For Sharon, helping the children in her care to overcome any obstacle that may be stopping them from moving forward is a priority.
She helps every child to have a good start by careful and thoughtful interaction, raising their confidence levels, building on their self-esteem and ensuring they are recognised as their own individual person.
After installing an alphabet mat in the play area, parents expressed satisfaction and
surprise at the quick progress made by the children with their reading and writing skills. Sharon also regularly invites the local police to the setting to give talks to the children, as well as arranging educational trips.
While the activities she organises focus on building on the children’s interests, Sharon also stresses the importance of being able to have fun – for the children and herself.
Providing support to the families whose children she minds, as well as her peers and charities, is also important to Sharon. The outstanding childminder is currently supporting and guiding two others childminders in the area with their businesses.
In addition, Sharon organises sponsored walks every year to raise money for the charity of the children’s choosing. She says involving the children in this way helps them recognise just how privileged they are. Through her fundraising efforts, the she has helped raise more than £2,000 since 2010.
Sharon says she gets a great deal of satisfaction from giving and helping in any way possible. When one parent, a single mother, was left without a car after hers broke down, Sharon loaned the mum her vehicle for two months while she got hers fixed. Sharon also provided her with financial support during a really difficult time.
Parents clearly think a lot of the Enfield childminder and the care she provides. One said that leaving her child with Sharon gives her ‘peace of mind’, while other parents commented on her ‘home-from-home environment’, and how happy and content children are at the setting.
Another parent, Tracey Amoa-Sakyi, said, ‘When my daughter started with Sharon, I noticed a rapid progress in her development in a number of areas. She couldn’t wait to go back to the setting in the mornings and whenever I picked her up, it was usually difficult to get her to come home as she was upset to leave Sharon.
‘I admire the fact that Sharon provides opportunities for children to make them well-rounded individuals. Her dedicated and imaginative approach to childcare has really impressed and inspired me.’
May Collin, Maisie Poppies Childcare, London
Nominees must be registered childminders