I believe in working in partnershp with parents
Successful cooperation between parents and myself is important because it also has an effect on your child's development.
This is why I encourage a culture of cooperation, continuous exchange between parent and teacher and joint planning of parties, events and excursions.
My current initiatives
- Babys Days
I use "BABYS DAYS" in my settings which is an OUTSTANDING EYFS SOFTWARE FOR CHILDMINDERS.
Baby's Days compiles all the EYFS Development areas into a Software system which is complex, modern and fast, yet this simple to manage system has been designed & developed to assist me as a childminder and to give parent's the possibility to access their children's activities daily. Parents get directly involved around all areas of the EYFS, which includes the structure of Learning, Development and Care.
I look forward to welcome to answer any question about the online systhem.
REVIEWS & REFERENCES
Parents review 2014
As first time parents, we wanted to make sure that our daughter attended a setting that was less formal than a nursery but helped her to develop her confidence, enabled learning to be fun and actually allowed her to enjoy being a baby and a young child.
We started looking for a suitable setting in February (I wasn’t returning to work until September) and this is when I and Millie’s dad met Melanie. As soon as we met her she amazed us with her confidence, training, experience and clear love of the children she looks after and her role as a childminder. I have several friends who returned to work after having babies at the same time and I am the only mother who did not worry about leaving Millie on her first day.
We chose Melanie for many reasons, the first was the feeling straight away that Melanie would provide a fantastic yet safe experience for Millie. We love the fact that she is a Montessori led setting and that she encourages the children to be independent, whilst developing their curiosity about the world around them. She encourages the children to use all 5 senses to get the most out of everything they do, be it painting with brushes, vegetables or their hands – playing musical statues on a rainy afternoon or making obstacle courses in the garden. She also provides a fantastic selection of healthy meals and snacks for the children which Millie loves to devour.
We also love the fact they spend so much time outdoors (– in the garden, at different parks, in the woods or visiting the horses), and that all the children take part in the same activities as children learn so much from each other. The other children are lovely and all encourage Millie to join in with them, they are all so engaged in the activities it’s wonderful. These are things we feel are missed by children attending a nursery as they are separated by age and don’t go off site much.
We also like the fact they experience the chance to meet new people as they attended different activities such as MAD academy, or the library or different play groups, again there are all experiences that would be missed at a nursery. Millie’s confidence with new people has increased massively and she now smiles and waves at new people rather than being nervous and shy.
We receive fantastic communication from Melanie from newsletters, emails, texts and of course the wonderful Baby Days system which keeps us instantly up to date with what the children will and have achieved and are doing, as well as which learning and development milestones have been reached and fantastic photos of their activities.
Generally the Baby Days diary is updated quite late at night (we can’t believe the energy Melanie has) and we really appreciate all the information we can access and receive. My friends and family who use the local nurseries have nothing like Baby Days and generally just get a bit of paper and no photos of the day’s activities, they receive a termly report but not much else. They also don’t receive emails regarding important news such as illnesses (like recently when Millie had chickenpox) instead there is just an update on the wall. Ideally more diary updates on baby days would be brilliant, however we are very happy with what we receive and appreciate that Melanie needs time off in the evenings as she is also a mum herself and needs to spend time with her wonderful daughter Renee and recharge her batteries after we take the children home.
This leads us on to Melanie’s family who are also part of our experience. Serge and Renee ( apologies if we’ve spelt their names wrong) who are really lovely, Renee is fantastic with the children and her face lights up when we are dropping off and picking up Millie, she is a fantastic credit to her mum and dad, if Millie grows up to be like Renee we will be extremely proud parents. Renee is also a fantastic role model for the younger children and they all seem very happy spending time with her. Serge, Melanie’s husband is also lovely and very warm and welcoming and the children love seeing him before and after work.
Recently Melanie and Serge invited us to their bonfire party which was outside of Melanie’s child-minding duties (it was made very clear that the parents would be responsible for the children); but it gave a chance for the parents and children to spend time together, which we don’t get to do. Unfortunately we couldn’t attend as Millie was ill, but Melanie made her a goody bag so she didn’t miss out on what the other children had received. It was extremely kind and thoughtful and we hope to attend next year if they have another bonfire party.
All in all we feel the Melanie provides a wonderful setting and happily tell people about how fabulous she is. The range of activities she offers is breath taking; the children are always smiling and full of energy and beautifully behaved. Millie is excited to attend and sad to leave every day (she is glad to see us but would prefer to stay playing with her friends). As Millie’s happiness and welfare is of paramount importance to us and Melanie, Millie and the other children’s smiling faces should be the best reference of all.
Melanie’s advice has also helped us to be more confident parents in our home; her experience with many other children of a similar age to Mille enables her to provide us with useful advice that we trust a good deal (we are 1st time parents, without much experience of small children in our friends-and-family circles).
Please feel free to contact us, details available from Melanie if you wish us to elaborate on any of the comments provided above; or wish to ask us any further questions. We also give our permission for you to access our Baby Days details if you want to see additional information.
Parents review November 2014.
Isaac, who is two and a half, goes to Melanie's four days a week (Tues-Fri). Samuel, who is five, goes one day a week. Samuel left Melanie's to go to nursery in January 2013 (when he turned three), but came back in the autumn. This was partly so he could spend more time with Isaac, but also because he really missed spending time with Melanie. His 'Melanie day' is still the highlight of his week!
We think Melanie is a superb childminder. She attends to our children's physical, emotional and educational needs with exceptional skill. Her home environment is calm and well-ordered, but set up to provide the children with a wide range of fun and interesting things to do. (Our children particularly enjoy the play house in the garden and the new mud kitchen!) She also provides lovely freshly cooked meals of which we are rather envious.
