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Durham Buddying Case Study: Developing childminder practice through buddying relationships

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  • Date: March 2010
  • Programme: Supporting programmes and resources
  • Subject area: Buddying
  • Focus: Exploring how childminders' practice could be developed through Buddying
  • Number in series: 2 of 11
  • Phase: Early Years
  • Key stage: Foundation Stage
  • Local authority: Durham
  • Ref: 00203-2010DWO-EN-02


Childminders form an important part of the Early Years workforce. Their needs, in relation to training and development, have some unique features as a result of working independently within the home environment. Ensuring that they receive appropriate and timely support can present some challenges for Local Authorities (LAs).

As part of its Buddying programme Durham LA was keen to explore how childminders' practice could be developed through Buddying. This large county has a very diverse geography and consequently many childminders are quite isolated and a long way from other practitioners. There already exist some established informal childminding networks, particularly in the larger urban areas, which serve as a useful source of information, communication, support and socialising. Children's centres provide drop-in sessions that are accessed by some childminders.