Ofsted grading inspection.

Well I finally got “the call” as we say in the industry last Monday. My Ofsted inspector was to be with me with 24hours or on the Friday.

Yikes… last time I had Ofsted out was my registration meeting, when I had no children on roll…. 4years ago…. I have worked with children since qualifying when I was 20, 11 years on this be my first full grading inspection. Yes 11-12 years working with children and always seemed to have holidays while inspections taken place.

I am usually a very nervous, anxious person however after the call I felt unusually calm and slightly excited. I know I have my things in place as the previous months been checking it all over against the Ofsted inspection handbook, so really all that was left was to shine to my inspector and show her what I feel, the bonds I have and my families views.

Well it’s safe to safe it all went really really well. She was to me by 9am Tuesday 20th, she good at time keeping lol. She observed the usual day to day needs of the children, she observed me doing activity with the children, we shared joint observations on the children and my practice. We talked over my training, it’s impact on my practice, setting and children. The inspector went through most my paperwork and the children’s learning journals. I had several other “checking” questions making sure I knew things from children’s individual learning to safe guarding and other denied the scenes legalities and need to know.

The inspector read over past questionnaires and statements from 2families accessing my service as well as talking confidentially to another parent in drop off. I must say thank you so much for these…100% positive.

My inspector was wrapping up by 11am, she seen more than enough and if observed more would not affect her outcome…. GOOD grading was achieved. Thank you ūüôā

One very happy Childminder, a strong positive GOOD grading will do me just perfectly. I always feel it’s amazing how an inspector can give judgement over my years or practice, within a few hours but clearly to the Ofsted criteria they follow I have all in place just nicely.

The full report can be seen soon on their website via https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/provider/17/EY473295

In mean time here some of my inspectors comments “the Childminder is warm and caring. She provides the important resource of time, which helps children settle in quickly, and become ready to learn”

“Children are progressing well…they are becoming increasingly ready for the next phase of their learning, including their move onto school”

I am so proud to say I am now a GOOD Childminder, things will always be changing here from families needs, to activities, legal changes etc, however I will always be striving to provide outstanding care and learning to all children accessing my care.

We are all getting ready now for the Christmas run up now esp with my grading is out the way 1less worry and waiting game done.


Why a new business?!

Back in March 2018 I took a leap… i leaped into a new business alongside my childminding…

Many say not to run 2 businesses as you can’t focus truly on one.. but not so if other people can have multiple jobs why can’t self employed have two businesses…

I have been a customer with Utility Warehouse for coming up to 9 years… i knew i could gain off then via referring friends and family and being rewarded as a customer with shopping vouchers…that i had done for several years… however what i truly didn’t understand was the value in becoming a distributor.

With running a business we take risks… never knowing fully if always what income will be especially the way I run my childminding as i allow families flexibility, making it affordable to their situation and often in school holidays due to a lot using family I earn less…

Utility warehouse came as a blessing my friend showed me the business opportunity many times, kept talking about it to me and its slowly sank in…. I could be making residual income with gaining customers. I would not need to be working a term ahead of myself always watching the accounts. I could sign up friends, family, neighbours and more and get paid all the time… doing the job once and still get paid… why had it taken me so long.

This is not a get rich quick… but with every business more you put in more you will be rewarded…

Utility warehouse is a discount club… where more services you take the more you will save… I was already a daffi customer and got free light bulbs. Saving loads having moved my Broadband and phone from BT. Then saving more by taken their cashback card. The discounts were a life saver to me as being a single mum and taken over all the boring household bills I was now back in control my own financial outgoings. A godsend.

I am now going out there to save other families money. Combining many their much needed bills to one monthly bill. Providing an multi award winning services and brilliant customer services. As well as out amazing cash back card. What’s not to love.

If you wish to look into this as a customer and see where we can save you, let me know.

New steps on their journey!

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This year will be my 4th year childminding and I think one of my hardest emotionally.

This August two amazing little girls one I have cared for since 9month old, the other 18months. Will both be spreading their wings and heading off to reception class.

Both these little girls have their own amazing characters, own great personalities and will take their new journey in their own stride. However something inside me extremly sad…. I have seen many children leave my care when working in larger settings but this is different.

I have nurtured these children one to one, helped when ill, to toilet training, teaching them language as well of many funny moments. 4 years of memory making.

I know these girls are going to love their next steps and will still visit me in school holidays but not sure the days will be the same. They have really touched my heart and my family home.

New journeys can be daunting but each step grows us all on a new path of new adventures. This year also sees my daughter and one older minded starting middle school, but different ones.

I am looking forward to seeing how all 4 girls grow, learn new things, make new friends as well as seeing myself balance a three school, school run life lol.

All the best to them all on their new adventures. The memories we have made together will last forever.

Creative arts

I have recently been updating some of my training again and the latest was imaginative play and expressive arts. Within this there was a brief talk on process vers product and got me thinking.

I have always allowed children to express their art their way, I may show them examples of what we are doing, quite often these are linked to themes e.g. St Georges day. Then the children recreate their own versions of these examples.

I strongly believe in this as all children learn at a different rate, with being a child minder I have mixed ages of children. As well as its allowing the children creative sides come out more than making them create a end product that looks lk someone else’s.

So what is the real difference between product and process?!

Product based: this is where children are creating with intent based from adults views and wants, they are following guided instructions of how to make the art, (creating a right and wrong way process). Sometimes adults can correct the children work. Children can often get fustrated as there creativity a been stopped/limited.¬†All the children’s creating will look the same. Adult can often see what’s been made.

Process based:¬†Here children have much more freedom, to be creative, make it the way they want it to look,how they want to create. Skills and techniques are explored to the child’s style e.g. Some children love touching paint direct others prefer using tools only. ¬†This makes children calmer, more creative and their end product more unique.

Here I love to allow children to express themselves through expressive arts, it is within the early years foundation stage that Children are given chance to explore and create own colours, explore different tools and resources. So why limit their creativity just to make something look your way… You would like to be creating a drawing and someone keep saying “draw this here, add a line there” so why limit our children.

Sometimes guidance is needed but guidance added to child’s interest e.g. If a child asked how to do a face, you can guide draw a circle then circles for eyes etc but allow the child to do it them selves. So much more can be learnt in the process of learning than what is learnt in making the end product.

Here are some examples of your creations.


Allowing ng the children to create there own way can create a more creative learner as they have passion in creative arts, they see as fun experiences, happier memories.

These can create great communication tools between you and your child too, talking to them about what was made, what did to make that creation, this can ever spur on greater imagination as you never know each time asking the child may see something different in their picture.


Creative arts does not always have go be messy.

Down load this what to expect when for further ideas for your child around this area of learning as well as others.

What to expect when 


National story telling week.


I will admit I did not know about this until I saw a friends business page, however spured on this blog.

Story telling, reading, book sharing what ever you want to call it is greatly important to a child’s development.

Now a days honestly how often do your read/story tell, to your child, weather a book, magazine or tell story from your own imagination?! Not very often now I best, especially compared to when you were a child.

We are bringing children up now in a more digital age, chill them after a busy day with a tablet or to programme but why?! Ease, convience, child wishes?!

Have you really thought about some the of the benefits to story time?! Here I will share some and well as tips to bring it into you home routine.


How and what it helps in development.

1. Enhances Verbal Skills:
Reading out stories to your children helps in making them develop language as well as in learning new words and phrases.

2. Improves Listening Skills:

The more children are encouraged to listen and share stories, the more it help to improve attention span as well as further listening skills and understanding.

3. Encourages Creativity And Imagination
Listening to a story helps a child imagine the characters, places, what things look like etc. This enhances their creativity, making them more imaginative and open to ideas and free thinking.

4.  A Great Tool For Sharpening Memory:

This is done by sharing books and sotored on more than one occasion and asking your child what happens next, who in the story, even missing words especially on rhyming stories. Kids love this as really gets them involved with reading too and triggers excitement to go on. This can also help childrens attention as adding right bits at right part of the story as well as sequencing, e.g. Beginning, middle and end.

5. Broadens Horizon:

you can expose children to different places, cultures, countries around the world via a book, this will give them more understanding of the world around them.

6. Makes Academic Learning more fun:

Through stories you can make any subject interesting, by allowing this grows children creativity and understanding as linking to their likes and interests. E.g. My son learning about the great fire of London and found two books in library on this and now he really willing to read himself and share facts he has learnt, then impacting on writing skills and more all from a book on an event in 1666. When a child finds things interesting more inclined to want to learn more.