Melanie puts on a varied and stimulating programme of activities. Every week the children go to a range of parks and playgroups. Melanie also takes the children on visits to museums, libraries, garden centres and other places of interest. While at home, the children are involved in lots of different enjoyable and educational activities: painting, model-making, reading stories, singing, and cooking, among others. Melanie always does special projects with the children for occasions such as Diwali and Halloween, and seems to come up with fresh ideas every year. Melanie's enthusiasm for new ideas and also for new approaches to caring for the children is one of the many characteristics that makes her so exceptional.
Finally, we feel that Melanie is excellent at communicating with us about our children's welfare and development. We really enjoy seeing the information and photos about daily activities on Baby's days. We also receive regular newsletters and questionnaire. Last and by no mean least, Melanie always makes time to speak to us at the end of the day.
We feel very lucky to have found a carer as skilled, dedicated, and enthusiastic as Melanie and would (in fact already have) recommend her unreservedly to other parents.
ReviewsProfessional and dedicated
Melanie is a professional, dedicated and talented childminder. The moment I met her and experienced the environment in which children in her care are looked after, I had no hesitation whatsoever in entrusting her with my daughter's care.
Melanie provides a schedule of activities which rivals that of any nursery I have encountered. Any initial misgivings I may have had about childminders not being able to compete with the repertoire of nursery activities have been completely over turned by Melanie's amazing schedule.
Melanie provides children with both a fun and educational schedule, in a warm and loving environment.
I would highly recommend Melanie to any parent who wants reassurance that their children will be cared for to the highest possible standards available and who will thoroughly enjoy and benefit from the experience of being away from Mum and Dad.
PS - her cooking, apart from being nutritious and varied, is delicious!
by Buffles on Tue 20 Dec 2011
My daughter was with Melanie for nearly 2 years and it was the best decision we ever made. My daughter was so happy at Melanie's and I knew automatically that she would be safe and happy with Melanie and her family. When we sadly had to move our daughter out, it was a very sad day and we still miss her!
The facilities at Melanie's house are brilliant and she always had a wide range of toys, books and activities for the children to do.
Melanie is a great cook and our daughter without doubt prefers Melanie's food to mine!
I would thoroughly recommend Melanie to anyone as she is 100% professional as a child minder, loving to the children, and her daughter is a great role model for my little girl!!
by Al88 on Mon 12 Dec 2011
- Excellent Childminder
My daughter started with Melanie for 3 days a week at the end of August and settled in straight away. She now gets excited as we drive down the road towards Melanie's house.
Melanie has made the transition of going back to work so much easier for me as I know that my daughter is in a secure location with a childminder who is pragmatic and caring. Melanie does so many activities with the children that are fun, educational and encouraging of exploration and development. The children all play so well together in the environment she has made.
I am so pleased that I found Melanie and that she had a place available when I was looking for a childminder. In the new year my daughter starts full time there and I am sure she will enjoy everyday, I would definately recomend her.
by Rufus1 on Mon 28 Nov 2011
Our daughter was in the care of Melanie three days a week for 15 months, from the age of one. We never regretted our decision to choose Melanie for a moment. It was obvious from our first meeting that she was warmly loved by the children in her care and that her relationship with them was genuine. Our daughter was never upset when we left her in the morning and she often did not want to leave at the end of the day!
Our daughter had many positive and educational experiences whilst there that she would not otherwise have had. Melanie took the children to playgroups, where they took part in sing songs, craft work, messy play and other activities. We were particularly impressed that during half term weeks, when the normal playgroups were closed, Melanie took the children to more unusual places such as the Discovery Centre at Bracknell, rather than keeping them at home.
At home, Melanie has lots of things to do in the house and garden, appealing to both babies and toddlers, and she rings the changes, bringing out different toys at different times so that they don’t get bored. They have also done educational things such as growing plants and watching caterpillars turn into butterflies. Our daughter particularly loved Melanie’s garden, where she has a Wendy house, sandpit and a large lawn where they can run around.
Melanie has always given the children plenty of tasty nutritious food, with regular healthy snacks. It was comforting to know that our daughter would be well fed on the days that she was at Melanie’s. Indeed, she ate better there than she did at home and enjoyed eating with the other children.
Melanie has tremendous organisational skills, juggling daily activities and fitting in meals and naps, whilst also taking into account as far as possible the child’s individual needs. She ensured that our daughter was able to take the naps she needed, in a suitable place (i.e. not on the move) and did her best to accommodate her changing needs.
She is also good at giving feedback to parents. In addition to knowing what activities they had done that day, we were always told how long our daughter had slept for, what and how well she had eaten, and even how many nappy changes she had needed. Melanie also takes photos which you can see on her website and she always told us when our daughter had done something of note (e.g. riding a scooter for the first time).
Most of all, we felt that Melanie offered a kind, loving environment for our young daughter, where she felt safe and secure. This was ultimately the most important thing to us. For this, and the other reasons above, we would not hesitate to recommend Melanie as a childminder.
by KathyMacG on Sun 16 Oct 2011
Loving home setting with Melanie
My son has been full time minded by Melanie for the last year. He really loves Melanie and her husband and counts her daughter Renee as one of his best friends. Melanie has a great set up - an open plan lounge with a huge variety of toys and a fantastic garden with loads for the kids to play with outside. There's a lovely wendy house, sandpit, apple trees and always water play! My son is full of stories of the playgroups they go to and all the friends he sees there each week. The photos that get posted on Bay's Days show him having messy play, painting, stories and lots of outdoors play. Melanie's cooking is great and my son's healthy eating habits put me to shame! She achieves a great balance between fun and education, and all the kids are taught to be friends and respect each other. Would I recommend? YES!
by glongmate on Fri 07 Oct 2011