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Free help to launch your own childminding business

Date: 17 December 2021

Photo of a childminder - courtesy of Scottish ChildMinding Association

Orkney Islands Council is launching a free training and support programme aimed at encouraging up to ten individuals to become new professional childminders, in a bid to help address childcare shortages in the county.

The programme is being delivered by the Council’s Employability Service in partnership with the Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) and covers everything a new child minder will need to do to achieve registration.

The programme will deliver the following courses run by SCMA, via e-learning:

  • Induction to Childminding
  • Child Protection in a Childminding Setting
  • The Business Side of Childminding course
  • Realising the Ambition - this unit focusses on increasing confidence and knowledge of child learning and the different stages of development in a child’s early years.

The Council has also worked with local first aid trainers Orkton Services to provide Paediatric First Aid to people who sign up to the programme, and there will also be sessions with the Council’s Business Gateway team on business start-up grants available.

Both the Council’s Employability service and SCMA will also be able to provide support with completing the registration process with the Care Inspectorate.

The entire training programme will be fully funded by the Council, for up to ten people.

An information and sign-up event is being held virtually on 25 January 2022, at 7pm, with the view to starting the training programme in mid-February.

Chair of the Council’s Education, Leisure and Housing Committee, Gwenda Shearer, said: “I think any working parent is aware of the challenges the pandemic has brought and the demand for childcare right now.

“Our message to anyone considering becoming a childminder is there has never been a better time – you’ll be taking advantage of free training and support and you’ll be helping meet the needs of working parents in the county who want to get back to work and support their families’ finances.”

All childminders in Scotland need to be registered with the Care Inspectorate and this programme will also help to support new childminders through this registration process.

Suzy Fraser is an Employability Keyworker with Orkney Islands Council: “We’ve created this programme to support new childminders by giving them all the information and skills they would need to set up – a bonus is the ready-made support network created by going through the process together as a group.”

Local childminder Lorna Robertson will be talking about her experience at the information even. She says childminding has been an extremely rewarding career choice:

“I enjoy childminding as I love being able to watch the children grow and develop into lovely young children and watch their personalities come out.

“For me my job feels so rewarding being able to offer support to families with anything I can to help and offering a safe and happy environment for their children to enjoy.

“They soon feel like part of your family and I love when new additions from the family join my service.

“I’m so glad I became a childminder and I hope I can help encourage others to become one too. The support of other childminders is great here in Orkney, there’s always someone willing to help.”

Lisa MacKay from SCMA said: “Childminding is a rewarding career choice which also provides flexibility to earn an income while working around your own family. We’re delighted to be involved in supporting new childminders in Orkney at the very start of their journey.

“We know there are some specific challenges with access to local, high-quality, flexible childcare in remote and rural communities such as the Orkney Islands.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Orkney Islands Council to help support people who may wish to embark on a new career in childminding – it’s important that the childminding workforce increases to enable parents and carers to access this nurturing form of childcare for their family if they wish."

To register for the information session on 25 January, email Suzy Fraser or register via the EventBrite website.

Professional childminders work from their own home to provide a flexible, high quality childcare service in a family setting. It is a hugely rewarding career that provides the opportunity to contribute to childrens’ development, learning and wellbeing. It helps to provide a valuable, professional childcare service in the community, while developing new skills and qualifications. It also enables people to be their own boss working from home and earn money while working around their own family’s needs.

Childminders join the profession from a wide range of backgrounds, professions and life stages, often when they are considering how they could combine caring for their own family with a rewarding career. The workforce is diverse but they all share the same passion for supporting children and families in their local community.

The image on this page is courtesy of the Scottish Childminding Association.

  • Summary:

    Orkney Islands Council is launching a free training and support programme aimed at encouraging up to ten individuals to become new professional childminders, in a bid to help address childcare shortages in the county.

  • Category:
    • Learning and Dev. (CLD)
    • Education

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS