I read an interesting article in The Times recently about a new venture by Brett Wigdortz, the founder of educational charity Teach First.
Mr Wigdortz has launched tiney, a new childcare option to help parents find the best home-based Ofsted registered childcare in their local area - childminders to you and me.
The article says Mr Wigdortz is seeking 'to recruit thousands of professionals to switch career and work in childcare'.
"He wants to build a community of childminders who take their charges for shared activities in the neighbourhood to recreate the social-development benefits of a nursery," it adds.
Although it turns out Mr Widortz doesn't like the word childminder, believing it 'a very old-fashioned term'.
"Parents often have a lot of myths around childminders, just think they are there to mind a child, to babysit a child, when actually they have to follow the early years foundation stage framework.
"They are educators, they have to go through training, they have Ofsted inspections," he told The Times.
Instead, parents are paying for childcare in 'tiney homes' with members forming groups where they live to provide activities such as book clubs, visits to soft play centres or performances.
The tiney website says: "Every Ofsted registered community member working with tiney must pass a comprehensive 50 point quality inspection, as well as continually deliver against a set of ongoing customer service measures.
"All tiney community members are hand picked and vetted in their own homes by our education experts.
"Our standards are more comprehensive than those set by Ofsted, including DBS and first aid training.
"Everyone in the tiney community receives continuous support to make sure they deliver a gold standard of care.
"They get regular best practice advice from our early years experts, business support and active participation in a local tiney community.
"Every tiney home...embraces the tiney philosophy of home-based, play-centred, family-style care."
The number of registered childminders has fallen in recent years and Mr Wigdortz told The Times that, alongside more stringent curriculum and inspection standards, his research has found that isolation and lack of support or training are factors.
The article quotes Mr Widortz: "It reminded me of the early years of Teach First.
"What you have is this amazing job working with small children, you can make a massive difference in children’s lives if you have a skill set around it, it is very fulfilling but a lot of people who would be really good at it aren’t going into it.
"It is not being set up well for them.
"When we started Teach First people said top graduates are just not interested in teaching in low-income schools.
"Now they say people don’t want to become childminders but early on we have seen that’s absolutely not true.
"We have gotten lots of good applicants."
- At Riverside Training we provide a host of childcare short courses and qualifications. Call one of our friendly team for a chat to discuss the options on 01775 710945.