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Below are reviews of on-line courses done by forum member Pauline, with Virtual College

Keep an eye on the Childminding Forum as we often have special discounts for courses.

Food Hygiene
Child Abuse Awareness - Foundation
Child Abuse Awareness - CORE
Childhood Obesity and HENRY
Integrated Working and CAF (Common Assessment Framework)
Domestic Abuse

Food Hygiene, A self-study training course fulfilling the syllabus of the Level 2 Award in Food Safety (formerly known as Foundation or Basic Food Hygiene at Level 1).

I fully expected this to be quite hard and had intended to do it over two days. But once I had started I decided to continue while it was all fresh in my mind. You go through various training sections which cover things from types and causes of contamination, safe storage, cleaning and disinfection, temperature control, hazard analysis.

It took me two hours of gentle studying and there are small multiple choice tests along the way to help you see if you have taken it in

You must complete all the training before you can continue to the test. You can save it and go back as often as you like, spread it over several days if you wish, you can even go back over the training if you want.

At the end there is a 30 question multiply choice test which you can take up to 2 hours over (it took me about 15 minutes) you need to gain a mark of 75% correct to pass, if you don't get 75 then you can go back into the training and take the test again at a later time until you pass. Most are just common sense.

When you have passed the test the certificate will be posted to you within 10 days, mine arrived in two days.

Really enjoyed doing it, learnt some interesting things and the best thing for me was that I didn't have to give up a day of my weekend or evening to do it. I simply fitted it into my day to suit myself. Food Hygiene Course Information

Works on both PC and Apple Macintosh/OSX

Foundation - Awareness of Child Abuse and Neglect. This is my experience of doing the course:

They say it takes on average around 2 hours but I spent about 3 hours spread over two days. You can take longer if you wish, it's entirely at your own pace and you can save it and return at the same point later. I found it easy to follow and the instructions were clear. The information is presented in different ways - you listen, read and take small tests along the way.
Although I had done Child Protection Courses in the past I still found there were some things I'd either forgotten or didn't know. I think it would be a great introduction for anyone who has had no Child Abuse Awareness training.

  • At the end of the course you should be able to:
  • Understand the various types of child abuse and neglect
  • Identify the signs and what to look for
  • Know how to ask questions if you suspect a child is being abused
  • know what steps to take if you suspect abuse is happening
  • know what happens after a referral is made to Children's Service (Social Care)
  • Know what to do if a child or an adult discloses abuse

You can go back through the training at any point if you feel you want to refresh your memory.

At the end of the training and once you are confident to take it, there is a test, mainly multiple choice.

You need 75% to pass, if you fail you can go back to the training and continue until you feel happy to try again. When you pass you are then directed to a print page where you can print off a certificate. Foundation - Course Information

As well as the Foundation there is now 'Safeguarding Children Awareness of Child Abuse and Neglect CORE'

Awareness of Child Abuse and Neglect -CORE - course details

Works on both PC and Apple Macintosh/OSX

Childhood Obesity and HENRY Course:

This course is aimed at those working with young children and also parents.

It's aim is to give an in-depth understanding of the HENRY programme and its promotion of ways in which adopting parenting and lifestyle strategies can help to combat the obesity epidemic amongst young children.

I found it very interesting, especially some of the ideas on how to encourage children to eat healthily, how to provide more suitable meals and snacks and ways to provide a good start for babies at the time of weaning. I have already begun to integrate some of the ideas into my childminding practice.

There were 5 sections to the course and these were quite detailed so I did one at a time, when it suited me, so it took about 5 days to do the course, working about 45 minutes each time. After each section there is a multiple choice test for you to see what you have remembered, this is not part of the final test but is just a way for you to see how you are doing.

Of course, the best thing with these on-line courses is that you work at your own pace so if you wanted to do it all in one go there is nothing to stop you. Equally if you want to take months to do it, then that is fine. I love being able to do the course when it suits me and I'm sure that doing it when you WANT to rather than when you HAVE to, makes you far more receptive to learning!

At the end of the course there is a test of mainly multiple choice questions. You need to get 60% to pass, but if you fail you can re-visit the course content and do a refresher before taking the test again and again until you pass.

On completion of this course you will be able to download a Virtual College certificate

Find out more about the course here - Childhood Obesity and HENRY

Works on both PC and Apple Macintosh/OSX

Integrated Working and CAF - Common Assessment Framework - is about working with other professionals to ensure that children are not missed and slip through the 'net' when it comes to protecting and helping children. Following the Victoria Climbie murder the inquiry showed that sharing information and working together was the key to preventing such a thing ever happening again.

For parents and children it can be a stressful time to have to repeat things over and over again and because working together can save time in repeated paperwork, phone calls and information gathering it is a benefit to all those who need to be involved.

This course explains what the Common Assessment Framework is, how it works, who is involved and how everyone involved in a CAF is working to ensure the Every Child Matters 5 Outcomes for the child are met. It also covers information sharing, and how to recognise what you should and shouldn't share with others. What a Lead Professional is. What ContactPoint is.

Because Childminding is becoming more and more recognised as professional care it is highly likely that you could be asked to be involved in a CAF for a child in your care.

It took me about 3 hours (spread over a week and a half) to work through this. I didn't want to try to take in too much information at once and also, because I was so busy, I found it easier to just do it when I felt like it rather than because I HAD to! I think you are more able to take in information when you are doing it happily, rather than feeling forced into it when you are tired.

Because the training is kept in your own training area, you can log in and out as you want. The training material is also there to look back on even after you have finished the course, which is great for refreshing your memory later.

At the end of the course there is a multiple choice quiz, if you pass you can print out a certificate, if you don't pass you can go back and do the course again as many times as you want, until you have gained the knowledge to pass.

Find out more about the course here - Integrated Working and CAF

Works on both PC and Apple Macintosh/OSX

Domestic Abuse Awareness Course:

Virtual College asked if I would have a look at this course and see what I thought and whether it is relevant to childminders.

There is some very interesting learning if nothing else! Certainly makes you think. As to it's relevance to childminding it would depend on the individual. If you are keen to be aware of the signs and how it effects people then it would certainly be a way of gaining knowledge to help protect children by knowing how to spot signs of abuse taking place within a family.

At the end of the course there is a test of mainly multiple choice questions. You need to get 60% to pass, but if you fail you can re-visit the course content and do a refresher before taking the test again and again until you pass.

On completion of this course you will be able to download a Virtual College certificate

Find out more about the course here - Domestic Abuse Awareness

Works on both PC and Apple Macintosh/OSX

I will soon be doing more courses so watch this space for details of how I got on.

Or for more courses available please visit the On-line Courses page of the Childminding Forum here you will find many courses not listed above, including Completing the SEF (Self Evaluation Form) Enriching Play, Introduction to Safeguarding Children to name but a few.



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