An Inverness childminder has been praised by inspectors for providing a “homely, caring and nurturing environment” for children to play and learn.
Catherine Traynor, who runs her childminding business from her home in Balloch, has been rated as “very good” by the Care Inspectorate.
The service looks after a maximum of six children at a time, all under the age of 16.
Inspectors e-mailed parents and carers using the service to ask for feedback.
One of the comments read: “Cathy is very nurturing and accommodates each of my children’s different interests into the activities that are available to them.”
During their recent unannounced visit, inspectors acknowledged that the childminder had developed “strong, positive and trusting” relationships with both the children and their families.
They also noted that children were able to enjoy active and physical play outdoors and the childminder respects them as individuals.
Learning through outdoor play
Inspectors noted that outdoor play and learning is a priority and particular strength of the service.
The report reads: “The childminder spoke about making good use of the local community through visits to the local forest, pond, and parks.
“Learning through play was evident outdoors. For example, the childminder shared a floor book with observations, photos, and comments of children taking part in a variety of experiences around their current interest of wildlife.
“They had been supported to make their own bird boxes, hedgehog houses and looking at what environments supported wildlife and insects.”
Children have free access to a large, outdoor garden area with a summerhouse installed so they can still enjoy the space in all weathers.
The garden has a mud kitchen and digging area and the children are helped to plant seeds and vegetables – with each child having their own pot.
Inspectors also noted that children are supported to wash their hands and an outdoor sink has been installed for them to use during their play.
Although the service was praised by the Care Inspectorate, they encouraged the childminder continues to develop children’s learning folders and observations.
They also recommended the childminder consider further developing her service through the ongoing use of feedback from parents and families.