Welcome to our end of the year community newsletter!
Wow, what a year! As the festive break approaches (and we hope you manage to have a warm and restful time with your loved ones, even if it’s not quite what you had planned), we wanted to reflect on the past year, and let you know of a few things you can look forward to in 2021…
tiney’s unexpected 2020 reboot
We won’t dwell on all the rubbish things about this year - we think you’re all pretty well acquainted with them - but the pandemic did have us working very hard to take the tiney training experience online; something we always had planned, we just didn’t realise we would have to do it in such a hurry! While we all miss our in-person training sessions, we’re delighted with how well everyone has adapted. To those of you who trained during lockdown, thank you for being our guinea pigs - we love getting your feedback and the changes we’ve made mean that we’ll be able to onboard lots more brilliant tiney childminders in 2021 and beyond. The in-app experience has already meant we’ve been able to expand beyond London and into the home counties much sooner than planned, and we hope to spread tiney even further afield soon.
Look how we’ve grown
We started the year in a poky office with 15 staff members. Now there are about 40 of us and our office is… well, all sorts of shapes and sizes, since we’ve spent most of the year working from our kitchen tables/sheds/sofas, many of us with little people (and furry friends…) “helping” too. We’re hoping we can come together in person more next year, and we’re also hoping those of you who have fellow tiney childminders in your neighbourhoods can do the same. Community is at the heart of tiney, and you have all done a great job of keeping the friendly and supportive vibes going via our app and webinars - thank you!
More Book Club coming soon
One of the highlights of our year was the launch of the tiney Book Club, where So Much author Trish Cooke did a fantastic live reading and many of you made the most of the activity kits we sent you (we loved seeing your creations on Instagram). The good news is, our next Book Club is scheduled for January, and it’s a proper classic. Exciting packages will be on their way to your homes soon...
Speaking of exciting packages… more post incoming!
Our design team have been working extremely hard over the past few weeks on gorgeous launch kits to help you market your tiney homes - these are being sent out to both new and existing tiney childminders and should reach you early in the new year so you can get off to a flying start and have eager families queuing outside your door. If you enjoy receiving your launch kit, we would love you to share it on social media so prospective childminders can see how great it is being part of tiney. Make sure you tag us: @tineyco
In case you missed it: Our first ever influencer collaborations
In our bid to get more people who are passionate about learning through play and changing children’s lives to train with us, we’ve been working with some brilliant Instagram influencers in the lovely, colourful, creative world of activities and play. One of them, Molly (aka @create_make_and_play) also launched her own tiney tips collection - have you given any of them a whirl yet? If you’re at home with little ones over the festive break, there are some great activities to try out.
Want to help make tiney famous?
Over the past couple of months, we’ve been spreading the word about tiney across a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites, and even on TV - did you spot our very own Kim along with tiney childminder Frances on ITV News recently? Our PR team are always looking for case studies and voices from the tiney community (check out this great piece tiney childminder Alicia wrote for Nursery World about diversity and inclusion in Early Years), so if you have an interesting story that you would be happy to talk about publicly, please drop firstname.lastname@example.org a line and tell her all about it.
Get ready to grow in 2021
We're delighted to launch Grow with tiney, our new professional development programme for tiney home leaders.
Up until now we've been running regular webinars to help you keep learning and developing, but we wanted to create something a bit more structured for everyone who opens a home nursery.
So now, if you open the 'Training' tab on your tiney app, you'll find courses you can work through in your own time, made up of short, interactive units. You should aim to do at least one unit a week, they only take 20-30 minutes and every unit contains practical ideas you can try straight away in your setting. Of course, there will still be opportunities to meet up and learn together as a community, but we're excited that you've now got a clear programme to work through, and to help you to deepen your practice, and your impact on children, every week.
Spotlight on: Nikki’s tiney home in Croydon
In between lockdowns, we were lucky enough to get out and film interviews with some of our childminders. We loved hearing Nikki’s story about moving from a long career in nursery settings to running her own tiney home. Check it out here.
Rest is rocket fuel, but we're here if you need us
Need to get in touch with tiney over the festive break? Although we're officially out of action from Christmas Eve until Monday 4th January, we will have a skeleton staff on duty for any urgent queries. Sarah and Lisa will be (wo)manning our Safeguarding hotline for any emergencies, while our community support team will be keeping an eye out for pressing issues too. Meanwhile, we'll be doing payment runs on 23rd December and 5th January.
Have a wonderful break and we look forward to seeing more of you in 2021!
Team tiney xxx