Childminders are first to win outstanding report

PUBLISHED: 12:23 16 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:40 06 May 2010

Children were allowed to 'thrive'

Children were allowed to 'thrive'

TWO village childminders have become the first in Bedfordshire to be graded as outstanding. The accolade has been awarded to Potton pair Lisa Howard and Jackie Noakes for their skills in early years education by the Office of Standards in Education (Ofste

TWO village childminders have become the first in Bedfordshire to be graded as outstanding.

The accolade has been awarded to Potton pair Lisa Howard and Jackie Noakes for their skills in early years education by the Office of Standards in Education (Ofsted).

Inspectors found that the standards of care and education offered by the pair, who are accredited childminders for early years education, allowed children they are responsible for to "thrive".

They also reported that both childminders had "an exceptionally competent understanding of childcare".

Clr Peter Hollick, cabinet member for education at Bedfordshire County Council, said: "This is a fantastic achievement for both Lisa and Jackie. It is a reflection of the hard work they have put into providing an excellent service for the children they care for.

"We are very proud of this quality of childcare in Bedfordshire and we will continue to support our childminders to help them build on the high quality of service that already exists."

Lisa, 38, who is married with two children and looks after children at her home in Jennings Close, said: "It is just nice to have the recognition of all our hard work.

"There are only three accredited childminders in Bedfordshire so to have two in Potton is wonderful.

"Jackie and I have worked closely and being accredited means we can also deliver early years education to very young children.

"It is very hard work from 8am to 6pm and you have to keep your eye on the ball all the time. You don't have time to switch off but it is very rewarding watching children grow up and develop and I love my job."

Jackie, 41, who looks after five children at her home in Catherines Close, said: "We really have worked hard together and we have always wanted to be the best in our profession.

"Every day is hard work because I also have three children of my own. But it is wonderful to watch the children grow up and when I go into the lower school in Potton a lot of children wave to me.

"Normally, we have a Christmas party for the children in Lisa's home because her house is marginally bigger than mine. But last Christmas we had to have it in the community centre and I'm glad we did because 50 people turned up.

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