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Shiregreen community homes helping to improve childcare in Sheffield

22 September 2014
Childminding group at one of their training sessions.

A mission to bridge the childcare gap in North East Sheffield is underway thanks to a partnership between a housing provider and the city council.

Shiregreen Community Homes, part of Sanctuary Housing, and Sheffield City Council are working together to support young families and working parents by helping to increase the amount of childcare provision in the area.

The partnership has led to the formation of a childminders’ group, the first of its kind in Sheffield, who aims to advise on delivering high quality service, training needs, costs and the process of becoming self-employed. Eleven prospective childminders are expected to be registered by October with more set to follow.

Thanks to funding from Sanctuary, locally based provider Sheaf Training and community regeneration charity SOAR, are now providing vital education for those hoping to become childminders, including paediatric first aid and safeguarding tuition.

Hannah Bailey, Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnerships manager, said: “This is an exciting partnership for us and we are pleased that we can help our residents set up their own childcare business with the emphasis on high quality care.

“It’s great to acknowledge that the outcomes of this project will also go on to support the wider community with their childcare commitments.”

Harry Harpham, deputy leader from Sheffield City Council, added: “We were really keen to help Sanctuary set up this childminding group in Shiregreen. There was a real lack of childcare provision in the area for parents who wanted to get back to work or further education.

“We raised the idea at various community meetings which we followed up with an information day for people to come and find out more about the training we could offer with our partners at Sheaf Training.

“We are now eagerly waiting to see how many people have passed their training and will be able to register with Ofsted and become fully registered childminders.  It’s an exciting and nerve-wracking time for the 11 people who have worked hard for their qualifications and I’d like to wish them the best of luck.”

Sheffield City Council is offering one to one support to prospective childminders, with 65 hours already provided to 17 interested residents. For more information about becoming a childminder and joining the group, contact Caroline Young on 0114 257 1857 or email carolineyoung68@live.co.uk.