The Minister for Childcare and Education, Sam Gyimah MP, visited childminders in Portsmouth this week to discuss the work that they do.
The minister travelled to the Buckland Children’s Centre to meet PACEY members Kara Jewell and Lorraine Meehan, and Tracy Norris, who are all experienced childminders. The minister attended a session in the sensory room, and had the opportunity to observe their practice, and hear views on the challenges and joys of working in childcare.
He said: “We want as many childcare options to be available to families as possible – and childminders are an important part of that choice.
It’s always great to get feedback from those who provide childcare and play such an important role in supporting families.
It was a pleasure to meet these hard-working childminders, hear their experiences and talk to them about what we’re doing to help them to thrive.”
He later tweeted: “V impressed what the childminders we met in Portsmouth are doing to give children the best start in life."
PACEY childminder Kara Jewell, said: It was a really positive experience meeting with the minister last week. He seemed to genuinely share the passion I have for early years, asking questions to understand issues and taking the time to listen to our answers.”
Liz Bayram, Chief Executive of PACEY, said: “We are delighted that we were able to get the Minister for Childcare and Education together with PACEY childminders, for them to demonstrate their expertise, and also to explain the challenges they face.
It is only by speaking to the people who work in the profession every day that Whitehall policy-makers can get a genuine understanding of the issues facing the sector.
We are arranging a programme of further visits from policy makers to PACEY childminders and nurseries, to ensure that central government hears directly the views of those working across the childcare sector.
We are also looking forward to sharing the results of our sector-wide survey with all political parties, to ensure that the voice of childcare and early years professionals is heard in the run up to the election and beyond.”