When the time comes to go back to work and you need to find someone to take care of your child, it can often be a challenge. Many parents will use a mix of informal care, with help from a grandparent or relative, combined with formal childcare of some kind.
What is Home-Based Childcare?
One option is home-based pre-school. This is basically where a registered childminder sets up their own domestic property as a small nursery. They look after just a few children at a time and need to be registered with Ofsted if they want to operate as a business.
Some childminders may group together to provide care for more kids in one location. You might, for example, find two childminders and two assistants working from a single location.
What are the Benefits?
- Many parents prefer the idea of their child being in a smaller group where they get one to one attention every day. Larger nurseries may mean a child becomes lost in the crowd or doesn’t get the proper schooling or development they need.
- This type of childcare is seen as a home from home for the individual child compared to an actual school and can be less intimidating. Once they get used to the environment, it becomes a natural part of their day.
- There are usually a range of children of different ages which can help with social development. In more established pre-schools, same age children can be separated. This may be particularly important if your child doesn’t have any siblings and you think they will benefit from engaging with older children.
- Find the right childminder and they can end up looking after your child from a young age to the moment they go to school for the first time. This type of continuity is actually rare but delivers reassurance and stability for the child as they begin to develop.
- Childminders and home-based schooling tends to be a lot more flexible than other childcare options. If you are running late or need your child to stay a later, it generally isn’t a problem. That can be useful if you are very busy or do shift work where you can be delayed on occasion.
- Registered childminders are expected to deliver the Early Years Learning Foundation in compliance with Ofsted rules. While this may be less formal than in other pre-school businesses, it nonetheless means that attention is being paid to the development of your child.
The Inconveniences of Home-Based Schooling
Because these are small businesses with just a few people, when someone is ill you could suddenly have no childcare for the day. That means you need to have a backup plan. The good news is that most home-based childminders are part of a network and may be able to suggest someone who can cover for the day.
The big issue many parents face is finding the right childminder in the first place. A lot will depend on where you live, what your job is as well as what your needs are. If you live in a big city, you may well have access to more choice than if you live in a small town. That said, chances of finding the right childminder are much higher than finding a nursery because childminders are able to run their practice from their homes which means that they are pretty much every where. Here, at Kwicare, we endeavour to make it much easier to find the right childminder and to sort by proximity to your home.
Even so, because home-based schoolers only take on a few children at a time, it can be difficult to get a place in your desired location.
Many parents prefer home-based schooling because of its familiar surroundings and the fact that their child gets more attention focused on them during the day. They also build a stronger personal relationship with their childcare provider which helps to provide continuity and reassurance for the future.