Home Learning – Early writing


I am often get asked to get children writing, from their own names to more words as they progress.

However learning to write is a long process and takes time.

A child needs to have learnt fine motor skills before writing comes, before fine motor they need the gross motor skills, (use of whole arm and shoulder etc).

Children can not write until they know how to mark make, draw and exploring with tools and media (paint, shaving form etc.)

The process of mark making:

Early marks,

6months plus; as soon as a baby is given crayon and paper a child even baby has the ability to mark make. This is the most fundamental stage.

First they learn how to grasp the crayon, then the hand eye co-ordination to get crayon to paper. Even learnt via putting toy mouth or picking up toys. All these learning skills are developing the children’s arm muscles for starting to scribble. Then the child learns cause and effect skill to  around 2 years, knowing putting pen to paper will make mark, banging a toy makes a sound, all part this learning of cause and effect. this take a long time but is concreating new learning.

Scribble to scribe, 2years plus

This is the process of children learning to scribble to scribing recognisable marks, e.g. lines, letters, shapes and even numbers. This is still a period of experimenting in cause and effects and imitating, the more children see others write and draw the more they will.

From around the age of three children start to grasp the symbolic process of writing, that drawing and marks can stand for objects and words. e.g. child appears to be scribbling but tells you that her, or you. Reading books together and pointing out the words, letters, numbers and more, helps to develop this meaning of writing and drawings.

Here is a sample of how children scribble goes from scribble to writing…  as you can see the first three boxes, children move from general scribbling all over, to then beginning to scribble left to right (as we would read) to then forming more recognisable e.g. shapes, number, some letter and more.


As children learn through these stages they will experiment with different marks, and start to imitate writing e.g. may do up and down zig zag lines that may represent their name.

These early stages of drawing are all key to a child learning to write their name or even just letters from their name.

There area may ways in which you can help your child develop and grow through these stages to start the writing process, however please remember every child is different they all learn at different rate and even within the Early Years Framework which covers your child until age of 5, these documents are guideline not a set “criteria” e.g. there no where saying your child needs to be able to write their own name by ages of 4.

I was taught and always believed a child needs to be able to recognise, hear and see, print and letters before able to forms them within writing.

Here are some tips to help develop scribing and writing at home and other places. gross and fine motor skills too.

*Read to your child. They need to see letters before forming them.

*Sky writing – moving arms and finger around in the air to make shapes and letters

*Allow children to see you write on pen and paper, role modelling if a great influence.

*Make letter, shapes and numbers in variety of media e.g. damp sand, paint, shaving form etc.

*Making coping letter, names write out, laminate and give child a white board pen, then they can copy feel movements needs and re copy.

*Talk while writing, giving key works like curly caterpillar as you go around a C or long ladder to go up the L, one armed robot for the r. These are the patterns that introduce children to formal writing. as I have read in gateway to writing – developing handwriting.

*Allow children to use a variety of shaped and sized mark making materials e.g. think paint brushes and fat outdoor chalk. different paper, lined small, large, plain etc

*Allow your child to explore and play with marks, letters, number shapes

Your child will start to learn the writing basics at school, however early starting is paramount, a interest in drawing and mark making from a early age will give the stepping stones to more progression.

You need to send a message to children early that learning to write is a fun thing to do. I am not a great believer that children will learn a lot via work books, sheets, although some do prefer these but not even mine did until later age. These can sometimes restrict children curiosity, weaking relationships with you and they need to be able to read to really get the most out of these.

Although you can print help sheets like pencil control, dot to dot letters etc, but you child needs the foundation mark making to gain from these.

Your child will have to be able to recognise their name in print before writing it. Let them have fun with marks and drawing, they will have year and years of writing suck at tables in school.

Hopefully you have found this blog helpful. If you have any queries please comment.

Some useful links are here too. As well as links to formal guidelines schools and Early years setting read.

scribble to scribe

literacy trust

gateway to developing handwriting

what to expect when









Home learning.


Home learning, what is it? What’s the benefits? Why do it? 

