Yikes I’m a finalist

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Earlier this years I was notified I had been nominated for four awards via Bizmums, well a few months ago, I recieved notice that I was finalised for two of these.

My lashaddiction business has made to final for the health and beauty mum of the year and my childminding got in for exceptional service awards.

If you were following my Facebook at the time of finding out these results you would have seen I was an emotional wreak, even my Mam got to see this video and she not on Facebook so clearly reached a lot of people lol.

I am still in utter shock that I had made it far enough to be nominated, those people who did thank you so kindly, and a huge thank you to all families in my care who helped me with more kind words so I could add submitting evidence as to why I should be considered to finalised.

My main passion in life is childcare, I have always been in it and left school at 16 to follow this career, fully qualified by 18 and got 1st job in a day nursery, while rest my friends were only finishing A-levels and thinking of college or uni. My career was only just starting.

Now at the age of 30, I ahve really settled into creating the perfect business, the children are the focus of this business. When I set up at 27, I knew I needed to so how provide care for families who were not the average 9til 5 worker, who had no other help from family or friends.

As this was me, I needed part time childcare on a part time flexible price but unable to get this anywhere. I knew the traditional system needed to change, I mean how many families live close to their work now, or can finish at a time and garantee to be at their childcare provider for 6pm…. Not many now a days.

The way I run my childminding started of extremely flexible, I was offering a drop off and pick up system and working late nights and weekends, then I started to see more and more need for early am starts, service to school who had no other provider, families who had shift patterns or childcare needed just 1 day a week.

Slowly I grew and grew, taken full occupancy withing 6months of setting up. Each family on a totally different contract and different payment days. This was reflected in my nomination

“The way Stephanie has tailored her service,she has allowed parents to go to work in their dreamed profession, offering shift workers flexibility with no hidden costs. Families only pay for the childcare used, which is a great help to them working, enjoy life and securely financing their childcare bills.” Thank you to who ever sent it.

All the families have found this type of system invaluable.

“Steph is a great childminder, who is very flexible and always on hand to help, if it wasn’t for Steph I wouldn’t be able to do my job and look after my daughter” father of 1.

“Stephs childminding has helped us so much as a RAF family, my kids were nervous to go to a strangers house, they had Confidance issues, Steph changed all that with herupbeat personality, and enthusiasm to give the boys special memories…Steph very flexible with working hours, which is fantastic for when my shifts change” Mum of 2.

“…we quickly realised that nurseries wouldn’t suit our needs for budget and flexibility, being self employed I needed 1flexi day per week childcare, Steph could accommodate and understand this need…when our second daughter arrived we had no doubts about where the best place for her would be…our daughter has flourished under Stephs  passion for creating stimulating and engaging play” Mum of 2.

These extremyl kind and touching words are proof, of why I run my childminding the way I do, and know it’s needed.

I see all children within my care as my own, the activities I provide change per child and all children can reach their full potential, the hot meals on nights ensure the home from home and ppfamily time was till there even tho they are my extended family, even asked for take away tea as food so yummy, heheh.

Just knowing I am providing what I want the way I want is great, I will msay I am still not graded by Ofsted, but when they do visit I will sure to pass on these comments from parent ps so they can see the true scale of my care rather than the snap shot they see when visit.

To be recognised by others outside my business is great too, I have been connected with Bizmums for a number of years now, however they have never really seen my work in practice, but feel that being finalised for the exceptional service they have had the door opened to see what really happens here and the impact it has made on many families and individuals.

I am up against a lot of other amazing Women for this award and many who have such a bigger business than me e.g. Life coaches and I am only one in this type of industry. But even tho I am small, just me running my business and full to my regulators. I see myself a lot bigger within my industry, I know this type childcare is needed and I know there is demand to expand, however I know what’s wanted as a Mother myself, not everyone wants the big settings, the larger space to fill them up, I am personal, know alll my children really well, their moods, likes and dislikes, what makes them tick. I get this from being small, being home from home, being us…

The awards are on the 8th Oct and really looking forward to the day, catching up with virtual friends and making new. And even if I do not win I know I am a winner in myself and the eyes of the families with my care.

If you wish to see my first responce to these awards, it’s here,

 

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Grace House, children’s crafts

If you read my blog on the childrens First aid workshops you will have seen I mentioned Sarah.

Well who is Sarah, Sarah Jones is a mum of 4 children and meet her again via Bizmums. On first meeting she talked about her bespoke art work, then another meeting on setting up her new venture, and how she was trusted with a return of money from an event, to reinvest it back into a dream they had.

