CYPRUS

WHAT IS A BABYSITTER?

A babysitter is someone who will look after your child or children, in your own home for short periods of time. Babysitters are not formal childcare, it is parental choice.

If you are thinking about becoming a Babysitter, we suggest that you discuss the pros, cons and risks of the job with your parent or guardian. In the company of your parent or guarding, read the information on this page, and visiting the NSPCC website which has much more information.

DO BABYSITTERS HAVE TO BE REGISTERED?

Babysitters are not registered and at present there are no regulations which govern them. Babysitters do not need any qualifications to look after children – anybody can advertise their services as a babysitter. Parents and carers must decide themselves whether someone is suitable and responsible enough to look after their children.

HOW OLD DOES A BABYSITTER NEED TO BE?

The law does not state an age at which young people can babysit. However, the NSPCC website does not recommend asking anyone under 16 to look after a young child. If you use a babysitter who is under 16 years old, you are still legally responsible to ensure that your child comes to no harm. Some young people, even at 16, may not be mature enough to be left to care for children.

The MOD's Standing Orders states that children over 16 years of age may be suitable to babysit other children. 

The MOD Standing Orders discuss Babysitting:

ORDER NO 4: BABYSITTING

  1. All heads of families are reminded of their responsibilities towards their children, particularly if left in the care of babysitters. Children under the age of 14 must not be left unsupervised.
  1. When choosing babysitters all parents are reminded of their responsibility for the health, welfare and safety of their children and are advised to exercise great care in their choice of babysitters. Parents should ensure that babysitters are at least 16 years old, have adequate experience and have a level of maturity in the care of young children.
  1. If a child is left with a babysitter under the age of 16 and it is thought that the child is at risk because he/she is inadequately supervised, disciplinary action may be taken against the parent(s) and/or care proceedings could be taken in respect of the child.
  1. In summary:
  1. Children under the age of 14 must not be left unsupervised.
  2. Babysitters should be over the age of 16.
  3. Where babysitters are under the age of 16, the parent(s) may be subject to disciplinary action if the child is thought to be at risk.
  4. It is the parent(s) responsibility to ensure that their child(ren) is adequately cared for.

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.

WHAT IS THE LAW ABOUT LEAVING CHILDREN ALONE AT HOME?

The law does not specify an age when a child can be left at home alone. However, parents commit an offence if leaving the child at home alone puts him or her at risk.

 

WHAT SHOULD I THINK ABOUT, WHEN CHOOSING A BABYSITTER?

The NSPCC advise: “Follow your instincts. If you have any doubts about a childminder, babysitter or other carer, don’t take them on”.

They also say: “Listen to your child. If your child seems to be unhappy about a particular babysitter, find someone else” (NSPCC ‘Home Alone’ leaflet).

  • Invite them to meet your child before they babysit for you and see how your child reacts to them.
  • Always get at least two references and follow them up. This could be a tutor at college or other parents who have used their services. Try to assess their maturity and their ability to cope in emergency situations.
  • Ask questions, such as:
    - What experience do they have?
    - Do they have First Aid knowledge?
    - What are their ideas about discipline?
    - Which television programmes do they consider suitable for children to watch?
    - What would they do in an emergency?
  • Any concerns about a babysitter’s suitability should be shared with Social Care Services

WHAT IS THE LAW ABOUT LEAVING CHILDREN ALONE AT HOME?

The law does not specify an age when a child can be left at home alone. However, parents commit an offence if leaving the child at home alone puts him or her at risk.

Click here to read more about this law.

WHAT DO I NEED TO TELL THE BABYSITTER?

Discuss your child’s normal routines and their likes and dislikes. Let them know about any allergies or special needs your child has. Discuss what they should do if your child is distressed or behaves badly when you leave. Make sure they know what to do in an emergency and ensure they know how to contact you.

You should also make sure they know your ‘house rules’, e.g. can they smoke in your house? What can they eat? Can they babysit with a friend? Are there rooms you don’t want them to have access to?

Give them a time when they can expect you back and make sure you contact them if you will be late. Agree payment beforehand and discuss how your babysitter will get back home.

WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION?

If you are still unsure about leaving your child in the care of another person, or a Babysitter, we suggest that you visit the NSPCC's website for more information.

 

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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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 12 weeks.
  • 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?

 

CHILDMINDER SEARCH

To find a childminder, follow this link.

