How tiney is bringing in a new era of childminding

Friday, February 11, 2022

Having worked as a self-registered childminder for many years, I know how lonely it can be, especially when you don’t know where to turn for help.

Blerina Cenuka is a registered childminder based in Haringey, London with over a decade of experience in early years education.

With a degree in childcare, and experience working in a nursery, I had previously registered as a childminder with Ofsted, but as the amount of paperwork and admin that came with it, such as invoices, payments and taxes, was so time-consuming, I was considering turning my back on a childminding career; I didn’t feel like I was living as part of the community any more.

What I was really looking for was a support network, someone to answer my questions rather than having to email Ofsted, or ring an 0800 number to get help from short staffed teams, so I decided to join up with others in the childminding community through tiney, a childminding initiative, providing training and support to help you launch and run a successful childminding business, and this proved especially useful when I was struck down with Covid last September and couldn’t work.  Luckily, through networking with other childminders, I was able to find another member who was in a position to accommodate two of my children for a week, to ensure their childcare could continue - good news for everyone. I’ve actually met lots of other childminders now, something which was impossible when I worked solo and now we regularly get together and help each other out, and as I now handle all my paperwork through the tiney app, I can focus on the most important task at hand - the children. I was even chosen by the team to become a Community Leader, which means I get to support others in the childminding community by helping to answer questions, giving advice based on my experience, and hosting information webinars.

Another really exciting opportunity that came my way earlier this year, was when I was invited to ten Downing Street, alongside tiney’s Chief Executive Officer, Brett Wigdortz OBE, to represent our childminding community. It was surreal to say the least! Meeting the Prime Minister as an ambassador for the early years sector was an amazing experience. It was the first time I had ever had the opportunity to speak up about childminder’s needs with senior decision makers.

The confidence I’ve built since gaining support has been incredible. Knowing I’m not alone thanks to the relationships I’ve built with fellow childminders has completely changed the way I work. And nothing is too much for the tiney team, they respond to every request and help wherever they can.

Of course, you always need parents on board with any changes you make to your business, and all the parents of the children I look after think the changes are great. I can now update them on what their child is doing throughout the day with photos and videos using the tiney app, and they can share feedback too.

 

Thankfully now my business is thriving. Having your own profile page on the tiney website, tips from their marketing team, and branded materials, (such as their hi-vis vests for the little ones during trips out), is great for getting the word out in your local area. Since joining, the team has also trained two assistants for me - free of charge - so that I can take on more children and grow my business. I’m able to stay up to date with my own training, too, accessing professional development and EYFS support through the app.

 

tiney is working hard to raise the profile of childminders as the early years educators we are, and their mission really resonates with me; to make high-quality childcare accessible to more families, while simultaneously helping micro-entrepreneurs open nurseries in their own homes.

 

I’m proud to be a part of the community as we bring the power of childminding to a new generation of children.

 

Find out more about tiney by clicking here.

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