Home learning: supporting your children’s learning and development at home, familyies homes etc, outside of childcare and or school.

Did you know that from birth you started home learning your own child, you interacted with them, payed together, shared stories, talked to them.

However as your child gets older and older this seems to decrease. They spend more time playing alone or on technology. You stopped sharing that book or no longer do bed time story…. Why?? There are no excuses.

Home learning especially when children are in school or childcare is just as important now as it was when they were younger.

Yes when in school it is more supporting their homework, doing their guided reading but it can be so so much more.

How many time you told you child to go play…yes I am guilty too. You have things to do, cooking tea and housework, or like me you work from home too. It’s all about getting the balance.

Soon with my children in my care under 5, I will be introducing our home bags, every so often they will get a book, one to share with their family. Parents can read and share story with their child, encourage the child to read by asking them what’s happening in the pictures.

Just this 1 change can open up a world of further opportunities for home learning. E.g. Given a book about the shop, it’s read at home, then why not make shopping trip more fun with the children, have them write the list, help pick ad find items needed, add to trolls or bags at the end. From this you can also have your child start helping with the tea preparing, setting table, cutting veg (safety first though) stirring etc. The opportunities from 1 book is emence. The life skills that are taugh here (unknown) are great.

Home learning is not just about home work and workbooks, it’s as fun as you make it, it’s your learning  for your child.

Benefits; Your involvement can have positive effects on your child development and learning, thier own Confidance and knowledge as well as increasing you relationship with them. And who doesn’t want a happy content child. Thees millions of benefits.

How do to it; Research as identified 7 main area know as Early Home Learning Environment Index (EHLEI) as being important elements of home learning that improve educational outcomes;

1: Parents and carers reading to their child

2;parents taking children to the library (do you know your local on)

3; children playing with letters, (even self written or printed to paper)

4; parents and carers helping their child to learn the alplahbet

5; parents and carers teaching thei child numbers and counting

6; parents and carers teaching thei child songs, poems or nursery rhymes.

7; children painting or drawing at home, (how simple)

These 7 things really as simple, effetive, not time consuming things to do, theses 7 things can greatly impact on your children. What’s stopping you doing 1 today even on the school run, or shopping trip, counting oranges etc….

Over the coming months I will share more tips and activities to help support this, show how resources can be made cheap at home.

Go on what is really stopping you from supporting this…..Nothing. I bet you do a lot ready.





WOW 2017, you were kind

Well, it’s 2018 and the New year officially starts.

I have seen so many people saying good byes to a bad 2017… Don’t you think that just your view on life.

Yes bad things may have happened for you, myself and everyone… But why look back on the past in a negative way.

2017 really was amazing for me… And many of you all too. Just look at the smaller things.

Heres my highlights

*Quality time with the kids and my family. Making memories, laughing, time in the sun and snow.

*My best friends wedding.

*Breaks away, day trips (not all good but still done)

*New car, (after killing the old one, lol. Was not laughing at the time)

*Winning exceptional service award for my childminding

*Getting a lot more sorted for me personally, mindset included

*redecorating living room, Ryins bedroom and finally getting my real own stamp on the house,

*Succesful business year, making great memories with all children and fantastic fedback from their families. The book are really really full, waiting list developing.


Sometimes with a negative mind things look bleak, bad year etc. Well why… Look further see the perfect in everything.

I have learnt a lot this year too, as a parent and a person, but iaint we always learning… That life isn’t it after all a full learning curve, no 1 person gping throught the same as you…. So really look back on your year with positivity.

Lessons I have learnt:

*There in a perfect in every day.

*Positivity gets you much further.

*You Create your own destiny.

*You can get what you want… You have to really want it and work for it.

*Work is pleasurable when you love your job and follow your heart.

*Things come in the most unexpected places, when least expected.

So go ahead into 2018 with a positive mind, yes bad things may happen, but keep focused. Your strong, you own this…2018 is your year.

My perfect journal

About a month ago, I was at Stafford Bizmums meeting, and met a lady called Ali Gill. I had heard of her a little around the networking and mitral friends, however didn’t really click on to her book until this meeting…

My perfect journal, is the idea behind finding a perfect in every day… I know this is a great thing.

