This mother of three, an ex-teacher with 38 years’ worth of rich experience working with young children and children with special needs. Her passion for her career is overwhelmingly contagious, the way she talks about her daily activities makes you want to bring your child to her immediately. She has indeed captivated a few hearts because parents from as far afield as Glacis and Perseverance bring their young ones all the way up in the hills of Le Niol, more specifically Dan Gala where she lives.
Mrs Cupidon ensures that she teaches the children good social behaviour; good morning, thank you, hands over the mouth when yawning or coughing, and waiting our turn; this may seem insignificant but important social skills that need to be taught at a young age. The children have access to plenty of educational games to help them develop language and simple math skills. Other stimulating exercises include reading with pictures, object manipulation, playing with plasticine and paint which help develop their psychomotor skills as well. Outdoor play allows kids to see animals, insects and plants in their natural habitat, this broadens their world. The TV is also used as a learning tool, she watches it with them and jumps in at every teachable opportunity. She is planning a small exhibition at the end of the year to display the children’s’ creations so that parents can enjoy them as well.
Mrs Cupidon says that she always aspired to have her own little business when she finally stopped teaching, even when she was still teaching she was attending the courses offered by IECD on Saturdays, so that when she was ready to start her childminding services she could go straight into it. She loves her new career in which she has invested a lot, not only in financial terms but also in time, she feels that her new role allows her to give back to the community.
When the children arrive at around 7.30am they have plenty to do so Mrs Cupidon ensures that they are well fed and don’t get fidgety. She offers them lunch, snacks and afternoon tea after which they are bathe before settling down for a nap. Parents usually collect their kids around 4.30pm, sometimes some are a little late but that is very rare. This childminder takes cleanliness very seriously and says it is not easy for a child to catch something contagious at her place “it will be very hard with the amount of times we wash hands here, I teach them how to do it properly. Her husband who is her assistant helps out a lot, he takes the children for the outdoor games while she takes care of other things such as cooking, changing and bathing them. .”
Many people are irritated by loud children, especially when they are playing, Mrs Cupidon says that doesn’t bother her at all, in fact she likes it. She says that the liberty to express themselves vocally develops their language skills quickly, this is further enhanced by physical contact and singing. She ensures that when the children arrive in the morning she greets them and touches their hand or cheek, she says sometimes we overlook physical contact as a powerful tool for social interaction with kids.
“You can easily tell when children learn from you” Mrs Cupidon says “aside from the things they repeat here, remember and share with their parents some of them mimic me; a teacher in class, can you believe that?. At such a young age; so this shows you that they are paying attention.” Mrs Cupidon loves her decision to mind children as a second career, encourages others who are engaged in the same activity to register themselves. “When you have registered you can work with pride, you’re not in hiding doing something illegal and constantly worried that you will be found out. With all the training you get you will be up to date with new standards.” “When you are doing your job legally the parents look up to you and you have peace of mind. So go ahead and register yourselves and join us.”