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I am an accredited registered childminder living (and working) in Devon and find it almost impossible to access FSAT led foundation stage training courses, which as an accredited c/m I am obliged to do; four days worth of them.

I can of course read books and other periodicals, watch televison programmes and access information from the internet (e-learning) with a foundation bias to fulfil my training obligation, but I feel that this information is not as good for c/m, as tutor led courses, as most of the above forms of information are based on group-care rather than home-based care. For example, the, 'working with a group of six children...'

I have no problems accessing Birth to Three training, or training for general subjects, such as communication skills or schemas, as the tutors who run these non-FSAT led courses are prepared to work on a Saturday.

The problem is simply one of FSAT led courses, of which Devon runs many, which cover all areas of the Foundation Stage curriculum, only being accessible mid week, (Tue - Thurs usually) term time only. I work full time, and have 7 pre-school children on my books, all with parents who are teachers at the local community college, so the chance for me to take time away from work in order to train is impossible, as they themselves would, in turn, then be unable to work!

I wondered if any other C/Ms had, or are, experiencing problems regarding the availability of training?

Many thanks,

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Hello magistra and a warm welcome to the forum. :D I can see why you must be frustrated. Have you approached your training providers with this problem? They should really know as there must be many more childminders in the same position as you.

Hopefully at least now you are a forum member you can find lots of foundation stage related articles, resources, and posts to help keep you informed, especially useful as they are from real life experiences.


Good luck and I hope you get the 4 days per year training as you equally deserve.



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Guest cathy m

Hi Magistra


I'm also a childminder and understand exactly how you feel. We have the same problem, so many courses during the day. Many of us discuss this issue with our early years service but still not able to access many.

If there is something I particularly I want to attend then sometimes I will take the day off, feeling guilty because of the the alternative arrangements parents need to take. Of course it also means loosing a day's pay.


It continues to frustrate me and many other childminders I come into contact with.



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'Hello' and many thanks for the 'Welcomes'.

Since posting my plight, I have been in touch with the Principle Office of DCMA, (Devon Childminding Association - I'm also a committee member of the aforesaid committee,) to be told that, yet again at her most recent meeting with Devon EYCS, the response that they have given is that they, 'Don't know what to do about my letters', which isn't particularly helpful, but I suppose I should take comfort from the fact that this is better than them declaring that I must take time off work to attend mid-week training, which would be particuluarly problematic for me, as I mind all teachers children, many who are married to teachers and don't have families living locally. The problem is compounded by the fact that as an accredited childminder I am also in receipt of Early Years Grant Funding for my 3 and 4 year olds, so, if I take a day away from work, I legally am bound to make that/those funded sessions up again, which during some terms is particually difficult to get in the full 13 weeks. I shall keep on nagging though as I don't understand why it is not a problem for BTTM training, but is for FST training.

It will also be interesting to see what happens with the new EYFS framework due out at the end of March and whether the training will be split into age/ability groups or rolled out as a whole.

Many thanks again for all your responses, its interesting to hear what happens elsewhere in the country.

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hi i live in gloucestershire and am also accredited. we are very fortunate to have foundation stage meetings available in the evenings as well as daytime. it is accessed by both playgroups and childminders. Do you have a cdo (childminding delvelpmement officer) can she help?

we have only got where we are by keeping on at the providers of training.



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