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40 years of PACEY - how it all began

The beginning of NCMA/PACEY

In November 1977 The National Childminding Association (NCMA) was inaugurated in Birmingham. This followed an extraordinary year when several things came together.

1st National Executive Committee meeting held in 1978 with NCMA's first chair Ann Goddard

Childminders across the country were beginning to gather in small groups for mutual support, recognising the lack of any real support for registered childminders at the time. In the summer of 1977, this all coincided with the third National Childminding conference, when childminders and other interested workers in the field got together and planned to set up a national organisation which would support childminders from a grass roots level.

Photo taken as part of Childminding Week

With an initial pump priming grant, and spearheaded by Celia Smith who became the first coordinator of the fledgling organisation, NCMA was born. Two or three hundred childminders gathered from all parts of the UK in the Town hall in Birmingham and the rest is history!

NCMA regularly ran and attended events for National Childminding Week including 'Fun Day' pictured here in Battersea Park in June 1989. 

Fun Day, Battersea Park, June 1989

Other key milestones include our work towards our 'we're backing no smacking' campaign – NCMA’s first official campaign. From the start, the charity has focused on speaking up for childcare practitioners and an early sign of its impact was it work around the 1989 Children Act. This picture shows staff and volunteers handing in a petition putting forward practitioners’ views and asking for extra resources for under 8's. 

NCMA petition submitted asking for more resources for under 8s, 1991

'We're backing no smacking' campaign cover, 1994 and delivering a campaign postcard to 10 Downing Street, 2000

Fast forward to 2013 and NCMA became the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years, 'PACEY'. We provide training, practical help and expert advice to childcare practitioners working throughout England and Wales to around 30,000 members. This includes peer support and encouragement through our nationwide network of PACEY Local volunteers.

Our mission is to support everyone working in childcare and early years to provide high quality childcare and early learning; and champion the vital role practitioners play in helping prepare children for a bright future.

In 2017, we continue to support the sector as we launched SearchChildcare, raised awareness of body confidence issues in young children and spoke up for practitioners among the 30 hours debate. For childminders specifically, key successes have been the creation of Business Smart, a toolkit to help childminders build sustainable businesses, and #childminderchampions, a campaign to celebrate the amazing work childminders do reaching over 1 million people. 

An event to celebrate

In a way of celebration, a reunion is being planned for anyone who has been involved in the early days of NCMA. If you would be interested in attending this event, please email Ann Goddard and she will be in touch. 

Additional resources mentioned

Connie Cluderay
Is this celebration for ex members of staff as well as childminders ? I worked for NCMA from 1992 until the national Peer Support project stopped being funded.
20/10/2017 17:39:15

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