 

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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SSAFA'S SUPERVISORS OF MIDWIVES ARE HERE TO PROVIDE YOU WITH HELP AND SUPPORT.

SUPPORT FOR PARENTS

How supervision and supervisors of midwives can help you

 

WHO ARE SUPERVISORS OF MIDWIVES?

Supervisors of midwives are experienced practicing midwives who have undertaken additional education and training to support, guide and supervise midwives. Every midwife must have a named supervisor of midwives.

 

HOW CAN SUPERVISORS OF MIDWIVES HELP ME?

Whilst the supervisor will support the midwife in the care she gives you, the supervisor can additionally help you by:

  • Listening and advocating on concerns about the care you have received from your midwife. Supervisors will talk to your midwife if you are concerned or unhappy
  • Supporting and advising you and your midwife in your care choices, for example place of birth
  • Creating an environment that facilitates effective communication between you and your midwife about your care
  • Discussing and debriefing with you if you are unhappy with your birth outcome or treatment. If you have had a difficult or traumatic birth, a supervisor can go through your notes and discuss your experience with you if you feel you are unable to do this with your midwife
  • Protecting the public by promoting safe practice and investigating concerns of health, competence, behaviour or misconduct of midwives. Supervisors can implement remedial action through supervised practice or referral to the local supervising authority (LSA) and the midwives regulatory body , the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • Responding to your complaints or concerns which may include assisting with issues such as staff attitudes, behaviour and care received. Discussing your concerns with a supervisor does not prevent you from undertaking a formal complaints procedure with your maternity care provider or with the NMC

 

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A SUPERVISOR OF MIDWIVES?

Supervisors of midwives give guidance and support to both midwives and you. They support the practice of midwives and ensure that the care offered is right for you, is given in the right place, by the right person and that it will benefit you and your baby. They act as positive role models for midwives, guiding and supporting them in developing their skills and expertise.

 

WHAT DO SUPERVISORS OF MIDWIVES DO?

Supervisors of midwives develop and maintain safe practice to ensure protection of you, your baby and family. They meet regularly with midwives and ensure a high standard of care is provided.

The supervisors are independent of the employer and often work in a team. Their role is different from the midwifery manager who is responsible to the employer to make sure that maternity services run effectively. The supervisor of midwives is accountable to the local supervising authority (LSA) and is supported in their role by the local supervising authority midwifery officer (LSAMO).

 

HOW DO I CONTACT A SUPERVISOR OF MIDWIVES?

A supervisor of midwives should be available 24 hours a day and can be contacted via the on-call or duty midwife. If you have any problems contacting a supervisor ask the duty midwife to inform the LSA office and ask them to call you. Alternatively you can access contact details of LSA midwifery officers in the UK on the NMC website at www.nmc-uk.org. The LSAMO will be able to provide you with further information on how to contact a supervisor of midwives in your area.

 

SSAFA SUPERVISORS OF MIDWIVES

CYPRUS Fiona Donaldson-Myles

BRUNEI Alison McMullin

GERMANY Yvonne Stevens

SSAFA'S SOCIAL WORK SERVICE PROVIDES A STATUTORY CHILD CARE SERVICE FOR CHILDREN UP TO THE AGE OF 18 OR 25, IF THEY HAVE BEEN IN LOCAL AUTHORITY CARE.

WE INVESTIGATE and assess concerns that have been reported to us regarding a child/ren that might be at risk of harm. By this we mean at risk of neglect physical, emotional, sexual abuse. This also includes Domestic abuse, sexual exploitation and children at risk of being radicalised. We have to work under clear legislation as in the UK but we will always aim to work with you in partnership to achieve this. We also work in partnership with other agencies such as the Police Health visitors and schools to protect children from harm. We want to work with you to assist in ensuring that children who are at risk of harm/in need are protected, reach their full potential and have the best start in life possible.

WE ASSESS, RECRUIT AND SUPERVISE FOSTER CARERS for when there is emergency care needed.

WE ASSIST THE UK LOCAL AUTHORITIES in the completion of Step Parent Adoptions, Special Guardianship Orders or when CAFCAS are involved.

SUPPORT PARENTS AND CARERS. We provide parenting support/advice working with Health Services. We run programmes that help identify and address difficulties in relationships for example Domestic abuse. We provide individual time for you to help you explore a solution to your personal circumstances. We support young carers and their families in times of crisis.

