Archive for July 2015

All change – time for a transformation   Leave a comment

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote a blog called ‘Why is the sofa in the garden Penny?’, Which in essence was a reflective block about why I needed to make changes to the environment my childminding setting, how I did it, and what it looked like when I had finished. If you’ve not read that blog yet here is the link

Looking back over the past year the changes to the layout works really well although one or two minor changes were made throughout the year to accommodate the changing needs of the children I childmind. For example the triangle mirror house was put up to support self-discovery, then building, book reading area and much more, I also brought a bookcase to store the forever increasing number of books in the setting. However on the whole the new rate layout remained and the children enjoyed having access to more resources and in particular to using the home area and indeed the triangle mirror.

However those readers who follow me on Facebook will be aware that recently there has been a huge change in my personal life and indeed family life, this is due to taking on two more foster children in mid-July making the total number of foster children in a family three. Therefore our family unit is now made up of two adults (myself and Mr Penny’s Place) a 13-year-old, an 11-year-old, and a nine-year-old. At the same time the number of minded children has decreased naturally as children have left to go onto nursery and would forward planning in mind for the increase in number of foster children these minded children have not been replaced. This means after several years of working with increased ratio’s under exceptions and with members of the family as my assistants, I now find myself as a part-time childminder with less than three children in my care on any one day.

Therefore commonsense said that I needed to downsize the number and amount of childminder resources, and also increase the amount of space available for family use. The last two weeks have been spent carrying out this downsizing which I have to be honest as not been easy and at times very painful as I have amassed a wonderful collection of quality resources which I really do not want to part with. However been a professional I realised that if my foster children were to have enough space and room for their belongings the childminding resources had to be downsized. I decided that rather than sell the resources (which judging from enquiries from my colleagues would not been difficult to do) that I would donate them to worthy causes including the local home start, the local Kemp charity shop, our fostering agency, plus a few items going to minded children, daughters and grandchildren, and close childminding colleagues.

Mr Penny’s Place and myself decided that we would completely clear what we call the ‘middle room’, buy new furniture I make it into a second lounge that we and our foster children could use. Of course it was not just a case of clear in the middle room new storage had to be found for the items previously kept there, resources had to be sorted and delivered to their new owners and in general everything had to be moved around so that it fitted into the available space. Today I finally completed myself set (and difficult) task and can reveal through the photographs below the transformed ‘middle room’


This shows one half of the room, with the other half having another chair and foot stool, and another bookcase


New TV for playing games and watching DVD’s. You can glimpse the childminding space through the door to the conservatory – although of course the minded children will also be using the ‘middle room’