7. Better Communication:

many children have lots of buzzing questions, when focusing on story this can help children to link these questions channel long them to themes e.g. The story. Develop Confidance to ask when they want to know more as well as furthering this learning e.g. If you don’t know answer find a book that may. Again this impacts all learning.

8. Helps To Face Difficult Situations With Ease:

Sometimes children struggle to understand changes, their own feelings, emotions of others and more. Finding a story that real ages to this can really help your child, and prepare them for their life adventure.
Amazon and your local library can be great sauce for these.


9. Makes Them Aware Of Their Own Culture And Roots:

Telling children stories from your own childhood and past activities is great to share family traditions, start new ones and share your personal history. Last year I took my own two up home and showed them my old high school, this made them ask more about me as a child and grew on bonds as well as relighting great memories for myself.

Helping at home.

Many setting including my own childminding have books on offer all the time I have fictional and non fiction, magazines, cook books and travel books. We have story time too daily, where I allow children to choose or I will if I know I am working on something in particular. Tiddler is the favourite at the moment and love seeing the children say part with me. This type of learning is linked into the EYFS.

Photos, pictures and flash cards

Story telling does not just have to be from books or the imagination. Photos are a great sauce too, making up their own from these too if great fun, flash cards and changing bit at a time is great to encourage speaking skills, memory and more as above.

Bedtime story

Just doing one story one night a week before sleep has great impact, increasing this as your child gets used to it has even better results. From bonding with your child, above benefits and even helping calm them before sleep as well as relaxing yourself

Involve your child

Let them know of changes, e.g. No screen but book. Allowing them to choose the book to share. Take them to you local library to get a book for one night, woll greatly impact of your children’s relationship with books.


Visit your local library, sign your child up for a card, the books are free and many under a child’s card don’t get fines if late return, lost or damaged. This also keep local libraries alive and in our areas. Find your local on here…¬†https://www.gov.uk/local-library-services

Book swap

Don’t have many books yourself, ask a friend if you can do swaps with them. Your childcare setting if you use one. ¬†Find a book group online, I know I swap a lot of pass on my books to members in there for little to no costs.




This is our story den, cupboard under the stairs, we have two shelves (£3 each spice racks from ikea) but great to give enought space to have a range of books.

Make them warm cosy and comfortable if you can, or if limited of are just share story on sofa, bed making it cosy so the child has a whole nice approach to books and story telling.


Story time/reading does not gave to be a ruling task, it s amazing benefits as above as well as helping develop further bonds with your child.

Give your child a early lead in interest in books when they reach school, they have no choice on guided reading time with teachers, what harm can it actually do, books are free in library and so if your time.


Embrace story telling week (27th Jan to 3rd Feb)  and feel free to share how you are doing it in the comments.

Home Learning – Early writing


I am often get asked to get children writing, from their own names to more words as they progress.

However learning to write is a long process and takes time.

A child needs to have learnt fine motor skills before writing comes, before fine motor they need the gross motor skills, (use of whole arm and shoulder etc).

Children can not write until they know how to mark make, draw and exploring with tools and media (paint, shaving form etc.)

The process of mark making:

Early marks,

6months plus; as soon as a baby is given crayon and paper a child even baby has the ability to mark make. This is the most fundamental stage.

First they learn how to grasp the crayon, then the hand eye co-ordination to get crayon to paper. Even learnt via putting toy mouth or picking up toys. All these learning skills are developing the children’s arm muscles for starting to scribble. Then the child learns cause and effect skill to¬† around 2 years, knowing putting pen to paper will make mark, banging a toy makes a sound, all part this learning of cause and effect. this take a long time but is concreating new learning.

Scribble to scribe, 2years plus

This is the process of children learning to scribble to scribing recognisable marks, e.g. lines, letters, shapes and even numbers. This is still a period of experimenting in cause and effects and imitating, the more children see others write and draw the more they will.

From around the age of three children start to grasp the symbolic process of writing, that drawing and marks can stand for objects and words. e.g. child appears to be scribbling but tells you that her, or you. Reading books together and pointing out the words, letters, numbers and more, helps to develop this meaning of writing and drawings.

Here is a sample of how children scribble goes from scribble to writing…¬† as you can see the first three boxes, children move from general scribbling all over, to then beginning to scribble left to right (as we would read) to then forming more recognisable e.g. shapes, number, some letter and more.