All Social Workers are registered with the Health Care Professional Council (HCPC) and Scotland equivalent. They abide by the standards and codes of conduct. If you feel that you are worried about a child or are a parent/carer and need advice/support please see below the named Social worker to contact in your area.


A SOCIAL WORKER SUPPORTS CHILDREN IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THEIR FAMILY AND OTHER AGENCIES.

SSAFA'S Social Work Service provides a statutory child care service for children in need of protection or services to ensure they develop to achieve their full potential.

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A PERSONAL & FAMILY SUPPORT WORKER IS HERE TO SUPPORT YOU IN A WELFARE CAPACITY.

SSAFA'S Personal & Family Support Service provides comprehensive and confidential support to the forces and their families, during their time in Cyprus.

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SOLUTIONS IS A FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL RELATIONSHIP SUPPORT SERVICE.

SSAFA's Solutions Service operates in all garrisons across British Forces Cyprus, to all entitled persons over the age of 18.

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WE SUPPORT THE CHILDCARE NEEDS OF OUR FORCES' FAMILIES IN BRITISH FORCES CYPRUS.

SSAFA is responsible for the registration and inspection of early years services in British Forces Cyprus this includes childminders and crèche provision

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WE SUPPORT AND DELIVER SAFEGUARDING & PROFESSIONAL TRAINING.

Safeguarding of Children Training develops the knowledge, skills and the ability to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people.

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WE SUPPORT FAMILIES DURING THEIR JOURNEY TO BECOMING FOSTER CARERS.

SSAFA'S supports Foster Carers to look after children for very short periods of time and often following a family crisis.

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OUR COMMUNITY VOUNTEERS AIM TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR OUR FORCES AND THEIR FAMILIES.

Our Volunteers work in support of SSAFA Cyprus Health and Social Care staff and contribute support as appropriate to the BFC service community with identified needs.

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OUR VICTIM SUPPORT SERVICE OPERATES THROUGH SSAFA AND IS ALIGNED WITH VICTIM SUPPORT UK.

SSAFA's Victim & Witness Support service operates outside the military Chain of Command, with our volunteers ready to support anybody affected by crime.

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OUR CHILDMINDER SEARCH TOOL HELPS OUR COMMUNITY TO FIND CHILDCARE CHOICES.

A childminder is a self-employed business person who works form their own home with children from different families.

FIND ME A CHILDMINDER
IN MY AREA...

 

 

Other Questions?  If you have any other questions or suggestions on how we might improve the advice and support we provide, please ask your Social Care Professional or contact SSAFA HQ

Tel        +357 2596 2506

Email    BFC-SSAFA-HQ-Admin@mod.uk

Presentation of SSAFA Cyprus Young Achiever Award to Nikkita Grant

In 2014 Nikkita Grant was awarded a SSAFA Cyprus Young Achiever Award.

Unfortunately the Grant family were posted to Germany from Cyprus in the summer of 2014, which meant that they were unable to attend the Awards ceremony held at the Officers’ Mess, Episkopi, British Forces Cyprus in March 2015.

Shawn Harris, SSAFA Volunteer Development Manager for Western Europe liaised with Nikkita’s parents and her new school, and was able to arrange for a special presentation at a recent assembly.

Nikkita was unaware of the Award until she was called forward for the presentation, so it came as a pleasant surprise for her and a very proud family.

 

 

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Poster Competition Winners - SSAFA BFC YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARDS

SSAFA recently held a ‘Design a Poster Competition’ to promote the annual launch of the Young Achiever Awards in BFC Cyprus, sponsored by Sodexo and supported by BFBS.

SSAFA would like to thank all the entrants for the high standard of creativity put into the posters.

The judges had the difficult but pleasurable task of choosing the winners and after some deliberation they chose the following;

Age group 5-9 – Patsy Burley age 8 from Dhekelia Primary School, overall competition winner.

Age group 10-13 - Lilian Housley age 11 from RAF Akrotiri Primary School

Unfortunately no entries were received for the 14-18 Age group 

Both winners will receive a £20 Amazon voucher. Patsy’s overall winning poster will also be featured in all the future advertising of the 2015 Young Achiever Awards.

Details of how to request nomination forms will be published in early September and the nomination forms will be available from the SSAFA-Cyprus website and the SSAFA-Cyprus Facebook page , in the HIVEs, Welfare Offices, schools, medical centres, AFF or from the Community Volunteer office Mil 3908 (Civ 25963908) or 99618079.

Thank you for your support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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