CASE STUDY | "My Light Bulb Moment" from Childminder Liz Taylor

CASE STUDY | "My Light Bulb Moment" from Childminder Liz Taylor

Liz Taylor: Lizzie Bizzie’s Childminding, Scottish Borders 

Liz is an experienced childminder who has built a successful childminding business in the rural village of St Boswells, (around 4 miles outside of Melrose), in the Scottish Borders. 

When the opportunity arose to relocate, Liz left behind her successful banking career in London and seized the opportunity to follow what had always been her real passion – working with children:

"I had my first child shortly after moving to St Boswells and I just loved my maternity leave - and I knew I didn’t want to return to working in finance.

“I had always wanted to work with children, it was a passion from an early age which I didn’t pursue at the time, but I knew professional childminding would steer me into a new career path and enable me to follow my passion. 

"Becoming a childminder meant I could also be there for my own family as they were growing up - and earn an income. It was a light-bulb moment for me and completely changed my life.” 

Is there demand locally for professional childminders? 
Lizzie Bizzie’s Childminding is one of only two childminding services operating in the village of St Boswells and her business is a vital community asset, providing high-quality flexible childcare for families. Unfortunately, not all parents have access to this kind of childcare locally.  

Raquel Lloyd-Jones, is the SCMA Childminding Development Officer for Scottish Borders, and says that more childminders are urgently required to boost provision of high-quality childcare that would enable parents to work and contribute to their local economy:  

“Statistics published by the Care Inspectorate in March this year show that there are only currently 86 registered childminders across the whole of the Scottish Borders - many more are required to meet demand.  Existing childminders are continually taking enquiries from parents looking for spaces within their setting, which often, they just don’t have capacity for.” 

Professional childminding provides the opportunity to contribute to children’s development, learning and wellbeing and provides a valuable childcare service for your community.  

Childminders often become like an additional member of the family - starting off by caring for a child as a baby and then seeing them right through to afterschool and holiday care as they grow up, building lasting relationships with the whole family.

Thinking of changing career? 
Childminders in Scotland come from all walks of life and a huge range of different backgrounds.  Many have had successful past careers in other sectors but have made the switch as it has enabled them to combine caring for their own children with running their own business from home and earning an income.  

An SCMA survey in 2020 showed that childminders reported previous careers in banking, as police officers, within retail, in hairdressing, nursing and teaching and many more. Childminders draw upon their rich and diverse background experiences to inform their day-to-day practice. Those who took part in the survey reported positive experiences of switching career:

  • 88% reporting that they would recommend childminding to others
  • 93% of childminders who had their own children before becoming a childminder really valued being able to use their own experience to help other families.
  • 89% of childminders place greatest value on seeing children develop in response to their care

To anyone thinking of making a change - you don’t need any previous childcare experience to become a professional childminder – but you do need to be passionate about working with children!  Liz would highly recommend this career path: "I would encourage anyone who is passionate about working with children and who is thinking of a career change to go for it! 

"Childminding provides so much variety and is so rewarding.  I never know what the day is going to bring, I look forward to each day - it’s a world away from my previous job in finance and my long commute to work!”  

Find out more about becoming a childminder HERE.

Why should families choose childminding? 
Parents and carers unfamiliar with childminding should be aware that it offers a unique, very high-quality form of childcare. All childminders are required to be registered and inspected independently by the Care Inspectorate and this helps to demonstrate the quality of care provided.  For example, 93% of childminders in Scotland achieve ‘good’ or above across all quality ratings at inspection. As with many other professional occupations, professional childminders are also required to undertake Continuous Professional Learning to help to build on their knowledge, skills and professional growth throughout their career.

Childminding settings provide low child-adult ratios which means a childminder can provide tailored one-to-one care for each child who attends.  Evidence has shown this form of childcare can enhance a child’s early learning, confidence and their social development and is particularly helpful in supporting children with additional support needs, or for children who may struggle in a larger childcare setting such as nursery.  This aspect of childminding may be of particular benefit for children who have predominantly been at home with parents throughout the pandemic and who may find attending a childminding setting an easier transition than attending a larger setting.  

Amy Murray’s two-year-old son, Geordie has been attending Liz’s childminding setting since he was a baby: "I love that Geordie is in a home-from-home environment with someone who cares for him and has his best interests at heart.

"There are so many fantastic play opportunities indoors and outdoors to learn and grow.  He’s made so much progress with his speech and language from being with children of a range of ages each day.  He has wonderful adventures which we love hearing about - we’re kept up to date on his progress and Liz provides a photo journal which we absolutely love looking through. We really couldn’t wish for a better setting for Geordie.”