Yikes I’m a finalist

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Earlier this years I was notified I had been nominated for four awards via Bizmums, well a few months ago, I recieved notice that I was finalised for two of these.

My lashaddiction business has made to final for the health and beauty mum of the year and my childminding got in for exceptional service awards.

If you were following my Facebook at the time of finding out these results you would have seen I was an emotional wreak, even my Mam got to see this video and she not on Facebook so clearly reached a lot of people lol.

I am still in utter shock that I had made it far enough to be nominated, those people who did thank you so kindly, and a huge thank you to all families in my care who helped me with more kind words so I could add submitting evidence as to why I should be considered to finalised.

My main passion in life is childcare, I have always been in it and left school at 16 to follow this career, fully qualified by 18 and got 1st job in a day nursery, while rest my friends were only finishing A-levels and thinking of college or uni. My career was only just starting.

Now at the age of 30, I ahve really settled into creating the perfect business, the children are the focus of this business. When I set up at 27, I knew I needed to so how provide care for families who were not the average 9til 5 worker, who had no other help from family or friends.

As this was me, I needed part time childcare on a part time flexible price but unable to get this anywhere. I knew the traditional system needed to change, I mean how many families live close to their work now, or can finish at a time and garantee to be at their childcare provider for 6pm…. Not many now a days.

The way I run my childminding started of extremely flexible, I was offering a drop off and pick up system and working late nights and weekends, then I started to see more and more need for early am starts, service to school who had no other provider, families who had shift patterns or childcare needed just 1 day a week.

Slowly I grew and grew, taken full occupancy withing 6months of setting up. Each family on a totally different contract and different payment days. This was reflected in my nomination

“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.” Thank you to who ever sent it.

All the families have found this type of system invaluable.

“Steph is a great childminder, who is very flexible and always on hand to help, if it wasn’t for Steph I wouldn’t be able to do my job and look after my daughter” father of 1.

“Stephs childminding has helped us so much as a RAF family, my kids were nervous to go to a strangers house, they had Confidance issues, Steph changed all that with herupbeat personality, and enthusiasm to give the boys special memories…Steph very flexible with working hours, which is fantastic for when my shifts change” Mum of 2.

“…we quickly realised that nurseries wouldn’t suit our needs for budget and flexibility, being self employed I needed 1flexi day per week childcare, Steph could accommodate and understand this need…when our second daughter arrived we had no doubts about where the best place for her would be…our daughter has flourished under Stephs  passion for creating stimulating and engaging play” Mum of 2.

These extremyl kind and touching words are proof, of why I run my childminding the way I do, and know it’s needed.

I see all children within my care as my own, the activities I provide change per child and all children can reach their full potential, the hot meals on nights ensure the home from home and ppfamily time was till there even tho they are my extended family, even asked for take away tea as food so yummy, heheh.

Just knowing I am providing what I want the way I want is great, I will msay I am still not graded by Ofsted, but when they do visit I will sure to pass on these comments from parent ps so they can see the true scale of my care rather than the snap shot they see when visit.

To be recognised by others outside my business is great too, I have been connected with Bizmums for a number of years now, however they have never really seen my work in practice, but feel that being finalised for the exceptional service they have had the door opened to see what really happens here and the impact it has made on many families and individuals.

I am up against a lot of other amazing Women for this award and many who have such a bigger business than me e.g. Life coaches and I am only one in this type of industry. But even tho I am small, just me running my business and full to my regulators. I see myself a lot bigger within my industry, I know this type childcare is needed and I know there is demand to expand, however I know what’s wanted as a Mother myself, not everyone wants the big settings, the larger space to fill them up, I am personal, know alll my children really well, their moods, likes and dislikes, what makes them tick. I get this from being small, being home from home, being us…

The awards are on the 8th Oct and really looking forward to the day, catching up with virtual friends and making new. And even if I do not win I know I am a winner in myself and the eyes of the families with my care.

If you wish to see my first responce to these awards, it’s here,

 

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Grace House, children’s crafts

If you read my blog on the childrens First aid workshops you will have seen I mentioned Sarah.

Well who is Sarah, Sarah Jones is a mum of 4 children and meet her again via Bizmums. On first meeting she talked about her bespoke art work, then another meeting on setting up her new venture, and how she was trusted with a return of money from an event, to reinvest it back into a dream they had.

Well Sarah really did do well in this reinvestment and in Aug this year Sarah has set up her own studio and venue called Grace House, based in Stafford. The idea is to be able to provide a events venue, workshop and event all at a affordable cost.

In the summer holidays to were invited to an ‘wing it wednesday’ children’s workshop. so off I popped with my own two and friends.

The session lasted 2hours and was all aimed around a wing themed craft, today we were making 3d wooden butterflies. The children and I worked with each other to create their own butterfly, Sarah provided all the materials, snack and hot drink for us adults.

Sarah was on hand the whole time to help, and dried our pieces to ensure no mark on way home in car etc. Sarah also gave great tip from her own artist background, like standing to work as helps you flow.