As children learn through these stages they will experiment with different marks, and start to imitate writing e.g. may do up and down zig zag lines that may represent their name.

These early stages of drawing are all key to a child learning to write their name or even just letters from their name.

There area may ways in which you can help your child develop and grow through these stages to start the writing process, however please remember every child is different they all learn at different rate and even within the Early Years Framework which covers your child until age of 5, these documents are guideline not a set “criteria” e.g. there no where saying your child needs to be able to write their own name by ages of 4.

I was taught and always believed a child needs to be able to recognise, hear and see, print and letters before able to forms them within writing.

Here are some tips to help develop scribing and writing at home and other places. gross and fine motor skills too.

*Read to your child. They need to see letters before forming them.

*Sky writing – moving arms and finger around in the air to make shapes and letters

*Allow children to see you write on pen and paper, role modelling if a great influence.

*Make letter, shapes and numbers in variety of media e.g. damp sand, paint, shaving form etc.

*Making coping letter, names write out, laminate and give child a white board pen, then they can copy feel movements needs and re copy.

*Talk while writing, giving key works like curly caterpillar as you go around a C or long ladder to go up the L, one armed robot for the r. These are the patterns that introduce children to formal writing. as I have read in gateway to writing – developing handwriting.

*Allow children to use a variety of shaped and sized mark making materials e.g. think paint brushes and fat outdoor chalk. different paper, lined small, large, plain etc

*Allow your child to explore and play with marks, letters, number shapes

Your child will start to learn the writing basics at school, however early starting is paramount, a interest in drawing and mark making from a early age will give the stepping stones to more progression.

You need to send a message to children early that learning to write is a fun thing to do. I am not a great believer that children will learn a lot via work books, sheets, although some do prefer these but not even mine did until later age. These can sometimes restrict children curiosity, weaking relationships with you and they need to be able to read to really get the most out of these.

Although you can print help sheets like pencil control, dot to dot letters etc, but you child needs the foundation mark making to gain from these.

Your child will have to be able to recognise their name in print before writing it. Let them have fun with marks and drawing, they will have year and years of writing suck at tables in school.

Hopefully you have found this blog helpful. If you have any queries please comment.

Some useful links are here too. As well as links to formal guidelines schools and Early years setting read.

scribble to scribe

literacy trust

gateway to developing handwriting

what to expect when








Home learning.


Home learning, what is it? What’s the benefits? Why do it?¬†

Home learning: supporting your children’s learning and development at home, familyies homes etc, outside of childcare and or school.

Did you know that from birth you started home learning your own child, you interacted with them, payed together, shared stories, talked to them.

However as your child gets older and older this seems to decrease. They spend more time playing alone or on technology. You stopped sharing that book or no longer do bed time story…. Why?? There are no excuses.

Home learning especially when children are in school or childcare is just as important now as it was when they were younger.

Yes when in school it is more supporting their homework, doing their guided reading but it can be so so much more.

How many time you told you child to go play…yes I am guilty too. You have things to do, cooking tea and housework, or like me you work from home too. It’s all about getting the balance.

Soon with my children in my care under 5, I will be introducing our home bags, every so often they will get a book, one to share with their family. Parents can read and share story with their child, encourage the child to read by asking them what’s happening in the pictures.

Just this 1 change can open up a world of further opportunities for home learning. E.g. Given a book about the shop, it’s read at home, then why not make shopping trip more fun with the children, have them write the list, help pick ad find items needed, add to trolls or bags at the end. From this you can also have your child start helping with the tea preparing, setting table, cutting veg (safety first though) stirring etc. The opportunities from 1 book is emence. The life skills that are taugh here (unknown) are great.

Home learning is not just about home work and workbooks, it’s as fun as you make it, it’s your learning ¬†for your child.

Benefits; Your involvement can have positive effects on your child development and learning, thier own Confidance and knowledge as well as increasing you relationship with them. And who doesn’t want a happy content child. Thees millions of benefits.

How do to it; Research as identified 7 main area know as Early Home Learning Environment Index (EHLEI) as being important elements of home learning that improve educational outcomes;

1: Parents and carers reading to their child

2;parents taking children to the library (do you know your local on)

3; children playing with letters, (even self written or printed to paper)

4; parents and carers helping their child to learn the alplahbet

5; parents and carers teaching thei child numbers and counting

6; parents and carers teaching thei child songs, poems or nursery rhymes.

