Why a waste paper bin and a butterfly print changing mat are so important ……   2 comments

….. Not to everyone of course, but to the children in my care and my colleague Carol’s care they are of vital importance.

And my guess is that many childminders could name similar seemingly unimportant items that for the children in their care are really important.

So first for the photos of these everyday items, to set the scene



And now for the reasons why they are so important

First the changing mat – as you can see from the photo, it is a normal folding plastic mat – the sort you can get in Poundland – so nothing special – except this one is!

One day a few months ago I had a call from my colleague Carol – to say she had an emergency situation and could I have one of her minded children for the day.

I could, as I had spaces available – and so arrangements were put in place for the mum of the minded child to bring her daughter to my setting instead of Carol’s.

This was all part of the reason why Carol and I work so closely together – having play dates and going on outings together, and so on. Parents are aware that we will provide holiday and back up cover for each other, and that we each know the others minded children very well.

So on this occasion the mum brought her daughter, and was surprised that I had already set up the environment to meet her daughters needs and interests – and in particular I had put out the dolls as I knew this little girl was ‘into’ dolls. I also knew the name for her own doll – which she had brought with her. The little girl came straight into my setting and started playing, and mum went off to work.

The day went really well, at nappy time I used my ‘spare’ mat – the one in the photo – and thought nothing more of it.

The following day Carol’s emergency was sorted and so she had the little girl and her other minded children.

Roll on to the following week

Carol came on a play date with her minded children, including the little girl. When it was nappy change time, Carol got out al the essential equipment to carry out the task – but the little girl was having none of it!

‘NO’ she shouted ‘Butterfly mat’ ‘Butterfly mat at Penny’s’

And so I got out my butterfly mat and Carol changed the nappy.

To support this child – Carol went out at the weekend and brought the same butterfly changing mat – so the little girl now uses a butterfly mat if she is with Carol or if she is with me.

A very small thing but I think a essential thing, supporting the child and consistency.

A few weeks later (and several play dates later) Carol is at my setting with her minded children, one of them had a runny nose – not an issue as both Carol and myself have boxes of tissues available in our settings for the children to access to encourage self care.

However there is a big difference – Carol has a small bin near the box of tissues and I have a bin in the kitchen

On this day, one of Carol’s under 2’s was confused and did not know what to do with his used tissues, so at the weekend I went out and brought a bin that is very similar to the bin Carol has, and put it by the box of tissues.

As it happens the next time this boy came to my setting was on a pre arranged cover visit, as Carol was taking a few days off, for a family bereavement. The little boy was delighted to find I had a bin, and put his used tissues in there.

Another very small thing – but again helps with continuity of care between my setting and Carol’s setting.

Everything we do is in the best interests of the children – including the provision of waste paper bins and changing mats. The ‘little things’ really do make a difference.

Posted February 6, 2015 by psw260259 in My thoughts on current childcare issues

2 responses to “Why a waste paper bin and a butterfly print changing mat are so important ……

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Wonderful Penny and Carol too. It’s why Childminding is such a special worthwhile profession. We are so fortunate and like you it’s these little things that I also so love and that makes every day special in my setting too. Long may butterfly mats and wastepaper bins remain important to us.

  2. That is great and thank you for sharing it with us

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: