Forty childminders gathered in Galway recently to explore various ways of developing their childcare services. The event was supported by the Galway City and County Childcare Committee.
Mary Daly, education officer with the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment presented Aistear, the national curriculum framework for children from birth to six years. This was developed through, and is applicable to, all early years settings from childminding homes and crèches to infant classrooms. It provides information for adults to help them plan for and provide enjoyable and challenging learning experiences so that children can grow and develop as competent and confident learners.
Jan Mulvaney, an expert in childcare and education, explored the concept that “All children are special but some children have additional needs.” This was done in a workshop which supported practitioners to ensure their care enables children rather than further disables them.
Ann Marie Lydon, senior community dietician with the HSE West, spoke on “Good Nutrition Practices in Childminding Settings”. She provided nutritional information and inspiring menus as well as practical and cost effective recipes ideas.
The day ended with “Music and Movement for Children” facilitated by Laurie Link-Gordon, who persuaded all the delegates to get moving to the music and share their favourite songs, rhymes and children’s games.
Sheila Garrity, childminder advisory officer with the Galway City and County Childcare Committee, says the aim of this year’s childminders’ seminar was to enhance their skills in supporting children in their care to reach their full potential.
“This is an important annual event whereby childminders not only build upon their skills and knowledge as a childminder, but also make contact with others in the business to swap information and experiences.”
More than 70 per cent of parents of pre-school children who use childcare use a childminder. Childminders will be the largest supply of formal and informal childcare for these families in which both parents work outside the home.
The Galway City and County Childcare Committee, which was set up in 2,000, provides support, information, training and networking opportunities to childminders and potential childminders through the National Childminding Initiative.
For further information telephone (091 ) 752039 or log onto www.galwaychildcare.com