Sharon with her young charges and Early Years' Manager Becky Maclean

‘An extension of our family’ is how one parent described Childminder of the Year Sharon MacKinnon.

During Childminding Month (May), the Early Years’ Service promotes childminding as a career – and ask parents to nominate their choice of who should be crowned Childminder of the Year.

After votes were counted, the 2017 Childminder of the Year is Sharon Mackinnon, pictured with her charges and Early Years Manager Becky Maclean, who present Sharon with a vase and £50 gift voucher to celebrate her win.

As part of the nomination process, parents were ask to give reasons why they chose their childminder, and those that voted Sharon to top place said: “Sharon has been our childminder for five years, for both boys. She is organised, reliable and completely trustworthy.

“She truly cares for the little ones in her care and she is always relaxed and upbeat. Our boys love her. She’s like an extension of our family.”

Another added: “Sharon is one in a million; she is kind, loving, patient, and attentive. My child has a life of luxury while with her – every day is one big, exciting adventure.”

A enjoyable and rewarding career, Childminders work from their own homes to provide care and education for other people’s children in a family setting; and all are registered with the Care Inspectorate and inspected annually.

Parents often choose childminders to look after their children as they offer a flexible service in a homely environment where children learn from real life experiences, as well as providing planned activities.

And Childminders find their work a rewarding career, and also one that provides opportunities for developing new skills and qualifications.

If you are interested in finding out more, or becoming a registered Child Minder, Early Years’ Service provides Childminders with advice and guidance, a start-up payment of £250, and a welcome pack which includes business and record-keeping documents, a fire blanket, and health and safety literature.

Contact Early Years’ Service on 01851 822655, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.