The expression, a face only a mother would love, does not apply to Gayle Richardson who loves everything to do with children and has made caring for them her career.
She opened Kiddies Childminding Services in Tillicoultry in August 2012 after completing an HNC in Childcare and Education and giving birth to her own child, son Jack, now aged five.
“I love everything about children, from watching them grow to helping them learn. I was a nanny to a family in Aberfoyle for 12 years and I ran a crèche in my church when I was 14 and loved seeing their happy wee faces,” said Gayle. “After I had my own son I thought that child-minding would be the perfect employment solution as I could be in my own home, have Jack with me and, of course, I enjoy looking after children.”
Gayle’s local job centre put her in touch with Business Gateway Clackmannanshire.
“My business adviser, Michelle Carr, is fantastic. She helped me with my business plan and with an application for a New Enterprise Allowance grant that helped me set up. I submitted my registration application in February 2012 and I opened for business in August that year.
“There’s quite a lot involved in becoming a child-minder. My house had to meet certain requirements which included hard-wiring the smoke alarms, investing in thermostats for the radiators, acquiring fire safety equipment as well as having gas and fire safety checks carried out. All that is quite costly so the New Enterprise Allowance which Business Gateway helped me secure was very welcome,” said Gayle.
“Michelle Carr, of Business Gateway Clackmannanshire, said: “Gayle and I spent a number of months working on her business plan and then securing funding for the business. She’s offering a much needed service for the Tillicoultry area and reached full capacity within six months of launching. The smiling faces on Kiddies Childminding Facebook page are testament to a happy environment and Gayle’s natural ability as a child-minder. I keep in contact and Business Gateway Clackmannanshire looks forward to supporting Gayle as her business goes from strength to strength.”
Kiddies Childminding is open from 7.30am to 7.30pm with the first child arriving by 8.00am. The ages of the children range from 5 months to 10 years with the older children coming in after school. While Gayle has 11 children on her books they attend at different intervals so she looks after a maximum of six, including her five year old son, at any one time.
“I do get very attached to the children and I miss those that are contracted for term time only during the holidays. I have a separate toy room in the house and provide one set activity per day. This can be music, baking, movement or working on a project but no-one is forced to take part. The favourite activities are baking, and arts and crafts which they love. Every day is a glitter explosion. Baking cakes is up there too although they won’t always eat what they’ve made so I do, which is a nice perk of the job.
“My ambition for the business is to keep going as I am. I have my HNC in Childcare and Education but I am keen to update my first aid training and get involved with the Getting It Right for Every Child programme. I will lose a few of my clients at the end of this term so there will be spaces to fill and I’m looking forward to welcoming new smiling faces,” said Gayle.
Find out how Business Gateway Clackmannanshire can help your business by visiting their local pages or calling 01259 726 430.