 unannounced visit each year, meetings every 6 weeks or so (minimum 4 per year to be attended) ongoing support and training....

 

I think perhaps I only see/feel the benefits when I have a query or an issue. My Network co-ordinator visits regularly, gets to know the children I care for and can give me a second opinion if I feel I need one.

 

Now that I've adjusted my expectations in line with the sevice the Network offers I'm quite happy to pootle along, knowing they're there if I need them :o

 

Nona

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Hi

I m a network childminder and was keen to join up when the Network was first set up ,but I m begining to question exactly what I m getting for it

We ve got the "t shirt" !! and a fleece !! and ANOTHER file of paperwork and have regular visits from our network co ordinator (who is great and very efficient)

I get to meet up with fellow network childminders which is nice ,but it can be difficult as this is a county network and we are well spread out, and often have to travel quite a distance to meet up .This is difficult as I dont drive so have to rely on others.

 

but cant really think of much else !!

 

Im not sure what I was expecting ,but certainly thought there d be more "incentives" !!

 

 

So network childminders out there

 

What does your network offer you ??

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Networks seem to be a bit of an 'in' group in our area - not really open to all-comers, but a major benefit is that you are eligible for Community Childminding places which I believe can be quite lucrative, and I think Nursery Education Grant can only be claimed if you're a Network Childminder. It seems to me that the support gained from the Network would be better placed on new childminders, who in turn bestow their experience on newbies.

 

Can someone say what expenses are involved?

 

Cheers,

 

Fe

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Networks seem to be a bit of an 'in' group in our area - not really open to all-comers, but a major benefit is that you are eligible for Community Childminding places which I believe can be quite lucrative, and I think Nursery Education Grant can only be claimed if you're a Network Childminder. It seems to me that the support gained from the Network would be better placed on new childminders, who in turn bestow their experience on newbies.

 

Can someone say what expenses are involved?

 

Cheers,

 

Fe

 

In our area, Fe, you have to be registered for 12+ months and get a "good" at least, from Ofsted, to join the Network. There is no cost involved in becoming a Network childminder unless you want to buy additional t-shirts or fleeces which are the optional uniform.

 

Once you're a Network childminder you can register as an Accredited Childminder for NEF.

 

You have to be a Network Childminder to become a Childminder Mentor (who support new childminders) The Mentors are paid for their expenses for telephone calls etc.

 

Nona

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Hi fiona, in our area we need a level 3 and have at least a good, we have to take on the role as a support childminder too i think, anyone is welcome and there have been many invites sent out in the last 24 months :)

 

The community childminding has not taking off in North tyneside and has not been given to childminders as yet so sorry not really lucrative for us, plus they limited it too £4 an hour :)

 

You have to agree to 3 visits at least a year and one being unannounced, if you decide to join the accreditation its an additional 3 visits at least or until they think everything is in place, this pays £3.43 for our area :)

 

We can also offer the 2 year old funding but again it has not been seen by us childminders just the cc, we get a fleece and recieved a copy of Penny Tassoni new book :)

 

For me its a another string to my bow being on the network and as long as its not adding too much to my work then i dont mind, it gives chance for to catch up with others we dont see very often :)

 

We have a meetings, the one on Monday is about using the internet, they are never very taxing but usually bearable :)

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Hi fiona, in our area we need a level 3 and have at least a good, we have to take on the role as a support childminder too i think, anyone is welcome and there have been many invites sent out in the last 24 months :)

 

The community childminding has not taking off in North tyneside and has not been given to childminders as yet so sorry not really lucrative for us, plus they limited it too £4 an hour :)

 

You have to agree to 3 visits at least a year and one being unannounced, if you decide to join the accreditation its an additional 3 visits at least or until they think everything is in place, this pays £3.43 for our area :)

 

We can also offer the 2 year old funding but again it has not been seen by us childminders just the cc, we get a fleece and recieved a copy of Penny Tassoni new book :)

 

For me its a another string to my bow being on the network and as long as its not adding too much to my work then i dont mind, it gives chance for to catch up with others we dont see very often :)

 

We have a meetings, the one on Monday is about using the internet, they are never very taxing but usually bearable :)

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There has been one mention in a newsletter since I qualified 12 months ago but it came without the appropriate application pathway, or handshake/password/I don't know what. Everyone I asked about it passed me along so I assumed it must be something personal.

 

It seems somewhat backward that it must be proven that one doesn't need support and guidance before getting it?

 

Fe

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I am currently chair of a very long standing childminding support group which has never been a network group. We have recently been approached by our new development officer asking us to become a network group and I was just wondering what i should expect from this?and would it be in our best interests? Other areas within derbyshire have network groups which use surestart centres and have a lot of input from them and what seems like lots laid on for them. When I approached our local surestart centre the reception was very cautious to say the least. I suspect that our development officer may just be ticking boxes by getting our group to take on the role.........????????

 

Marie

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Nona, thanks for the link.....very interesting. We now have a lady from the ncma coming to our next meeting to fill us in on it all and what we may be able to get out of it. I'm being very cautious at the moment. xx

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm a Network CM and we have a visit froma co-ordinator every 8 to 12 weeks, we are "quality assured" but this means that anyone who is in the network will now have to do QUILT which I have yet to begin...we have an annual review and we run drop-in groups for other CMs at children's centres, and get paid for doing so. There are also termly network drop-in groups run by the co-ordinators. Our team of co-ordinators are fantastic, friendly and supportive. If we want to offer funded places we have to belong to the network, and we are also approached about respite schemes etc. We were all given some giant t-shirts about 4 years ago but I returned mine!!!

 

However I don't really think it makes any difference to most parents whether or not you belong to a network as long as they connect with you, except perhaps for parents involved in early years or teaching work themselves.

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Thanks everyone for your replies

our network seems to be offering all that you ve mentioned ,.We do have to meet a list of criteria and have regular visits etc

I thought may be there would be more somehow.something to really inspire us to be part of it.

The issue I have is when asked by other childminders what i ve gained from the network i find it hard to answer. and if I had to sell it to other childminders to join I think i d struggle!!!

I cant charge any more,I dont have vacancies to fill and our brilliant network co ordinator is also our childminding development worker so is around for help and advice anyway.( at least she is at the moment as there are major LA job cuts in our area -fingers x d we dont loose her)

 

Several of us have been invited to discuss what more we d like to see from the Network so will have to see what that brings ,but its been indicated that anything that invoves expense is unlikely to happen due to the current economic climate.

 

hey ho!!

i suppose i should be greatful for small incentives at least i ve got the title ,file and the

T SHIRT !!! :o

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when i became a childminder in 2004 i joined our children come first network. we all became accredited and then around 2007 the network was brought to an end due to funding i believe. i was then urged to do my level 3 quality first portfolio so that i could keep my accredited status, which i did, and have recently found out that that too is being finished. so...like you...i have put in a GREAT deal of extra time on top of doing my DHC, NVQ level 3 all in the same 12 months. i feel i have jumped through hoops to demonstrate my professionalism :o

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