On a rainy afternoon I almost got lost looking for Medine Rene’s place in the hills of Aux Cap, but her accurate guidance took me safely to her door. At the time of our visit she was minding 8 children, from 3 months to 3 years old. During the day, she offers her group a variety of educational games but also allows them to watch a few minutes TV each day, she plays music so they can dance and there is a roomful of toys at their disposal.
In fact one of the modifications she made to her house to meet the national standards was to block off a corridor to create a spacious playroom. She also tiled all around the house where the kids play; updated the kitchen and placed the gas canister outside of the house. The startup money helped pay for some of these alterations and also to buy toys. In total Medine says it took her about 1 year to finish all the upgrade “it was a lot of work.”
During the visit, a parent had come early to pick their child who, upon seeing the parent, ran to hide, the parent said “you see how happy he is here? He doesn’t even want to go home with his own parents” Medine believes it is her patience, attentiveness and love of children that draws them to her. “That is why I will keep caring for them for as long as I can, for as long as my health allows. It is so rewarding to see them grow up into fine young people.” Medine believes that the kids of the yesteryears were more grateful than the ones of today.
She encourages all unofficial Childminders to come forward to enroll in the different training programs with IECD and apply for registration as there are major benefits to being a legal Child Minder.