A former primary school teacher from South Tyneside is seeking curious kids to join a new at-home childcare service, thanks to help from TEDCO Business Support and the New Enterprise Allowance programme.
Kiri Dowens (33), from South Shields launched Curious Kids Childcare in October 2020 following a successful career as a primary school teacher. After starting her own family and assessing her professional work-life balance, Kiri decided to use her skills as an educator alongside a natural rapport with children in the creation of a new childminding service from her own home.
Now fully up and running and ready to accept children, Kiri is excited to be providing the new service for working parents seeking a more flexible and homely approach to early years and school-age childcare.
Kiri comments: “Teaching has always been such a passion of mine. After several years working in various primary-led roles, I decided it was time to reassess how to manage my own family and childcare needs against that of my career. I have a young toddler at home and her presence helped me understand the difficulties presented to working parents looking for reliable and flexible childcare. I decided the time was right to bring my own brand of education-led childminding to the local area.”
Kiri has now launched her Ofsted-registered childminding service, Curious Kids Childcare, from her home in South Shields. Offering quality childcare within a comfortable, home environment, Kiri offers a pick-up and drop-off service for the local Ridgeway School and has space for up to six children each day.
Kiri continues: “I have a large outdoor area with a messy play and sensory development area and have plans to create my own dedicated classroom space. I anticipate Curious Kids to be a place for fun and learning where I can use my teaching skills to bring some educational structure into the day. I love to see children engaged in their surroundings and I’m looking forward to working with parents to provide a home away from home for their children.
“With so much upheaval and anxiety for parents with the ongoing lockdowns and changes currently, I operate under full Covid-safe procedures and aim to be the flexible and reliable option so many parents are looking for.”
Kiri has worked with Judith Wheatley, business advisor at TEDCO Business Support to identify the ways in which to begin her new career as a self-employed child minder and the administrative steps required.
Kiri continues: “Judith advised that I join the New Enterprise Allowance scheme which helps people develop their skills and business ideas with a view to becoming self-employed. With Judith’s support, and that of the NEA programme, I’ve been able to move on from a formal teaching environment to be registered in the provision of at-home childminding and find the work-life balance that can benefit the children I look after, and my own family.”
TEDCO Business Support delivers the New Enterprise Allowance scheme to individuals looking to explore options in self-employment and provides help to eligible candidates aged 18 and over.
Judith Wheatley, TEDCO Business Support advisor comments: “Kiri has many years of experience as an educator but with a young child herself, she was acutely aware of the issues in finding good quality childcare locally. With demand so high, Kiri was very well-placed to create a new childcare provision that offered flexibility in terms of school pick-up and drop-offs but also that at-home environment so many children enjoy. I am delighted to see Curious Kids Childcare is now up and running and wish Kiri the very best with her new business.”
For further information on the NEA scheme or any of the business start-up programmes offered by TEDCO Business Support in the North East, please visit www.tedco.org.