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Childminders’ focus

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By Allison Leechildminder, author and trainer.

Allison Lee offers advice on keeping records; planning the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for children cared for before and after school, and provides some simple ‘Minibeasts’ activities

Expert advice

Keeping records

If you keep records about other people on your computer, it is worth knowing that for data protection purposes, you may need to notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) that you are a ‘data controller’.If you keep all your childminding records on paper, then you do not need to notify the ICO. Neither is it necessary for you to inform the ICO if you keep information about the names, ages and addresses of the children and their parents, details of payments or any data for staff administration on a computer, providing this is purely for accounts and records purposes.

However, if you keep more extensive records, or information of a sensitive nature, for example, health or development records on a computer, then you will need to contact the ICO.

Since the introduction of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in September 2008, many childminders now keep records about each individual child’s development on their computer and, if this is the case in your setting, you should notify the ICO.

The notification costs £35 per annum, and you can either complete your notification online at www.ico.gov.uk or request a form by telephoning the Notification Helpline on 01625 545745.

Q&A

I have started to care for children before and after school. What will Ofsted require to see in terms of planning for the Early Years Foundation Stage?

In this instance, you would not be the main carer of the children, therefore you would not be the main deliverer of the Early Years Foundation Stage – this would be the responsibility of the school. You will however be required to liaise with the school, and it is good practice to plan your own activities to complement the topics taught in the school. This is something that you could discuss with the teachers and perhaps plan accordingly.

Activities

Minibeasts

Make a bug

Create your own minibeast

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy

What you need

Different-coloured pieces of card; crayons or paints; marker pen; stickers; glitter; sequins; glue; child scissors.

What to do

Cut six circles, squares, rectangles or triangles from the coloured card. Encourage the children to paint or colour the shapes. Glue the shapes together to form a body. Using a marker pen, draw a face on the first shape and add legs to the bug. Invite the children to decorate the bug with stickers, glitter and sequins. Encourage the children to recognise the different shapes used for the body, count how many legs the bug has and the number of body sections.

Minibeast exploration

Go on a minibeast hunt in your outdoor area

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

What you need

Small bucket; trowel; magnifying glass; large piece of white paper.

What to do

With parental permission, take the children outdoors to hunt for minibeasts. A good place to look for worms is in damp earth. Earwigs can be found under small rocks and plant pots while, in the summer months, ladybirds, caterpillars and greenfly can be found on plants. Encourage the children to gently put the minibeasts in a bucket.

Tip the contents of the bucket on to a large piece of white paper and invite the children to look at them closely through the magnifying glass. Talk with the children about the colour and shape of the minibeasts.

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