7; children painting or drawing at home, (how simple)

These 7 things really as simple, effetive, not time consuming things to do, theses 7 things can greatly impact on your children. What’s stopping you doing 1 today even on the school run, or shopping trip, counting oranges etc….

Over the coming months I will share more tips and activities to help support this, show how resources can be made cheap at home.

Go on what is really stopping you from supporting this…..Nothing. I bet you do a lot ready.





WOW 2017, you were kind

Well, it’s 2018 and the New year officially starts.

I have seen so many people saying good byes to a bad 2017… Don’t you think that just your view on life.

Yes bad things may have happened for you, myself and everyone… But why look back on the past in a negative way.

2017 really was amazing for me… And many of you all too. Just look at the smaller things.

Heres my highlights

*Quality time with the kids and my family. Making memories, laughing, time in the sun and snow.

*My best friends wedding.

*Breaks away, day trips (not all good but still done)

*New car, (after killing the old one, lol. Was not laughing at the time)

*Winning exceptional service award for my childminding

*Getting a lot more sorted for me personally, mindset included

*redecorating living room, Ryins bedroom and finally getting my real own stamp on the house,

*Succesful business year, making great memories with all children and fantastic fedback from their families. The book are really really full, waiting list developing.


Sometimes with a negative mind things look bleak, bad year etc. Well why… Look further see the perfect in everything.

I have learnt a lot this year too, as a parent and a person, but iaint we always learning… That life isn’t it after all a full learning curve, no 1 person gping throught the same as you…. So really look back on your year with positivity.

Lessons I have learnt:

*There in a perfect in every day.

*Positivity gets you much further.

*You Create your own destiny.

*You can get what you want… You have to really want it and work for it.

*Work is pleasurable when you love your job and follow your heart.

*Things come in the most unexpected places, when least expected.

So go ahead into 2018 with a positive mind, yes bad things may happen, but keep focused. Your strong, you own this…2018 is your year.

My perfect journal

About a month ago, I was at Stafford Bizmums meeting, and met a lady called Ali Gill. I had heard of her a little around the networking and mitral friends, however didn’t really click on to her book until this meeting…

My perfect journal, is the idea behind finding a perfect in every day… I know this is a great thing.

I have tried to do this idea lots of times within my own mind. Since I  suffer anxiety, I know it has huge benefits but never been able to stick at it.

As Ali spoke I was there… Well I will admit not fully… My mind was going over it…how can this really help… How can finding at least 1 perfect in a day help… Really Ali… Another gimic blabla… I thought…

Well what ever I was thinking I did buy one… And many others at thepat meeting….

However a month on now and OMG… It really does boost you. This book is undated, meaning anyone can get at any point and start using. It’s full of colouring in (a great method of relaxing and fo using the mind) it has inspirational quotes, illustrations and random acts of kindness.

I set myself and some others on the my hidden perfect page to complete this for 30days as I know from reading to break old or create new habits, it only needs 30days…

WOW, I am on day 30! And celebrating by writing this blog.

You may be having a totally rubbish day, nothing seems to be going right or your way. But really STOP…there is a prefect in there…. A hot brew, a smile, a cuddle or even some one making you a drink. We really do over look these things and get into mindset of negativity.


Heres es a couple of my entires:

*day 1, Ava-May helping around the house without being asked. Read of my book and hot coffee before kids wake up.

*Day5, early finish from working.

*Day 17, one minded children fallen sleep in my arms.

*Day 26, Ava-May eye appointment, and glasses prescription reduced.

Day 28, sharing time with Ava-May and friends in science lesson.


Have you really tired to do these mind training things and failed… Given up…this book is a great way to stay committed to yourself. ¬†A lace to journal all them perfects, a place to share them with fellow followers via the FB page.

I know there is a few more plans up Ali sleeves and I am so thrilled to be on this journey. Ava-May is also loving the book too she does a lot of the colouring and likes to read over them week by week. She even started to make her own which I know is going to greatly help her on her life journey and I am aware of the children’s edition coming soon too.¬†I am super excited to get one for both my the children.

If any readers want to know more about my perfect journal please visit….

FB: http://www.facebook.com/hiddenperfects

instragram: hiddenperfecs

buy from hiddenperfects facebok or amazon






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