Later in the holidays, I teamed up with Heather and Sarah to provide venue for our first aid course and Sarah again offered us a craft work shop after. Today they created winged canvas prints.

Again Sarah was exceptional in providing all the children with great tips (many will use at home too), everything was provided for and this time had lush butterfly biscuits and caterpillar cakes as snack as the children creations were drying.

Outside Sarah has some giant hand chalked angel selfie wings which the children loved using as well as a huge chalk board for great creativeness.

These craft sessions vary in prices and times, but I can say well worth it and the bonding you gain extra with your children is priceless, esp if you are like some parents and limited creative things at home, this is a places to allow your children creativity out.

Sarah has a range of events on offer now from children’s workshops in school holidays and adults sessions on a Thursday evening, highly recommend you popping by. As well as finding out about her children’s party offers, great value for money.

More information on Grace house can be found at

FB: https://www.facebook.com/gracehouseart.co/

events: https://www.facebook.com/pg/gracehouseart.co/events/?ref=page_internal

Sarah has also offered her venue to Stafford Bizmums monthly meeting, (1st Monday the month 10-11.30). where like minded mums in business can network and children can play. More can be found out here.

https://www.facebook.com/Bizmums.biz/?ref=br_rs

web: http://www.bizmums.biz

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Children’s First aid workshops

Children’s Workshop

During the school holiday I am always looking for extra and different activities to provide for the school children.

My daughter attends a local brownies unit and while looking through her badges book I notices First Aid, well as a childminder I have always been fully trained in pediatric First Aid.

A few months earlier I met Heather Bird via Bizmums who set up her own training company around first aid, so I put her to the challenge. Could she create a children’s training around first aid also meeting the criteria and assess Ava-May ability for her Brownies badge….as well as teaching the other children life saving skills….

I took my own two children and three I child-minded as well as friends children. The aim was to teach seven children from 5years to 11. Well that 7 went to 15, including children of Sarahs and her friends children. Sarah also another Bizmum member allowed us to take over her studio and what a great venue that was (more in another blog about Sarah).

Well I can say Heather did not fail on this challenge…. WOW… not only did Heather meet criteria for the first aid but also the advance badge. Heather had never trained children but with teaching backgrounds and a mum herself, she did an amazing job.

The children covered areas like:

*who and how to ring for help, what they many be asked to know

*what to look for is find a casualty

*what to do if someone get a cut or embedded item

*how to put someone in recovery position

*how to dress wounds and head injuries

Heather kept the 2 hours session, fun and lively, as well as fun tests to check their understanding and also allowed the children to engage in sharing their own experiences and children with asthma were able to help teach the others how to help them and know different signs and symptoms. Meaning the session was greatly children lead and so informative.

The children I took to get the Brownies First Aid badge and others who wanted to know more about CPR were also trained in this, meaning the Brownies will also now get the First Aid advance badge. A Great pleasure to them.

“I loved wrapping my friends up in bandages” Charlotte, age 8.

“I loved the CPR and didn’t have to give mouth to mouth to a dummy but knew could still help someone”, Jack aged 11.

This workshop was great fun and even refreshed my own knowledge, I would highly recommend anyone to do some first aid training for them selves and their children, even combing the two and develop them bonds further with your child.

From the Success of this test run workshop Heather is now running these and if your child attends Brownies, Guides, Scouts or Cubs and needs First Aid certified trained teacher for these badges, please let Heather know.

For more information on Heather Children’s and other First aid and Health and Safety courses, please visit.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/hmbtrainingservices/

events: https://www.facebook.com/pg/hmbtrainingservices/events/?ref=page_internal

Website: http://www.hmbtrainingservices.co.uk

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What childcare options are out there!?

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

NANNY

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

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

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)

GRANDPARENTS OR OTHER FAMILY

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.

Tips.

*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?!

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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

https://www.facebook.com/StephsChildmindingServicesStone

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

 

Bizfund :D

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I am a member of Bizmums, which is a social enterprise set out to support females in business to network with their children.

I have been a member for around 4years, I attend to some local meet ups including Stone and Cannock. I have found these meetings and much membership a great way to build relationships, make friends and gain support from further like minded ladies.

You hpmay have seen past blogs about my finalised for awards via Bizmums so they are not just about networking groups.

Each year they allow members to apply for some funding, which can be used to develop, grow and improve your business.

Well earlier this year I applied and found out last week I have been granted part for my application. I am feeling so so grateful.

I applied for funding towards 5 course that I want to take to further help and support the children within my childcare. I was granted the funding for behaviour management within out of school children and Confidance in personal, social and emotional development.

I am so thrilled that I will soon be doing these courses, they are going to have a profound affect in children as 1: many access me around school times and the other I have strong believe that children can not learn and grow without confidence within themselves and their own abilities.

I will be booking myself on to the other courses as soon as possible as I strive to improve the chafe and education I am providing to the children within my care.

This funding is going to release finances within the business which will go back into further developing the outdoor area and for more courses to be booked.

So excited to get new things going this year…

If you want to know more about bizmums please follow this link.

http://www.bizmums.biz