What childcare options are out there!?


Here’s a little low down on childcare options available, when thinking and looking for childcare.


An individual person who is responsible for your child’s well being, safety, and supervision. Levels of experience and education will vary. A nanny typically watches your child in your home. No degree, license or experience is required in order to become a Nanny. However some do have training and their own insurance. They would be employed to you so your responsible for paying them, pensions and other expenses related.

Au pair

An Au pair is very similar to a Nanny however Au Pairs come from a foreign country and typically reside in your home. These can be live in or live out and can do further jobs to help you e.g. House work etc. These be worked out between yourselves and angin like a nanny your responsible for paying wages etc.


Childminder are childcare run typically by one individual in their own home. They willoften offer care to several different families with children in different age groups. Follow EYFS and registered with Ofsted, some are trained in childcare some not. However guided now to have some for childcare training and sometimes does alongside running their childminding. These can cater for children birth to up to 12, each minder runs different hours and day and often based around their own family needs. Government help via childcare element of tax credits available to those eligible

Day nurseries

Nurseries usually provide full time care for children from birth to five years. Some may not include infant care and others may include after school programs. These again government by Osfted and work to the EYFS. Quiet often open most weeks of the years and often closed bank holidays. Government help via childcare element of tax credits available to those eligible.


preschools often take children from age 3 to 5years. They are registered with Ofsted and follow the EYFS too. Sometimes ran school times and terms some can be seperate or linked to school or day nursery. (Check out my nursery vers preschool blog too)


Family members can also be another great option for childcare. especially if you live close and are able to help. There not guidelines for these providing help and no fiancial support to parents, although you do not have childcare fees.


*When thinking and looking at childcare options do your research, ask around.

*Know your needs and wishes and your child’s individual personality and needs.

*If looking at registered providers looks at the ofsted reports but also follow your gut feelings and sometimes ofsted inspections only see and get feeling of what’s happening there and then and their judgement.

*See what fiancial help you can get from tax credits, funded places. More found here, https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk website can be temperamental.

*when visiting providers try go during the day often will allow this but have seen others who do not. This will give you a good feeling p, see how they run and other children within the setting.

*Ask questions, they only way you will find out the information you want, not just been told what they want you to know.

*when using paid for childcare know there fee payment plans and dates, so you prepared and works alongside you fiances.



Nursery vers preschool?!


As a childminder and previous working in day nurseries, I often get asked what’s difference between nursery and a preschool?! Should my child be in pre school now they are 3?! Here is my views.

Honestly there is no great difference… Childminders, nurseries and preschool and reception classes, all work from the same frame work the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) this is a statutory framework setting the “standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.”

More about that here http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/eyfs-statutory-framework/

Some nurseries have pre school within them some call the room or class where children ages 3-5yrs the “preschool”. These will often provide the 3year funding for families and additional childcare topped up around it. These can provide care on full day basis e.g. 7.30am til 6pm most weeks of the year.

Some school have “preschools” attached, some of these may only be open school term and school hours. Some like one attached to my children’s school. Use the other school facilities e.g. Dinning hall. Some do not. Some of these school based preschools often help provide further links into the school with he aim to the children attending that school. Some may have qualifies early years teachers and be able to provide a more “education” based learning.

Some preschools are not attached to nurseries or schools, maybe ran from a village hall, and like some attached to schools offer sessions based around school terms and hours.

Childminders are able to offer this 3 year old funding and like nurseries childcare are able to be there to what suits the families and the childminder. These are home based providers, smaller ratios and many will often link with local schools for school runs etc.

However there is no great difference, as mentioned at the start each setting follow the same framework, each settling as child approached 5 all work to “school readiness” Which is referred to under the EYFS as “School readiness is vaguely described in the foundation stage as “Children reaching a good level of development in the prime areas and literacy and mathematics”.

If your child is happy and thriving within the childcare choice you have made, why change?!

Ok yes you may need to change if your current provider does not offer the funding and you wish to acces it, or you can use funded place along side your current provides ion for childcare.

Each setting has it own qualities, pros and cons. How ever ulimitly there is not great difference, it is your choice and your child’s happiness.

There is no different a in frameworks the providers works to until after the child turns 5, (end of the EYFS) then it’s your choice to join them into mainstream educational system or even private or home school your child.

Go with your gut feelings over these issues, do not just follow what other families say and do. You have to find the right fit for you child and your own situation with work etc.

Award Nominations, personal and Business

award nominations


As many of my followers will know I am a member of Bizmums. Each year they hold annual conference and awards and this year I have been nominated within four awards categories, Exceptional service, health and Beauty award, Inspirational mum and Online mum of the year.
I own and run my Businesses in Stone, Staffordshire. With my main business Stephs Childminding services has had a great impact on families accessing her care. For this business she has been placed into two categories, Exceptional service and Online mum of the year.
i set up as a childminding in 2014 due to my own personal situation, where I was needing to find flexible childcare. Since then the demand has grown, due to the way I offer childcare for families who are able to follow their own career passions, knowing that they do not need to worry about shift patterns, needing weekend childcare or needing late finishing.
Here part of the nominations view from Exceptional service. “Her testimonials from parents describe her ethos, providing top quality childcare from very early mornings, school runs, late evenings, overnight and taking the children to ex curriculum activities. No job is too small for Stephanie, if parents call at the last minute she will help . All this whilst following Ofsed, EYFS standards. The way Stephanie has tailored her service, she has allowed parents to go to work in their dreamed profession, offering shift workers flexibility with no hidden costs. Families only pay for the childcare used, which is a great help to them working, enjoy life and securely financing their childcare bills. Stephanie has a strong community spirit and engages in groups and despairs when child facilities close. She came up with the initiative with a friend ‘Stone Parent & Child Group’. It lists all the toddler groups, classes etc around Stone, when they run and all the information needed.”
“I set up knowing I needed childcare to fit around me and not access part time on a full time childcare bill. The demand amazed me I thought only 1 or 2 families would need flexibility but how I was very wrong. I now have 4 regular families and more who access though out the School holidays. The need for flexible childcare is increasing as very few families work a traditional 9-5 job of even close to their work. The way I run my service is totally tailored to each from hours, days and even when and how they can pay, I have worked within childcare for over 10 years and knew it needed to change.” From Steph.
“I am astonished at the nominations, whom I have yet to discover to thank them. I do my business as a passion and never expect to be nominated again for one never mind to be placed within four categories. When I read the statements it brought me to tears as I see myself totally different and just helping out others.”

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Statement from Online mum of the Year nomination “” I love Steph’s posts, such an inspirational to look at on her Facebook page and Instagram. She inspires and helps me with my content, and she doesn’t do that directly! Steph shows me how to have a typical day, and even shows her ups and downs, and how to overcome things. With her childminding posts, are helpful, and she gives me ideas what to do with my own children. Her posts are always different content, and she helps me with a’pick me up’ when in need of one. ”

Winners will be announced on Sunday, October 8th, 2017, at the annual BizMums Conference & Awards at the Manor House in Alsager, Cheshire. The day will bring together 100’s of mums in business from across the region to network, learn and celebrate each other’s achievements of the past 12 months


Find The BizMums Awards Online:
Website: http://www.bizmums.biz/the-bizmums-awards-2017/
Facebook: Facebook.com/bizmums.biz