New Alliance publication explores the unique learning environment provided by childminders

17th August 2015

Childminders are unique in what they offer to children and parents: a secure family environment where the learning that takes place complements and builds on the learning that happens at home. Pre-school Learning Alliance publication Creating a Learning Environment in the Home explores the opportunities and challenges that childminders and home-based childcarers experience every day, and guides them in maximising children’s learning in the home environment.

Research tells us that home-based learning is effective, offering young children real life experiences that mirror the learning experiences they have in their own families. However, meeting the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage 2014 (EYFS) can provide particular challenges in a home setting.

Creating a Learning Environment in the Home discusses the sections of the EYFS which refer specifically to childminders, and suggests creative ways to meet the general requirements of the EYFS in a domestic environment. It aims to present the challenges of the EYFS as opportunities for learning and development, and help practitioners successfully combine home life with high quality early years provision.

The book also examines the advantages of providing teaching and learning within mixed age groups, and gives guidance on meeting the particular needs of two-year-olds. Learning in the outdoor environment is also explored, whether in the garden or through trips within the local community, while case studies illustrate interactions and activities which will help to inspire best practice.

The special ability of home-based carers to forge close links with children and their wider family is also celebrated in the final chapter of this immensely practical book.

Michael Freeston, director of quality improvement at the Alliance, commented: ‘Childminders make a huge contribution to the early years sector in terms of quality and choice of provision. They usually work alone taking on all the roles required under the EYFS; from manager to cook to key person, and this can seem a daunting task. This book reassures childminders and demonstrates how these roles can be successfully combined. For anyone who is already running a childminding business or who is thinking about starting one, it’s an essential read.’


Creating a Learning Environment in the Home (Price for Alliance members: £14.95; Price for non-members: £22.95)

How to order:

T: 0300 330 0996

For further information or to interview, Neil Leitch, Chief Executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance please contact:
Shannon Hawthorne
Pre-school Learning Alliance
T: 020 7697 2503
E: Shannon Hawthorne


Notes for editors

  1. The Pre-school Learning Alliance is the largest voluntary sector provider of quality affordable childcare and education in England.
  2. Through direct provision and its membership of 14,000 nurseries, sessional pre-schools and parent and toddler groups, the Alliance supports over 800,000 children and their families in England. The Alliance also develops and runs family learning programmes, offers information and advice, runs acclaimed training and accreditation programmes and campaigns to influence early years policy and practice.
  3. For information about the Pre-school Learning Alliance, visit our website: