CYPRUS

BECOMING A CHILDMINDER IN BRITISH FORCES CYPRUS (BFC). IS CHILDMINDING FOR YOU?

WOULD YOU LIKE A CAREER CHANGE OR TO START A NEW ONE? DOES THE PROSPECT OF RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS IN YOUR OWN HOME AND WORKING WITH CHILDREN APPEAL TO YOU? IF SO, THEN CHILDMINDING MAY BE FOR YOU. BECOMING A REGISTERED CHILDMINDER GIVES AN INCREDIBLY REWARDING CAREER WITH ALL THE BENEFITS OF HOME-BASED WORKING.

Childminders work in their own homes caring for other people’s children, providing plenty of opportunities to develop and learn through play. They often look after children from birth and become a well respected and important part of families’ lives, managing a business like relationship with the parents as well as being part of a close community.

There are many points you should consider before applying to become a registered childminder. For example, the impact childminding will have on yourself, your partner and any other children in your home. You need to consider the change in routine, extra noise and how your children – if you have any, may react to having to share their home, toys and you. Childminders must have a positive and inclusive attitude and be prepared to meet the specific needs of a diverse range of families and children.

Childminding can lead to a rewarding career in childcare that is fully transferable and can continue in the UK and BFG upon posting.

WHAT DOES A REGISTERED CHILDMINDER DO?

As a registered childminder you will provide flexible day-care for one or more children under the age of 8 for more than a total of two hours a day, usually in your own home, for payment. As a registered childminder you will have to work in conjunction with the Early Years Foundation Stage and will be inspected to ensure you provide a safe and stimulating environment for the children that you care for.

WHAT DOES SSAFA DO? AND HOW CAN WE HELP?

SSAFA has been granted accreditation by the Secretary of State for regulating childcare provision overseas, as would be undertaken by Ofsted in England. This means SSAFA is responsible for the registration and inspection of early years services in British Forces Cyprus this includes childminders and crèche provision.

In addition SSAFA can help you decide whether to apply to be a childminder and support you through the application process. SSAFA provides advice, training and support to childminders and there is a SSAFA Childcare Co-ordinator and administrators on each base to help and support you through the application and registration process, and beyond.

HOW DO I APPLY TO BECOME A REGISTERED CHILDMINDER?

Firstly, contact the SSAFA Childcare Co-ordinator or administrators on the base where you live, they will be able to answer any questions about the application process and let you know the dates of the Pre Registration Briefing Sessions. You will need to attend this session before you can apply to become a childminder. It will explain the registration process and give you a chance to ask questions.

IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW, HOW TO REGISTER AND THE FORMS YOU NEED TO COMPLETE

  • SSAFA aim to complete your application process in 6 months.
  • Application Form (EYC) to be completed and application forms (EY2) to be completed by anyone over the age of 16 living on the premises.
  • Requirement to have a DBS (Disclosure and Baring Service) check (formally known as a CRB check). A DBS check is required for each person living or working from the premises (over the age of 16). This information is confidential.
  • Vetting Checks - SSAFA also request additional vetting information for individuals and their partners, who are currently serving or have served in the British Armed Forces. This information is confidential.
  • Health checks – a Health Declaration Booklet will need to be completed by each person living or working from the premises (over the age of 16). Applications will be forwarded to your GP to gain their comments with regard to medical suitability. This is to ensure you are medically suitable to care for children, the information is confidential.
  • References - the application form requests 2 references, one should be a current or most recent employer (if applicable), the second is a character reference which can be friends but not family.
  • Business Licence – as you will be self employed, this application will enable you to operate your business on SBA’s. This application is co-ordinated via your local Housing & Community Support Office (HCSO).

YOUR QUALIFICATIONS AND TRAINING

You will need to attend the following before registration; the Childcare Co-ordinator will help arrange these for you.

  • Introduction to Childminding & Understand how to set up a home-based childcare service” (PACEY recommended)
  • SSAFA Safeguarding Children Course - Levels 1 & 2 (Level one is a booklet to read and complete, Level 2 is a 4 hour course to attend)
  • Paediatric First Aid Course (12 hours)

You have to attend this course before you become a childminder. It will give you the knowledge and confidence to deal with common emergencies in a childcare and home environment. This must be updated every 3 years and is not funded by SSAFA; your Childcare Co-ordinator can help you arrange this locally.

