The meaning of home
The meaning of home

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The meaning of home

1.3.2 Change on a daily basis: shared childcare

Activity 4: Caring for children

We leave our flat at about 8.15 am and go to nursery where Sabrina (who is four) stays for the mornings. I then take Tristan (who is nine) to school and then go on to work. Maureen, who's a registered childminder, fetches Sabrina from nursery after lunch and they go to Maureen's house. Around 3.25 pm Maureen and Sabrina go up to school and, depending what day it is, they fetch Tristan and some other children. Some days Tristan goes home with his friends as they have a swimming lesson or football club. Either I, or Michael, fetch the children home from Maureen's or elsewhere, any time between 5.30 or 6.30 pm depending who's doing what and who's back first.

This was written by one of the mothers whose children go to Maureen's. In this scenario the children spend different parts of their day in different places, so their care is shared.

  1. Make a list of the various places in which the children in this scenario are cared for and how these change with time.

  2. Think about these places and make a note of how they might be different from each other in terms of the spaces they occupy.

Discussion

  1. The children spend different times of the day in different places, so there are changes in both time and space. For Sabrina this includes her own home (a flat), nursery, her childminder's house, and then back to her own home. Her brother, Tristan, goes from home to school and then to Maureen's or someone else's house before coming back home.

  2. Both nursery and school will differ from a domestic home because they are group settings and include a number of children and adult workers occupying the same space. They will have been designed or adapted for the purpose. Maureen lets the children in her care have access to much of the space in her house. The environment is domestic with a few modifications for purposes of safety and to enable the children to have a play space.

This activity introduces the idea of changes in time and place. The care provided by the childminder is a substitute for parental care given while the parents are working.

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