It is now four years since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Research has shown the impact on children, particularly the youngest and most disadvantaged children, has been far reaching and will potentially be long term.
Areas of development impacted include:
Personal, social and emotional development
Communication and language
The Department for Education has recognised the impact and is offering a childminder mentor programme to childminders across England to support them to narrow the gap between disadvantaged children and others. This is part of the Government’s Early Years COVID-19 Recovery Programme.
What support will I get?
The support is free for one term. It is tailored to your needs which may include:
Improving confidence in or knowledge of child development
Planning an effective curriculum
Supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
Supporting children with English as an additional language (EAL)
Building strong relationships with parents and carers
It does not provide support with complying with the EYFS Safeguarding and Welfare requirements.
You can apply on your own or with a group of other childminders.
Who will be supporting me?
Support and advice will be provided by mentors who have at least three years’ experience in the childminder sector. You will also have an opportunity to network with other childminders in your area who are part of the programme.
Support is free and will be mainly virtual. If suitable, there will be an option to meet face-to-face.