I have tried to do this idea lots of times within my own mind. Since I  suffer anxiety, I know it has huge benefits but never been able to stick at it.

As Ali spoke I was there… Well I will admit not fully… My mind was going over it…how can this really help… How can finding at least 1 perfect in a day help… Really Ali… Another gimic blabla… I thought…

Well what ever I was thinking I did buy one… And many others at thepat meeting….

However a month on now and OMG… It really does boost you. This book is undated, meaning anyone can get at any point and start using. It’s full of colouring in (a great method of relaxing and fo using the mind) it has inspirational quotes, illustrations and random acts of kindness.

I set myself and some others on the my hidden perfect page to complete this for 30days as I know from reading to break old or create new habits, it only needs 30days…

WOW, I am on day 30! And celebrating by writing this blog.

You may be having a totally rubbish day, nothing seems to be going right or your way. But really STOP…there is a prefect in there…. A hot brew, a smile, a cuddle or even some one making you a drink. We really do over look these things and get into mindset of negativity.


Heres es a couple of my entires:

*day 1, Ava-May helping around the house without being asked. Read of my book and hot coffee before kids wake up.

*Day5, early finish from working.

*Day 17, one minded children fallen sleep in my arms.

*Day 26, Ava-May eye appointment, and glasses prescription reduced.

Day 28, sharing time with Ava-May and friends in science lesson.


Have you really tired to do these mind training things and failed… Given up…this book is a great way to stay committed to yourself.  A lace to journal all them perfects, a place to share them with fellow followers via the FB page.

I know there is a few more plans up Ali sleeves and I am so thrilled to be on this journey. Ava-May is also loving the book too she does a lot of the colouring and likes to read over them week by week. She even started to make her own which I know is going to greatly help her on her life journey and I am aware of the children’s edition coming soon too. I am super excited to get one for both my the children.

If any readers want to know more about my perfect journal please visit….

FB: http://www.facebook.com/hiddenperfects

instragram: hiddenperfecs

buy from hiddenperfects facebok or amazon





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Would more money in the year ahead interest you?

Bills…bills…and more bills.

If you are like me and savvy with your money your always looking for way to save, beat debt, lower utility bills and still be able to shop and have little treats.

I am a self employed mum, and work from home over 50hours a week with children too, so the electric always on, cooker at least twice a day.

Well did you know about Utility Warehouse?!?

I have been a customer for over 7years however just within last 2or so have I really benefited and saw a huge reduction in my utility bills.

I now have full services and home insurance and all my bills are paid as one and less then £100pm. Yes that is my electric, gas, land line, broadband, mobile, cash back card and my home insurance which covers my business too.

I have a good friend who a distributor and want to tell you more too.

Would more money in the year ahead interest you?

Hello I am Stacey, I’m an Authorised Distributor for the Utility Warehouse Discount Club – a company that could give you just that; by saving you money, making you money… or both!

The Utility Warehouse offers guaranteed savings on your household services, compared to your current suppliers, with its ‘Double the Difference Price Promise’.

There are some terms and conditions to this Price Promise, but the majority of people can benefit. You’ll find full details on the Utility Warehouse website.

I can also help you claim:
FREE LED light bulbs Typically worth £300-£500
The bulbs are bright, light up instantly and are fully dimmable.
FREE expert installation
Our professional team of bulb fitters will install your new LED light bulbs, completely free of charge.
FREE lifetime guarantee
For as long as you keep your services with us, you’ll never need to buy a light bulb again. If a bulb ever needs replacing, we’ll send you a new one in the post – free of charge.
Reduce your electricity bill – FOREVER!
LED bulbs use up to 15 times less electricity than traditional ones. This means a typical household will use around 11% less electricity – FOREVER!

Even if you haven’t heard of the Utility Warehouse before, you can be completely confident in their services. They have received consistent endorsement in the national press and glowing praise from the UK’s leading independent consumer publication.

The Utility Warehouse also offers an opportunity to make money in your spare time. There’s no stock to carry, no targets to meet, no set hours- you just talk to people about saving money!

If you’re energetic, ambitious and want to create a better life for yourself and your family, I’d love to introduce you to this great opportunity.

I will show you how to build a growing income that, at first, will make life that bit easier each month… but, with regular effort, could be life changing.

Whether you are interested in saving money, making money or both – I would love to speak to you.

Stacey Knight-Jones 07882902945 or find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stacey.knightjones.9


Domestic Abuse: help us to be heard by Jennifer Gilmour

As some of you may know I have a good friend and Author called Jennier Gilmour.

I got to know Jen via our nappy cake businesses over 4 year ago.

Jennifer has kindly sent me a feature on her next project, Clipped wings. Please take a read, I have yet to read Jens latest book (bad friend) as been so so busy since winning my award.

Please se take a look at this and her book is available on various publications.


Domestic Abuse: Help us to be heard

The term ‘domestic abuse’ is currently high on the political and popularist agenda. Author, Jennifer Gilmour has spent the last 10 months speaking with survivors of domestic abuse in order to give a voice to their stories.

Jennifer, herself a survivor of domestic abuse, released her debut novel Isolation Junction last year. It is loosely based on her own experience of emotional abuse and coercive control by a former partner. The aim of book was to educate others of this hidden side of domestic abuse through a form of entertainment as a fictional novel.

As a result of reading her novel other survivors came forward to speak of their own experiences and Jennifer has collated these accounts into one book. The book, entitled ‘Clipped Wings’ was released last month to mark domestic violence awareness month.

Each ‘voice’ is speaks from their own experience and Jennifer believes that this is key to the continued work of raising awareness of this kind of behaviour, the effect it can have and by knowing that they are not alone, helping people to have the courage to move away from the perpetrators of such behaviour and to rebuild their lives.

‘Clipped Wings’ continues Jenny’s mission of raising awareness of domestic abuse and coercive control and to demonstrate that the statistic of 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men is indeed correct. Sadly, this kind of behaviour transcends the age groups with many young men and women entering into relationships dominated by unacceptably controlling behaviours. Jennifer says, “Together we are stronger and can work to eradicate this insidious and often unnoticed behaviour which is prevalent in an unacceptable number of relationships.”

In its first week Clipped Wings reached number 3 in the Kindle charts.


What book reviewers have said about the book:

Jessica’s Reading Room
“Whilst it is heartbreaking to read some of the accounts and what the people went through in their relationships, it is ultimately an uplifting book. The stories are as much about courage and recovery as they are about violence and abuse.
I would say this book is a must read for anyone who wants to hear first hand how people can survive such terrible abuse and come through the other side”

Isabella May Author
“To pen ‘Isolation Junction’, her first novel, was one thing. But to then go on to compile an anthology, working with domestic violence survivors both female and male, from all walks of life and backgrounds; that was quite another. An emotional roller coaster in every sense of the word”

Life of a Nerdish Mum
“This isn’t an easy read, but it is an important one. Giving a voice to survivors makes the problem visible and it can help people who may be in a similar situation see that they are not alone and there can be a light at the end of the the tunnel. There is also advice given at the end of the book by Jennifer Gilmour who is a survivor herself, in case you may need it or know someone who does.”

Chocolate ’n’ Waffles
“Reading Clipped Wings is unsettling, upsetting, and it should be! Many of the victims talked about how they did not see the signs, how guilt eats them away, how hard it is to escape a prison with no bars. It made me sick, it made me want to punch someone very hard. But most importantly, it showed me, with their own words, how those men and women did not let go of life, despite everything. This is the most beautiful part of the book”

Website: http://www.jennifergilmour.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/isolationjunctionbook
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JenLGilmour
Huffington Post Blogger Profile: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/author/jennifer-gilmour
Amazon UK profile: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jennifer-Gilmour/e/B01LZDKOC7



Why children need weekly outdoor outings to wild spaces. By Kay Woods

Feature blogger:

