East Belfast MLA Chris Lyttle said: “Childminders play a vital role in our society, without whom, many parents would not be able to work full time or even part time. Childminders play a vital part in a child’s development, where many are key to improving the child’s learning.
“There are however problems in the provision of childminders which is why we need a regional strategy to ensure that all parents who wish to have a childminder are able to do so.
“They are a valuable resource which is why I am encouraging parents to support the Childminder of the year award.
“I have met many childminders through my constituency work and I have heard from the parents of the children that they look after who cannot sing their praises enough. I hope that as many parents as possible nominate their childminder as a small token of the appreciation that they have for the work that they do.”
Nomination forms have been distributed to all NICMA-registered childminders so parents wishing to put forward their childminder for the award should ask them for a nomination form.
Alternatively, nominations can be made on-line by going to www.nicma.org/cms/Childminder-Of-The-Year and filling in the on-line form. All information can also be found at www.ni4kids.com
The closing date for receipt of completed nomination forms is Friday, October 21, 2011, after which six childminders will be selected to go forward to the finals which take place on November 15, 2011 at Malone House in Belfast.