Childcare practitioners must hold the above qualifications as a condition of the Early Years Foundation Stage Welfare Requirements.

WHAT IS THE EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE (EYSF)?

All providers of childcare and education, from birth to five, including childminders, work within a play-based framework called the Early Years Foundation Stage (please see “The revised statutory framework 2012 for implementation September 2012”).

The EYFS lays down requirements, such as for the maximum number of children you can mind, including your own children. Part of the EYFS, is a document called ‘Development Matters’. Click here to read Development Matters.

FURTHER TRAINING

Once you are a registered childminder ongoing training and development is encouraged, PACEY (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years) are able to offer information about your professional development.

WHAT IS A PRE-REGISTRATION VISIT?

Usually once you have received you DBS (formally CRB check) certificate you will be required to contact your SSAFA administrator who will book a visit with a SSAFA inspector in order to support your application to provide childcare and that you and your home is going to be suitable. The Childcare Co-ordinator will continue to support you through this process too.

To prepare for the Pre-Registration visit, click here for SSAFA's Pre-Registration Guide. The guide includes the questions they may ask you, so spend some time considering your answers so you feel confident before they arrive.

The Inspector uses the visit to:

  • Check your identity, premises and equipment
  • Asses your suitability as a childminder
  • Your ability to deliver all aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage with which you must be familiar
  • Assess how you will help children to make good progress with their learning and development while they are in your care
  • Assess how you will meet safeguarding and welfare requirements.

The visit will be an informal interview; the interview includes checking that you will be able to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage, checking the premises to see if they are suitable, checking any policies and procedures, and checking your risk assessment. At the end of the visit the inspector will tell you about the next steps, including whether you are ready to be registered. Once the visit is completed SSAFA will consider all your application information and inform you if we are able to register you as a childminder.

INSURANCE

Holding Public Liability Insurance is a legal requirement, you must evidence your insurance certificate along with your childminding registration number and business licence to enable SSAFA to register you and continue to help you promote your business and access any available professional development training. 

The MOD Standing Orders discuss insurance for Childminders:

ORDER NO 6: CHILDMINDING ON CROWN PROPERTY

  1. Units are reminded that where any group or individual is using MOD property for their own gain and profit, MOD must be indemnified against the possibility of any loss or claim for loss. There is a specific requirement for childminders, individuals or groups, to provide insurance cover (naming the Secretary of State for Defence) to the value of £2,000,000 for any one incident and unlimited in total.
  1. In particular units should warn wives who act as Childminders that this applies to them.

PACEY (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years), formally NCMA (National Childminding Association), among other providers sell insurance for childminding businesses.

WHAT ABOUT MY FINANCES?

As a registered childminder you will be self employed. You will set and collect your own fees, most childminders negotiate with parents. You will pay your own tax and national insurance and keep accurate records.

HOW CAN I ADVERTISE MY SERVICES?

SSAFA will help and advise where possible and will promote childminding via its website, you can advertise free of charge through your local HIVES and Welfare Offices. You could also advertise in local shops, schools or on notice boards.

As a SSAFA Registered childminder you will also be able to operate within the Armed Forces Childcare Voucher Scheme. Click here for more information.

STILL INTERESTED IN BECOMING A CHILDMINDER?

Before going any further, consider the following:

  • Do you enjoy looking after children?
  • How will your own family adapt to the disruption to their normal routine?
  • Can you respect a child’s individuality regardless of race, religion, disability or family status?
  • Do you understand the emotional, social and intellectual needs of children?
  • Can you create a warm, safe, loving environment in your home for a child in your care?
  • Can you provide children with stability, routine and individual attention?
  • Can you provide a good standard of hygiene and a nutritious diet?
  • Are you physically and emotionally able to meet the needs of young children?
  • Do you have the basic skills to maintain adequate records and run your own business?
  • Do you understand the importance of the procedure necessary for registration and inspection?

To find out more, get in touch with Jill Shaw, Childcare Coordinator

Tel +357 9961 8672

Email jill.s@ssafa.org.uk

 

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