Nursery World Awards 2022 - Childminding Business of the Year

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Cally Smith Childcare, Richmond

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Cally Smith Childcare provides for children from birth up to school age and includes an after-school club. Alongside three staff members, Cally offers a home from home childcare service where all the team care for each child like their own.

Children experience all the benefits of one-to-one care while also mixing with other children. All children are allocated a keyworker, providing not only continuity of care but also security and comfort.

With high expectations of what children can achieve, Cally and her team introduce age-appropriate challenges and encourage them to develop a can-do attitude. As a result, children’s voices are valued and respected.

The team provides a sound, supportive and inclusive learning environment thanks to a consistent commitment to their own personal and professional development, completing courses in subjects from behaviour to yoga.

An outdoor setting offering a variety of Forest School activities, Cally’s home provides a calm and focused learning environment, with access to a local wooded area with a stream. Areas have been carefully redesigned with inclusion in mind, and include the recent addition of a garden space and conservatory area. Children and staff can often be found cooking home-grown food around the firepit.

The setting allows children to explore different aspects of nature, including harvesting homegrown vegetables at the local allotment, while they explore the world around them when out and about, such as learning about recycling on a trip to the local depot.

A termly menu provides children with a wide range of fresh, healthy, nutritious and tasty options, able to respond to any number of sometimes complex dietary requirements.

Communication is impeccable, with daily handovers, quarterly newsletters, updated policies and procedures available via Tapestry, including regularly updated individual profiles for each child, and parental surveys.

Staff are flexible, and always willing to speak to parents outside their working hours. They operate a private, parents-only Facebook page which is kept up to date with photos and information about children’s daily activities.

Cally and her team are always available for one-to-one advice and guidance. A careful settling-in process gathers detailed information about each child to plan and enhance learning experiences. Parents’ routines and wishes are integrated and respected.

Cally will often rearrange personal plans to accommodate the needs of her families. On several occasions, children in military families have had to be collected late due to parental commitments. The setting supported this without hesitation.


Julie & Jo’s Childcare, Cambridge

Staff at Julie & Jo’s Childcare dedicate many evenings and weekends to preparing resources for children, several of whom have additional needs, English as an additional language, or come from underprivileged families.

During Covid lockdowns, staff produced and delivered resource packs for children who could not attend, communicated regularly with families, and set up online learning journals, storytelling sessions and challenges. They also delivered food packages to families who were isolating or in need.

Although Julie & Jo’s has been established for nearly 30 years, staff understand the importance of keeping up to date with training, attending a wide range of courses.


Bonding School, Crystal Palace

Titches Childminding, Whitchurch, Hampshire



Open to settings where registered childminders are working with other childminders and/or assistants, including those registered as ‘childcare on domestic premises’.

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