Montessori World

An educational blog for children and adults

Childminder.

Reading an article in an early years magazine from UK, and this thought struck me all of a sudden.

It’s an article about celebrating National Childminding week in UK in mid-June, and the question that hit me was what is the definition and responsibility of a childminder, and any similar position here in Malaysia.

Registered Childminders are professional day carers who work in their own homes to provide care and education for other peoples children in a family setting offering a flexibility of service that is difficult to find in other provisions. – taken from Leighton Buzzard Childminding Association

Do take note of the word ‘registered’. And here they call them nanny, don’t they?

Registered childminders offer a flexible service in a family environment. All childminders are required by law to register with Ofsted. Police and Social Service record checks are carried out on the childminder and all persons over 16 living in the house. The childminders home is also checked for hygiene and safety. Bedfordshire childminders are required to attend training courses before registration. Registration is renewed annually, which involves an inspection of the childminders home by Ofsted to check that standards are maintained. Registered childminders must also have public Liability insurance.

Okay above is something  far-fetched from our local nannies, although no doubt their liability to look after young children is unlikely to differ much from the UK childminders. What I want to highlight is the seriousness and professionalism in child care conduct and codes in developed countries, and whether we should start to emulate this strictly here.

On a lighter note, I’m quite happy to know there are a few semiformal playgroups conducted by parents, taking turns to organise indoor and outdoor activities for the young ones.

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June 28, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

3 Comments »

  1. I was also impressed by the conducts and codes overseas, which is why I chose to pursue my career in childcare overseas. I do hope to bring back some of the professionalism with me one day though. 🙂

    A little more on stricter codes; here in the UK, anyone wishing to work with children has to pass a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check, in order to be allowed to be left alone with children, change diapers, etc.

    Ofsted also sets strict staff to children ratios. For example, depending on the age of the children, there may be a maximum of 3 children to 1 staff, and as the age bracket increases so do the ratios, ie 8 children to 1 staff for older kids.

    Are there any such rules in Malaysia?

    Anyway, what really blew me away was this one childcare centre. It was like those hi-security sci-fi movies! The rooms were all professional looking, neat, with glass panels for good visibility. And they had locks which required fingerprint ID to move from area to area!

    Comment by marklim81 | July 19, 2009

  2. Mark, I assume you are now working in UK. I worked and lived in London, and had the golden opportunity to be employed at two Montessori schools. Where are you based?

    It is true that in developed countries a lot of documentation and certification are emphasised to safeguard schools, children and teachers.
    There is child ratio and teacher qualification rule of conduct in Malaysia, but sometimes it is overlooked. How often I’m not so sure!

    Wow! This high security childcare centre must offer rather expensive school fees, eh?

    Comment by rani | August 14, 2009

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