Well Sarah really did do well in this reinvestment and in Aug this year Sarah has set up her own studio and venue called Grace House, based in Stafford. The idea is to be able to provide a events venue, workshop and event all at a affordable cost.

In the summer holidays to were invited to an ‘wing it wednesday’ children’s workshop. so off I popped with my own two and friends.

The session lasted 2hours and was all aimed around a wing themed craft, today we were making 3d wooden butterflies. The children and I worked with each other to create their own butterfly, Sarah provided all the materials, snack and hot drink for us adults.

Sarah was on hand the whole time to help, and dried our pieces to ensure no mark on way home in car etc. Sarah also gave great tip from her own artist background, like standing to work as helps you flow.

Later in the holidays, I teamed up with Heather and Sarah to provide venue for our first aid course and Sarah again offered us a craft work shop after. Today they created winged canvas prints.

Again Sarah was exceptional in providing all the children with great tips (many will use at home too), everything was provided for and this time had lush butterfly biscuits and caterpillar cakes as snack as the children creations were drying.

Outside Sarah has some giant hand chalked angel selfie wings which the children loved using as well as a huge chalk board for great creativeness.

These craft sessions vary in prices and times, but I can say well worth it and the bonding you gain extra with your children is priceless, esp if you are like some parents and limited creative things at home, this is a places to allow your children creativity out.

Sarah has a range of events on offer now from children’s workshops in school holidays and adults sessions on a Thursday evening, highly recommend you popping by. As well as finding out about her children’s party offers, great value for money.

More information on Grace house can be found at

FB: https://www.facebook.com/gracehouseart.co/

events: https://www.facebook.com/pg/gracehouseart.co/events/?ref=page_internal

Sarah has also offered her venue to Stafford Bizmums monthly meeting, (1st Monday the month 10-11.30). where like minded mums in business can network and children can play. More can be found out here.

https://www.facebook.com/Bizmums.biz/?ref=br_rs

web: http://www.bizmums.biz

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Children’s First aid workshops

Children’s Workshop

During the school holiday I am always looking for extra and different activities to provide for the school children.

My daughter attends a local brownies unit and while looking through her badges book I notices First Aid, well as a childminder I have always been fully trained in pediatric First Aid.

A few months earlier I met Heather Bird via Bizmums who set up her own training company around first aid, so I put her to the challenge. Could she create a children’s training around first aid also meeting the criteria and assess Ava-May ability for her Brownies badge….as well as teaching the other children life saving skills….

I took my own two children and three I child-minded as well as friends children. The aim was to teach seven children from 5years to 11. Well that 7 went to 15, including children of Sarahs and her friends children. Sarah also another Bizmum member allowed us to take over her studio and what a great venue that was (more in another blog about Sarah).

Well I can say Heather did not fail on this challenge…. WOW… not only did Heather meet criteria for the first aid but also the advance badge. Heather had never trained children but with teaching backgrounds and a mum herself, she did an amazing job.

The children covered areas like:

*who and how to ring for help, what they many be asked to know

*what to look for is find a casualty

*what to do if someone get a cut or embedded item

*how to put someone in recovery position

*how to dress wounds and head injuries

Heather kept the 2 hours session, fun and lively, as well as fun tests to check their understanding and also allowed the children to engage in sharing their own experiences and children with asthma were able to help teach the others how to help them and know different signs and symptoms. Meaning the session was greatly children lead and so informative.

The children I took to get the Brownies First Aid badge and others who wanted to know more about CPR were also trained in this, meaning the Brownies will also now get the First Aid advance badge. A Great pleasure to them.

“I loved wrapping my friends up in bandages” Charlotte, age 8.

“I loved the CPR and didn’t have to give mouth to mouth to a dummy but knew could still help someone”, Jack aged 11.

This workshop was great fun and even refreshed my own knowledge, I would highly recommend anyone to do some first aid training for them selves and their children, even combing the two and develop them bonds further with your child.

From the Success of this test run workshop Heather is now running these and if your child attends Brownies, Guides, Scouts or Cubs and needs First Aid certified trained teacher for these badges, please let Heather know.

For more information on Heather Children’s and other First aid and Health and Safety courses, please visit.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/hmbtrainingservices/

events: https://www.facebook.com/pg/hmbtrainingservices/events/?ref=page_internal

Website: http://www.hmbtrainingservices.co.uk

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