Afghanistan veteran with medals and child
31 January 2014

SSAFA champions childcare for Forces families in Cyprus

We're looking for new childminders in Cyprus to respond to a need amongst Forces families, as part of our health and social care services on the island.


SSAFA champions childcare for Forces families in Cyprus

For a Forces family posted overseas, SSAFA understands how important it is that there are alternative childcare options for when the immediate family network is not close at hand to call on for help.

As part of this commitment to our Forces family, SSAFA has been addressing the shortage of childminders for Forces families in Cyprus. Importantly, our professional health and social care team working on the island has reviewed the childminding registration process to make it simpler and more streamlined.

Now we are looking for new childminders.

As part of the professional health and social care services that we offer to serving personnel and their families in Cyprus, a childminding registration service is available. By opting for a childminder that is registered with SSAFA, parents can be sure that their child’s interests are at the core of the service they provide.

Gemma Knight registered as a childminder with SSAFA in June 2012. She runs her own childminding service from Akrotiri, British Forces Cyprus, where she has been based for over three years with her husband, who is serving in the RAF.

Gemma was drawn to childminding because of all the fantastic opportunities the career offers - from making a difference to a child’s life, to being your own boss and working from home. She says, “I wanted to get back to work and this role was the perfect solution. Operating from my own home allowed me to choose the hours I worked and the type of service I provided. I also knew that if we were moving around with the RAF, childminders would always be needed, so it would be a transferable skill.”

Childminders registered with SSAFA are trained and qualified in matters of safeguarding, undergo detailed background checks and complete a paediatric first aid course to help deal with any emergency a child under their care might experience. They also understand and apply the principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Jill Shaw, who co-ordinates childcare in Cyprus for SSAFA explains, “Childminding offers the opportunity to not only run your own business but also enjoy a satisfying and important job helping children to learn and develop, sharing their success and offering them consistent care of a high standard.”

Gemma admits that childminding was a challenge at first, especially with a child of her own. “Naturally, your time is split and your children have to get used to sharing their toys and their mummy! But our house very quickly became a busy child-friendly zone and now we’re very used to having lots of little people running around. Childminding fits into our family way of life really well.”

To find out more about becoming a registered childminder with SSAFA, contact Jill Shaw on (00357) 9961 8672 or Kayleigh Duddy on (00357) 2474 4453, or you can collect a registration pack from your local SSAFA office or HiVE.