Dedicated carers recognised at the Early Years and Childcare Awards 2013

Dorset Echo: WELL DONE: Outstanding childminders WELL DONE: Outstanding childminders

DEDICATED people working with young children in Dorset have been recognised for their achievements.

The Early Years and Childcare Awards 2013 ceremony organised by Dorset County Council celebrated the nurseries, pre-schools, and childminders that received an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted grade over the last year.

Certificates were also presented to those improving their knowledge and skills by attaining graduate Early Years Professional Status and the Early Years Foundation Degree.

Dorset County Council’s Chief Executive Debbie Ward presented the awards.

She said: “The quality of early years care for children across Dorset is really important to us so by investing in the training and development of childcare staff, we are also investing in children’s future. These workers inspire the children they care for, so these awards pay tribute to their continuous energy, dedication and enthusiasm.”

A number of childcare establishments also gained a UNICEF UK’s Rights Respecting Award.

Coun Rebecca Knox, the county cabinet member for children’s safeguarding and families, said: “With a number of childminders, pre-schools and nurseries in Dorset being rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, parents can be confident that their little ones are in good hands.”

Award recipients for the Early Years Foundation Degree include Jane Murray at Thomas Hardye Nursery in Dorchester, Natasha Luther in Chipmunks Day Nursery in Weymouth, Gemma England from Dorchester’s Barn Owls Nursery and more.

Gemma said: “For me personally this award felt like I’d achieved one of my goals; it was a huge achievement. It was fantastic to be recognised and rewarded for my hard work.”

There were also a range of ‘Outstanding Ofsted Childminders’ across West Dorset together with schools and nurseries across Dorset which were awarded Early Years Professional Status.

Allsorts pre-school at St Augustines in Weymouth received the ‘outstanding Ofsted settings’ award and a UNICEF award. Manager Denise Elliott said: “The awards are a big step forward for the school; this is the second time we’ve got the outstanding award which is a massive achievement because Ofsted standards have changed recently.

“All the staff here have worked so hard to achieve the award and will continue working towards a never-ending cycle of improvement for the children’s benefit.”

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