She’s won three ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted reports in a row but childminder extraordinaire Hilary Terry is not resting on her laurels.
The mother-of-two from Olney said: “The first one was the most exciting.
“But it becomes harder and harder to keep up. They’ve raised the benchmark and changed the legislation, so this time I was really nervous.” But she sailed through, gaining ‘Oustanding’ in all four categories – Effectiveness of leadership and management; Quality of teaching, learning and assessment; Personal development, behaviour and welfare and Outcomes for children.
“The inspector told me if there’d been a higher grade than outstanding, she would have given it to me,” Hilary smiled.
And although she works 10 hour days, five days a week, she’s keen to become involved in mentoring other childminders or qualifying as a course facilitator.
She’d also like to encourage people to think of childminding as a long term career, not just a stop gap for those who have toddlers or youngsters at school.
“Watching children grow and develop, learn and be really well prepared when they move on is so rewarding,” she explained.
“But you’ve got to have a passion for children, and a passion for excellence.
“You have to have a very high regard for their safety and keep them secure and loved, within consistent boundaries. Lots of love is very important.
“You have to work with parents and develop a strong partnership, a close bond, so that those consistent boundaries are in place at home as well.” Hilary, 52, of Moores Hill read history and classical studies at Aberystwyth before taking a job in marketing. “Then I was a mum and a wife for a few years after my first son was born,” she said.
When her husband Ralph was made redundant, she trained as a childminder so she could stay home while contributing to the family coffers.
He’s now involved in E-learning but Hilary loved childminding so much she made it her career.
The couple enjoy holidays to remote and exotic locations – last year it was Flores to see komodo dragons and this year it’s Sulawesi in search of black crested macaques.
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