Hello! My name is Kristy Bourne and I am a registered childminder based in Maidstone.
My husband Aaron and I have two children of our own; Eden who is 4 and Levi who is 3. We love spending time with our children, helping them explore the world and creating opportunities for their learning and development and building memories together as a family.
This love of fostering children’s learning and personal growth has led me to want to do the same for other children which is why I became a registered childminder in January 2015 after completing the PACEY pre-registration course. I am trained and certificated in Paediatric First Aid and I hold a recent DBS check, as does my husband and our lodger Tom. Tom is 25 years old and spends his Friday nights and many Sunday mornings working with children and youth at a local church so he is well accustomed to, and loves spending time with, children of all ages. Both Aaron and Tom work full time during the week but your child may come into contact with them depending on the hours they spend here in our home. I believe this will only add to the richness of the care they receive.
I have a full clean drivers licence and I am fully insured to use my car for my childminding business. I am based near to South Borough Primary School, Little Stars Pre-School and Sunshine Children’s Centre but I currently do after school runs to Jubilee Primary School. I can accommodate school runs further afield than these locations should you wish.
Caring for your Child
My passion is loving children for who they are and welcoming them with all their little characteristics and idiosyncrasies. From this place of acceptance and nurture I look at ways of supporting them in their learning development so they grow into confident, well-rounded people. As part of this process I am committed to continually building my knowledge by taking part in online and other training courses to expand my knowledge and skill set. This only adds to how I can help your child and my own.
I aim to provide a home-from-home experience for your child where they feel part of the family and free to be themselves. My children are well-accustomed to other toddlers, babies and schoolchildren being around as we attend a local church, are always on outings, visiting play groups and spending time with other children.
Children thrive when they are in a caring and loving environment and where they are also able to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences. Therefore, I encourage children to join in me in the daily tasks of cooking, shopping, tidy up, play and more. I build a very strong relationship with your child and once this has been established I begin to introduce activities which challenge them. I believe it is vital for children to experience things which stimulate them and cause them to grow so I build this into their time with me. Children come alive when they need to figure something out or try to solve a problem and get such a sense of satisfaction and a deepened confidence when they succeed. I make sure any challenge is age and stage appropriate; I don’t set children up to fail.
The “Real Deal”: Learning through real life experiences
I have plenty of toys to keep children occupied and stimulated but sometimes the “real deal”offers a far more enriched learning experience. I therefore encourage children to be involved with the meal time in every way possible, such as helping load fillings into sandwiches, choosing healthy desserts, talking about what they are eating and looking at packaging and colours. This passion to provide real and relevant experiences encompasses every aspect of life. Reading about trees and flowers and bees is incredibly important but seeing them in nature is far more enriching and captivating. Therefore, I spend as much time as possible out and about, observing the world first-hand and then building on that experience with toys and books and other resources. Visits to Leeds Castle, Kent Life, local parks, the river, the library, Maidstone Museum, local woodlands and the coast are all part of my service to you and your child.
Encouragement, Praise and Responsibility
When it comes to the nurture of your child, I am a natural encourager and spend time praising children for all sorts of reasons; good behaviour and choices; eating well; perseverance in tasks; trying something out for the first time. We all like to be encouraged and children are no different. I have found children flourish when praised and it builds in them a positive, secure and healthy self-image. I also believe showing children by example is of paramount importance as they watch us as adults all the time in order to learn and develop. Im sure you’ve noticed you or your partner’s expressions or sayings or mannerisms mirrored by your own children! I certainly have with mine and I am very aware that the way I lead my life should be a positive influence on my children and those I care for. I am consistent in the way I approach boundaries and I positively reinforce house rules and behavioural boundaries wherever possible. For more information, look at my policies and procedures.
I also give children responsibilities according to their age and stage. Eden loves to be my helper because it gives her a sense of belonging and playing a part in our family. I have seen how small responsibilities tailored to a child’s developmental stage give them a sense of worth, value and a knowledge that they are trusted to carry out tasks and have a vital role to play in our setting.
Learning through play is the most important aspect of a child’s development. So much is learnt through the exploration play brings. Some of the activities I provide include water play, messy play, dress up, arts and crafts, painting, drawing, chalk drawing, reading, singing, instrument time, mud kitchen, walks, visits to public places (parks, library, museum), attending baby and toddler groups, various toys and equipment including an outdoors play house and mini slide and plenty of outdoors toys. I also happily join in with role play and imaginary play and love seeing how children develop scenarios and where play takes them as they get to grips with the world around them.
EYFS and Your Child
As part of the Early Years Foundation Stage guidelines I take regular observations of your child to track their progress and I tailor activities and experiences to the unique needs of your child in order to support their development. All observations are shared with you and are included in your own parent portal in this website. I am more than happy to chat with you about your child and their development. In fact, I hold termly meetings to answer any questions and have a more in-depth discussion about your child. For me, my relationship with you, the parents and/or carers of your child, is very important. You are the experts when it comes to your child and the more I learn from you, the more I can support your child in their exploration of life. What an adventure!
For more information about the EYFS please click here.