From education to employment

Peebles childminder invests in professional development

A Peebles childminder recently added to her professional skillset by completing the Scottish Vocational Qualification in Social Services, Children and Young People at Borders College, a qualification for those employed in the childcare sector who are required to register with the Scottish Social Services Council.

Susan Learmond, from Peebles, had already been childminding for over 5 years and held an Honours degree before embarking upon the part-time level 7 SVQ, which consisted of 8 units and takes on average 10 months to complete.  She was keen to gain a qualification that demonstrated her ample knowledge and experience so that she would be in a strong position to deliver as well as benefit from the upcoming additional Early Learning and Childcare (ELCC) 3 and 4 hours (expected to be fully implemented by local authorities by 2020).

Ann Duncan, Susan’s Tutor/Assessor, said:

“Hopefully childminders completing their award will be considered as partners with other providers in being used for the ELCC3 and ELCC4 years (Early Learning and Childcare) when the extra funded hours come in, thus giving parents more options for their children.”

The fact that funding was available via Scottish Borders Council and the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) was integral to Susan’s ability to complete the course whilst also running her childminding business and caring for her own 3 children. Susan explains:

“I put my head down and worked as hard as I could to complete assignments and other work to the best of my ability. It was a great feeling when I saw some points from modules ticked off in my folder, and great motivation to keep going.”

Ann praised Susan’s work and outlook, saying:

“The work Susan produced was of a high standard and showed the amount of effort that good childminders do to ensure quality experiences for the children in their care. Susan was an able candidate and completed the award ahead of time.”

Susan is now applying what she has learned in her practice, and is able to record her study time as Continuous Professional Development. She says that studying for her SVQ has helped her to gain a lot more self confidence, adding:

“I am doing a good job currently as a childminder and will continue to improve and further the choices and benefits I provide to the children I look after.”

If you are interested in how you can develop in your professional practice and fit study around your current work and home life, Borders College Business Development Unit may be able to help. Contact the team today by calling 01450 361030 or e-mailing 

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