“Unstructured Play Outdoors is Vital to a Healthy Childhood”
You can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your baby is being well cared for. We work closely with parents of babies to ensure that you feel involved in their experiences and development.
Toddlers have a lot of fun in Dora’s house. Everything we do with toddler’s is focused on them being at the centre of play and they learn through both play and the activities set out for them.
With a wide range of activities including arts and crafts, imaginative play and physical activities both outdoors and indoors, our pre-schoolers will be well equipped for bigger changes later.
Dora's House Facilities
Dora’s House is situated in a beautiful setting on the Comber Road close to Carryduff. As I am a childminder working with one assistant, we both aim to provide the very best childcare through forming close relationships with you and your child. The friendly, nurturing atmosphere makes children feel happy, comfortable and safe, and our outdoor environment and exciting activities ensure that children have lots of fun!
Dora’s House is based in an outdoor setting, with an acre of mature garden with a small “enchanted” forest area for children to explore and enjoy.
Inside is a large countryside house with plenty of space, where tasty vegetable-based home-cooked meals are cooked fresh and provided to kids at meal-times.
Art and Craft
We have lots of fantastic crafts to engage the creativity of your child, from great craft projects like homemade rocket ships to art projects like hallowe’en masks. These activities are the perfect way to create a day of fun for your little ones.
Being based in an outdoor setting, lots of our art and craft ideas come from nature, from drawing animals through to collecting and making things from sticks, stones and wood.
With children, we provide fun activities that get them to be active or thinking actively outdoors.
Playing outdoors is important for developing capacities for creativity, problem solving and intellectual development. Outdoor play has clear physical benefits for developing children including helping children to acquire gross motor skills, eye-hand coordination and helping to prevent obesity.
We let children lead their own interaction with nature and help guide and teach them the importance of nature, of how flowers and vegetables grow and ultimately they contribute to growing what they eat 🙂
There are days when children are more eager to help to prepare meals than others, but their time spent in the kitchen has benefits them greatly. At Dora’s house, by making the process fun I try to teach children the importance of where food comes from, and children help to grow food outdoors from seed, harvest the food and help with cooking this food. Learning the basic skill of cooking, that can be used for the rest of your child’s life, is the most obvious skill gained. They can be well adapted for cooking by adulthood by starting at such a young age.
It also helps them to develop an adventurous and varied taste palette, if they are involved in the cooking process it can make them more eager to try new foods. Children who eat home cooked meals tend to be happier and healthier, and for younger kids stirring, measuring, rolling and squeezing help them to develop fine motor skills and better hand-eye coordination. Ultimately, by being involved, they learn (counting, measuring) and it helps to build relationships between children also.
Qualifications & Awards
I hold the following qualifications:
- Taekwondo Black Belt Certification
- “Outstanding” rating in latest annual inspection report 2019 (from South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust)
- Level 2 Course in Child Development, sponsored by NICMA
- NICMA Member (Fully Registered)
- Registered with South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust Early Years Team
- Registered as a Food Business with Lisburn and Castlereagh Council
- Behaviour Management Course
- Child Protection Course
- FAS Health and Safety Certificate (Ireland)
- Renewed Peadiatric First Aid Courses from NICMA and Emergency Care NI
- Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design
- Full Clean Driving License (Car insured for Child Care) – 7 seater car
- Full Access NI check for my family
- Fully registered with the Data Commissioner
- Official Jamie Oliver Food Ambassador for Belfast area
The following awards have been presented to Dora’s House:
- Netmums Favourite Childminder, Northern Ireland 2014
- Family First Childminder of the Year Northern Ireland, 2017
8 years ago, I decided to become a childminder when I became a second-time mother, which gave me the opportunity to take some time off work and see the world again through a child’s eyes. I enjoyed this so much that I wanted to stay working with children rather than return to the graphic design world and knew I could bring my skills for graphic design into children’s activities.
Later moving to a new location in the countryside out from South Belfast has allowed me to start realising my vision and passion for for childcare where children can be closer to the outdoors and nature.
The NICMA 2016-2017 Annual Report (Page 8-9) details this a little more 🙂