Going the extra mile

Sadiya Mohamoud runs a bilingual childminding service in Enfield
Sadiya Mohamoud runs a bilingual childminding service in Enfield

Sadiya Mohamoud talks to James Cracknell about her affordable childminding business, which comes with added benefits for parents

Finding a reliable and trusted childcare provider at an affordable price can be one of the trickiest parts of parenting, but it is something made even more difficult by language and cultural barriers.

Sadiya Mohamoud is a childcare professional from Edmonton, where 58% of the population is black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME). After working for many years in a local nursery she realised she could offer something extra for parents.

Sadiya grew up in Somalia and moved to the UK in 2001. She speaks several languages, including Somali, Arabic and Swahili. Her ability to help children from many different backgrounds, who may be learning English as a second language, has proved invaluable.

After eight years working in a nursery and then a school, Sadiya decided to set up as an independent childminder based in her own home. She says: “I love working with children. When I left the nursery they advised me to become a childminder. I would look after them, cook for them, I did everything for them.

“It was very successful. I can be flexible and I offer good prices. Single mothers might not be able to afford normal childcare, so I charge them less.”

Affordable childcare enables parents more time to pursue new courses, qualifications and help with employment and integration, as well as aiding the development of their children.

“Language barriers can make you not very confident. Sometimes their children haven’t learned English yet and their children will not be able to say when they want to go to the toilet or they need a drink.

“When the parents know I can speak their language they feel confident, knowing I can help their children learn English at the same time as looking after them.”

Sadiya’s childminding service became more and more popular, but working from home limited the number of children she could take on. It was then that she discovered Bountagu Big Local and was offered the chance to run ‘soft play’ sessions at The Ark in Edmonton, supported by UnLtd.

She now has up to 20 children on her books and employs three staff, even offering parents a pick-up service.

“I do a coffee morning as well. Many parents in this area have problems finding a job or have problems with benefits and housing. On Mondays and Tuesdays at our coffee morning we come together and if they need support I can help them with making phone calls and filling in forms.

“I want to help them, it is not all about money. Sometimes they might not understand the systems, but I can refer people to where they get support.”

Sadiya is now looking to expand further by setting up her own premises, designed with the needs of her children and parents in mind.

“If we have got enough children and we become successful we can open a new premises – but I am not going to stop helping parents. I believe in helping people.”

This article is sponsored by UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs. Find out more about UnLtd’s work in Edmonton:
Call 0207 566 1100
Email [email protected]
Visitunltd.org.uk

For more information about Bountagu Big Local:
Visit
http://www.bountagu.com