Kerry County Childcare Committee was established in 2001. Childminding was highlighted as one of the Committee’s key priorities in the development of childcare for Kerry. The Childminding Advisory Officer’s role is to assist people interested in establishing or developing quality home-based childminding services by offering information, training and support on a daily basis.
The Childminder Development Officer’s role is also to support parents who are looking for a childminder. Often a lot of confusion exists around the area of childminding. We are familiar with the traditional idea of grandparents or family members caring for children while parents are working. This is a very valuable source of childcare. However, nowadays many families do not have the support of relatives as they may be living in different parts of the country. A huge need exists for the provision of home-based childcare. Many parents prefer their children to be cared for in a family environment where their children will be treated as part of the family.
The Development Officer’s role includes the following:
- Provide a support system for new and existing childminders who care for up to five children under the age of six in the childminder’s own home.
- Support childminders through the process of establishing a childminding business in their own home i.e. provide subsidised relevant training, assistance in developing a relevant record keeping system, assistance in developing appropriate policies & procedures, information on notification to Health Service Executive, assistance in the process of voluntary notification to KCCC, information on advertising their service, etc.
- Disseminate information to new and existing childminders.
- Support visits to childminders homes if requested by the childminder.
- Organise and deliver training to meet the needs of childminders.
- Facilitate the establishment of local networks of childminders.
- Provide information sessions to interested groups when requested.
- Provision of information & support by phone, email, text, post, or through meetings.
Supports offered to Childminders
All actions aimed at the development of childminding are delivered under the headings of: