Devon's childminders unite in celebration

MORE THAN 100 registered childminders from Devon will come together on Tuesday (March 31) for an evening to Celebrate Childminding organised by Devon County Council s Early Years and Childcare Service.

MORE THAN 100 registered childminders from Devon will come together on Tuesday (March 31) for an evening to 'Celebrate Childminding' organised by Devon County Council's Early Years and Childcare Service.

The event is being held at the Padbrook Park Hotel in Cullompton, to celebrate the professionalism of Devon's childminders, who are all Ofsted registered, work to the Early Years Foundation Stage framework and undertake a minimum level of training. Many choose to further their professional development with a wide range of training and childcare qualifications.

The new Devon Childminding Network will also be launched on the evening. Childminders are encouraged to progress through the levels demonstrating their commitment to continuous quality improvement and professional development. In celebration of their achievement,

Councillor John Smith, Devon County Council's Executive Member for Children and Young People's Services, said: "We are pleased that Devon offers a wide range of childcare services to families, to suit their individual needs. Childminders are a very important element of this service, so I am delighted that we are recognising their achievements at this celebration event.

"Childminders offer a safe, welcoming and child friendly, flexible home-based childcare service to parents for all ages of children. Many provide school-age childcare providing a pick up service to their local schools as part of the Extended Services to Schools agenda."

The evening will be introduced by Anne Whiteley, Devon County Council's Director of Children and Young People's Services and keynote speaker will be Rob Long, Educational Psychologist and Founder of Rob Long's Education Works, whose talk is entitled 'Teaching Children to Fly'.

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Anne Whiteley will also present the awards to Third Level Childminders, some of whom are Specialist Childminders in Early Learning offering the 'free entitlement' to three and four year olds in their homes.

Said Mrs Whiteley: "This event is an opportunity for childminders to meet and exchange ideas and information, and a way for us to acknowledge the valuable work they do."

Every childminder who attends the evening will receive a free story bag in recognition of the valuable work they do, as well as celebrating the contribution they make to family lives.