Nursery World Awards 2020 - Childminder of the Year

Friday, February 5, 2021

Vicki Chenery, Norwich

Vicki has been running her childminding business since 1995 and holds a Level 3 childcare qualification. She runs her setting from her home in the centre of Norwich, providing a safe, friendly, warm and welcoming environment all year round for families with children ranging from 0-12 years old. She received an Outstanding Ofsted at her most recent inspection

Vicki provides a huge and excellent range of activities and resources for all children to develop their skills, covering all areas of the EYFS. Parents are given daily updates of what their children have been doing and every child has their detailed learning journey packed full of information and photographs of observations, with clear next steps to map progress.

As well as many excellent activities for children at Vicki’s house, there are weekly visits to local parks, libraries, baby and toddler groups, story and rhyme sessions, museums and the local woods for Forest School activities.

Vicki closely monitors professional development for herself and her assistants, ensuring they are all up to date and have no gaps in training. She also prioritises her staff’s well-being, arranging regular swimming sessions, yoga and spa days.

Her help for families ranges from advice on breastfeeding, weaning and sleepless nights to transitions to school, homework and even teenage tantrums.

Anyone who knows Vicki will say she is inspirational, patient, kind and caring, and has touched many children’s lives. She stays in touch with all her families and even the very first child she looked after 25 years ago still visits her regularly.

One family in particular had a child diagnosed with a speech disorder and had to have intensive group and individual therapy. Vicki supported the child and parents every step of the way, and made her own games and resources to use with the child in her setting.

When another child was diagnosed with allergies, Vicki went out of her way to ensure the child had all the food substitutes she needed at no extra cost to the parents. Vicki also cooked meals to cover the entire duration of one of her rare holidays from work, to ensure one child with very specific dietary needs did not feel any unnecessary anxiety while her beloved childminder was away.

Somehow, around all this, Vicki also finds time to help run a local baby and toddler group, Saturday sessions for the local Rainbows, and is a trustee at a local preschool.

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Catherine Fay

Catherine has worked as a dedicated, thoughtful and passionate childminder for more than 15 years. Alongside her husband, she has provided exceptional childminding to many children around Cambridge, as one of only a handful of childminders in the region to be rated Outstanding by Ofsted.

She ensures that each child enjoys, learns and develops in her care, thinking carefully about each activity and providing children with many exciting adventures. A large open play area available at all times, regardless of weather, is a highlight of her setting, while regular trips to playgrounds, farms, soft play centres and museums ensure constant variety.

During the recent lockdown, Catherine kept her setting open to look after the children of key workers, to her own financial detriment. Although she was offered additional work to top up her reduced income, she refused as she did not want to increase the risk to the children in her care.

FINALISTS

Julie Dixon

Michaela Ellis

CRITERION

Nominees must be registered childminders

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