Back to blogging…

I haven’t blogged for a while. Childminding days are now settling into a good routine. I have a plan for the week and we stick to it. The boys like it; they know what to expect from their day and are making friends at all the social groups and clubs we attend.

I’ve spent a lot of time developing resources and indoor activities too- well you have to with the weather like this! I have an entire cupboard of craft now, from dinosaur stamps, to pipecleaners and enough playdoh to build an ark, should we need one…The boys particularly like the animal dominoes, and are getting good at matching them correctly.

I plan to change our routine a little as Spring approaches; I’d like to include more outdoor time, and some visits further afield. All the boys are walking happily now, which also increases our options. I bought a couple of backpack reins this week in preparation 🙂

Leo chatters happily about his friends and looks forward to Mondays when we have a full house again. Childminding definitely suits him.

Yesterday I went into Lancaster, which is my usual Thursday activity. We shop and choose things for lunch. Leo and T are looking quite alike at the moment, similar height, blue eyes and big smiles. A lady asked me if they were twins, and I explained that Leo was mine, and that I was looking after T as I’m a childminder. She was amazed “a male childminder!?” she exclaimed.

I might be in a routine but it seems I’m still remarkable!

 

 

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OFSTED Approved :)

This week has been intense. On Friday I received notification that OFSTED would be making their first inspection within the next 5 days.  You might think it is odd that I haven’t been inspected yet, but I’ve only actually been childminding since mid-September. I did my training and completed my registration some time ago, and once you’ve done that you are able to open your setting. However, you then have your first inspection within 6-weeks of signing a contract with a parent. This is how you get your rating.

I’ve been working on my paperwork, of which there is a lot! I have a 32 page policy and procedure folder, risk assessments for every room, risk assessments for using the car, childminder car insurance…I’ve also been working on mapping the development of my three ‘minded’ children, and highlighting the areas to concentrate on.  Naturally, after just over a month, there’s not  huge amount of paperwork accrued, but I’m happy with what I have done. And so were OFSTED.

I haven’t received my report yet, but the inspector praised my rapport with the children and how I handled their varying demands and stages of development. She was very pleased with my practice. She did say that I don’t have enough documentary evidence yet regarding learning journeys, but that this was expected at such an early stage.

Also this week, I had my Food Standards Agency inspection and the hygiene of the house got a thumbs up (which Jo, being a Dr of Microbiology, was pleased to hear!). We just need to get a thermometer for the fridge.

So this week has brought two inspections. It’s also been parents evening (great reports, as expected), Jasmine has made her Brownie promise and Jo has given two important presentations at work. Hectic!

Nearly the weekend…

Friday Giggles

I love Fridays. On Fridays we go to Giggles soft play for a couple of hours. We have lunch out, and we meet up with my Mum and sister, and my nephew Zac. It’s a real treat; the boys love it and all three play happily together. And it’s nice to see Mum and Karen too, have a bit of chit chat and feel vaguely grown up for a while!

Friday’s finish early too. T is picked up mid-afternoon, so it is just Leo and Daddy for the rest of the day. Today is a bit different, as we are going to an open afternoon at St Bernadettes, the primary school we hope Leo will go to. I know I’m a year early, but it seems sensible to pop in and make sure that it is the right school for him.

And tonight I’m going out with my pals- another rare treat!

A busy but fantastic week

The last few weeks have been busy, but brilliant. We’ve been joined by a new starter; a lovely, giggly 22-month old boy, who gets on with Leo like a house on fire. He loves to dance too, so we’ve been out to Bounce and Rhyme and also Diddi Dancing, I also found a few new groups nearby in Galgate- again, singing, dancing and clapping, but they have a messy play session too, so we will be checking that out in the next few weeks.

What else have we been up to-? We’ve been to Giggles soft play, we’ve done lots of home-learning, with shapes, animal sounds and letters and we’ve had many journeys to the park. Both the boys love the swing, so it is lucky there is a big basket type swing that they can fit in together.

Also- the older two are back at school, so it’s homework, PE kits, dinner money and, for the first time, school swimming lessons.

I’ve got another new starter at the end of September. Another boy, also under 2 years.  A tandem pushchair has been ordered!

Jasmine is soon to be Seven

It is Jasmine’s birthday this weekend. Cue birthday sleepover, cake making and pancakes for breakfast.

This is the first year she hasn’t browsed the Argos catalogue for months and then given me a hundred-strong list of gift suggestions. All she wanted was a basket for her bike and to join a club.

Jasmine's favourite doll...and inspiration for her birthday cake

Jasmine’s favourite doll…and inspiration for her birthday cake

Purple and pink basket purchased.

Now for the club.

We have hunted high and low for suitable clubs on the right days. Jasmine and Logan spend Mondays and Wednesdays with their Mum, rather than with me and Jo, and almost every club seems to be on those nights. When we moved in December we found that the local brownie troop meets on a Thursday- hurrah! So we popped her on the waiting list, as you have to be 7 to start.

And serendipity strikes- we had an email to say that Jasmine could start Brownies last night. She spent a hugely enjoyable evening gigging, making cards, playing wink murder and tag and making “more than 10 friends”. Excited would be an understatement.

Lots more little gifts to wrap tonight. And a cake to bake. Jasmine has asked for her cake to look like her favourite doll, Dyna-Mite, so coloured icing has been purchased and the cake will be produced tonight. Well, Jo is doing that, I know my limits 🙂

Menu Planning

I had an enquiry today from a Mum whose son is vegetarian. I’m happy enough cooking veggie alternatives- my mum and sister, and Jo’s sister too, are all vegetarians and Jo and I enjoy coming up with inventive dishes for them (they always complain at restaurants when the proverbial vegetarian lasagne is the only thing on offer). However, I took a look at my menu plans and realised that I didn’t really have many veggie options planned out. So I thought I’d create something tonight- Leo and Jasmine will be eating sweet potato curry, with lentils.

Other ideas- aubergine & ricotta bake, spring vegetable stew, frittata, mushroom risotto, stuffed peppers…mmmm

Morning!

Blue alarm clock

Blue alarm clock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a good job I’m organised.

We had an alarm clock crisis this morning. Not mine, but Jasmine’s. She used to be a real lazy-bones, but this year has become competitive in the ‘getting-up’ stakes. We set her alarm every night and she happily jumps straight out of bed, gets dressed, skips downstairs and makes her breakfast. We’re still working on her ability to do  her hair neatly (and without using every possible clip and bobble) but she’s getting there.

Logan has always been an early riser. And this is where the competition comes in. Jasmine wants to be awake before Logan. So she’s started changing her alarm…10 minutes earlier…15 minutes earlier…

But last night, evidently, she turned the dial the wrong way and got up 30 MINUTES LATER!

Crisis!

Amazing what a difference a grumpy little girl can make to your morning routine. She’s pouting and generally being a grotbag. Logan’s not in the best of spirits either, as she’s winding him up. And Leo had a poo just as we were leaving the house.

Good job I’m organised. And it’s the weekend tomorrow. Jo has promised to make meringues, nom nom.