SSAFA provides a childminding registration service for serving personnel and their families based in Cyprus. By opting for a childminder that is registered with SSAFA, parents can be sure that their child’s interests are being put first.
Jill Shaw, the SSAFA Childcare Co-ordinator, has been working with agencies across the island to review the registration process making it simpler for those interested in becoming a childminder. She also assessed the number of registered childminders to ensure there are enough to meet the needs of Cyprus-based families and is now recruiting additional childminders.
Mother-of-one Gemma Knight registered as a childminder with SSAFA in June 2012. She runs her own childminding service from Akrotiri, where she is based with her husband who is in the RAF. She wanted to become a childminder because of all the fantastic opportunities the career offers - from making a difference to a child’s life, to being your own boss and working from home.
She said: “I wanted to get back to work and this role was the perfect solution. Operating from my own home allowed me to choose the hours I worked and the type of service I provided. I also knew that if we were moving around with the RAF, childminders would always be needed, so it would be a transferable skill.”
Childminders registered with SSAFA are trained and qualified in matters of safeguarding, undergo detailed background checks and complete a paediatric first aid course.
Jill said: “Childminding offers the opportunity to enjoy a satisfying and important job helping children to learn and develop, sharing their success and offering them consistent care of a high standard.”
Gemma admits that childminding was a challenge at first. “Naturally, your time is split and my daughter had to get used to sharing her toys and her mummy!” she said. “But our house quickly became a busy child-friendly zone and now we’re very used to having lots of little people running around. Childminding fits into our family way of life really well.”