“I love children” Lizy answers in a soft voice when we asked her why she chose this career. She started with minding her own child then soon found herself with 4 neighbourhood children aged from 3 months to 3 years. Today with 15 years’ experience under her belt she is well versed with the intricacies of caring for small children.
Mrs Rapide believes in children being as active as possible so she lets them run around and dance a lot aside from a series of diverse activities that they engage in. Since she works on her own, we wanted to know how she would manage if her own child had an emergency at school. She explained that all the parents know about her situation and have all agreed to help if she has to step out in an emergency. In addition she has made a temporary arrangement with her neighbour, a stay at home mum, to supervise her 4 children.
Lizy says that she constantly receives requests from people to mind their children but for the moment, since she cannot modify her rented house and has no assistant she cannot have more than the maximum 5 that the childminding standard permits.
She is thankful that she was able to improve the comfort and safety of the children with minimum changes to the house e.g. closing off the kitchen so the children would not have access to it.
Even with only 4 children in her care Lizy faces a few day to day snags e.g. parents that collect their children very late and at times not informing her when they are not bringing their child for the day.
Lizy says that she is happy that she resisted the temptation to stay home and relax on Saturdays but instead attended a series of training offered by IECD; this has helped her upgrade the quality of care she offers the children. She especially keen on the first aid and health sessions.
Despite all the challenges that her career brings, her love for children helps ease the strain. She treasures the time when the children are grown up and they come around to visit her, she is often proud of their accomplishments. “I encourage all people who are taking care of children to register, don’t be afraid to do things legally, you will be professionally supported, you never know until you’ve tried.”