Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Procedures in the event of a Terrorist Attack or National Disaster

I was hoping to post this evening about the fun we had at the Big Cook Little Cook session today, however I feel this is much more important, and something I need to bring to Parent's attention.

This post is not something I am enjoying writing in the slightest, but I feel that in light of the recent incidents in London, I now feel it is necessary to have a procedure in place on what to do in the event of a terrorist attack or a national disaster:

The care and security I provide to your child is paramount. As an Ofsted Registered Childminder I will do everything within my powers to protect, comfort and support your child in the event of a major incident, National Emergency or Terrorist Attack.

If we are involved or caught up in the incident I will comply fully with the instructions from the emergency services and constantly reassure the children in my care.

If you are caught up in an incident I will continue to look after your child until you are able to return or a person nominated is able to collect them. This can include overnight care if necessary. It may therefore be good practice to provide me with additional supplies of nappies and spare night clothes during times of high alert.

I understand that during major incidents the mobile phone networks are often not available and even landlines can be cancelled to free up communication systems for the emergency services. I will however attempt to contact you on a regular basis and ask that you try to do the same. I will keep up to date on the situation using any media source available to me, radio, television, internet etc. I will endeavour to protect your child from information or images that may alarm or distress them. If you wish we can have a pre-planned excuse that I can use to explain your delay in arriving.

I hope that I never have the need to put this procedure into practice but am happy to discuss with you any aspects of this policy.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Speedy Spaghetti Bolognese

This recipe is ideal for busy mums and childminders and goes a long way... ideal when you have lots of little mouths to feed!  It can be blended for babies and freezes well.  Turkey is low in fat and is a good source of protein.  It provides good amounts of the B vitamins and useful amounts of iron and zinc.


1tbsp olive oil
500g turkey mince (preferably free range or organic)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 plump garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
1 courgette, trimmed and cut into 1cm dice
1 red pepper de-seeded and cut into 1cm dice
2x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
1tsp mixed freeze-dried herbs
Half an organic vegetable stock cube
2tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp cold water
Wholewheat spaghetti and fresh basil to serve.

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole dish over a gentle heat.  Add the turkey and cook for 3 minutes, stirring to break up the meat.  Stir in the onion and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, courgette and pepper and cook with the mince for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until all the vegetables are  beginning to soften.
  3. Tip the tomatoes into the pan, sprinkle with herbs and add the stock cube.  Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally  until the vegetables are just cooked and the turkey is tender.
  4. Stir in the cornflour mixture and cook for a few seconds until the sauce is thickened.  Serve with freshly cooked wholewheat spaghetti, garnished with basil leaves and a crunchy salad.
  • This bolognese can be served in a variety of ways: spooned into baked potatoes or tossed with gluten-free pasta; enjoyed just as it is with seasonal vegetables; or used as stuffing for baked squash or marrow.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Strawberry Swirls

Today we made Strawberry Swirls from a recipe I got from Creative Steps magazine.  Perfect for afternoon tea, these sweet treats are so easy to make using just 2 ingredients!

To make them you will need:

  • Sheets of ready rolled puff pastry
  • Strawberry jam
  • Baking tray and parchment
  1. Take the pastry out of the fridge 10 minutes before you start.  Make sure all little hands are clean, and then on a surface dusted with icing sugar, lay out the pastry rectangle.
  2. Spread strawberry jam all over the pastry and then roll up into a long sausage.  Wrap the pastry roll in plastic food wrap and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. When chilled, unwrap the rolls and cut into 1cm slices.  Place on a baking tray lined with parchment and bake for approx. 20 minutes at 200°C, 400°F, gas mark 6.  Dust with icing sugar when cool.

Ice Cream Parlour Role Play

The children had great fun this afternoon.  I set up a role play area in the garden; an ice cream parlour. We put our new ice cream stand in the window and the children took it in turns to sell the ice creams and be the customer.  It was lovely to hear the children playing and I had a little giggle at their vocabulary as I took observations;

A: "How much are your ice creams?"
L: "Too much"
A "No... how many pounds are they?"

The customers sat out at a little table (a chalk spinner with a tea towel over the top!) and ate their ice creams in the sun.

I have bought some ice cream today in a variety of flavours.  Tomorrow I am going to set up a table and the children will be able to choose real ice creams.  I also bought a variety of different toppings; crackling chocolate sauce, sticky raspberry sauce, sprinkly hundreds and thousands and crunchy wafers.  Not very healthy, but we are allowed a treat once in a while!  After all, it is the summer holidays! I'm sure the children are going to love this activity!


Our sunflowers are loving all the sun and rain we've had today!  Paul's is currently standing at 2 metres. Lilly's was the first to flower though.  The flower is huge and the hover bees and butterflies love it!


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