Why children need weekly outdoor outings to wild spaces
By Kay Woods, Forest Childcare Association

If children want to play outside of their own back gardens today they have to wait for an adult to take them. The world is not the same place as it was when Christopher Robin was allowed to wander around his 100 acre wood all day long, playing Pooh Sticks and climbing trees (gasp!) completely unsupervised! As a society for many reasons (from justified fears about traffic, to out-of-proportion fears about strangers) we no longer let children visit their local woodlands, fields or even parks by themselves. Children must be continually supervised, and sadly this means that very few get casual access to their local patch of nature to play alone or in wild places any more.
And the consequence: many children today are growing up missing out on a connection with the natural world. They don’t spend enough time outdoors and they are suffering the results including obesity, mental health problems and a growing inability to assess risk for themselves.
What all this means is that one of the key positive influences that parents and child care providers can give to the children they look after is time playing in the great outdoors. Children need adults to take them to ‘wild’ places and then they need adults to stand back and give them time, space and encouragement to explore on their own while they are there. Parents are busy, parents are working. Therefore the responsibility for taking children on these outings frequently falls to childcare providers to give children the experiences they might otherwise miss out on.

Weekly outdoor outings to ‘wild’ spaces have benefits for everyone
When I was a childminder I always took the childminded children on outdoor outings. Once a week, whatever the weather, we went somewhere outdoors. Our trips ranged from simple visits to the park, duck pond, and urban green spaces, to more planned trips to our local ‘wild’ areas like woods and nature reserves.
Outdoor outings contribute to learning and health. These benefits apply to me as well! I always said that being out in the woods with the children was one of my favourite parts of being a childminder. It was wonderful watching how alive the children became when they were exploring outdoors and how recharged I felt watching them play. I also felt great because I knew that when they are out in the woods with me, I was giving them a really great experience, better than the most expensive toy in our play room, and more special than anything they would be ‘learning’ in an overcrowded nursery room.
Lots of childminders feel exactly the same as me about the outdoors and outings, and understand how special the experiences that we can give to the children we look after are. Others may feel less confident about taking groups of children of mixed ages and abilities to the woods on their own. So I started the Forest Childcare Association to support and encourage other childcare providers to offer this ‘best practice’ policy of weekly outdoor outings to the children they look after.
It is not possible to roll back the clock and send children out to play alone and unsupervised in wild spaces as they would have done in the past. But this doesn’t mean that caring adults can’t offer children the next best thing by taking them on outdoor outings on a regular basis.

Child-led Learning
Outdoor outings have benefits to children regardless of their age. For babies, they will be intrigued by the sights, smells and sounds of the environment and reach out towards things that interest them and catch their attention. Toddlers want to explore the natural world around them by crawling and walking. Preschool children will explore more purposely, play games of imagination and enjoy challenging themselves outdoors.
You don’t have to plan anything complex to do with the children while you are out. Sometimes it’s fun to go on a scavenger hunt, or collect things, but other times the point of the trip is simply to be outside and experience the outdoors. As a childcare provider you can instruct them about important safety issues like not eating red berries, touching fungus, or stroking strange dogs, but most of what they need to ‘learn’ is for the children to discover for themselves.
They are learning about textures when they pick up a sharp rock. They are learning about the weather and self-care issues when they take their coat off because they are hot. They are counting conkers and acorns, learning about space and shape when they squeeze themselves under a branch, and learning that if they work together it is easier to shift a log than trying to do it alone.
Most importantly, they are learning the importance of not littering, respecting wildlife, trees and other people’s right to enjoy the outdoor space as well. They are learning an appreciation for the environment that they will take with them as they grow up.
Wherever children live, they need to spend time getting back to nature. Natural environments give children and the adults who look after them untold benefits in terms of health and wellbeing. Weekly outdoor outings is a “best-practice” goal that all childcare providers can aim for with some support, advice and a little encouragement.
Join the Forest Childcare Association and make a commitment to taking children on weekly outdoor outings or look for a Forest Childcare Provider for your under 5s

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When you join the Forest Childcare Association for just £15 I will send you a pack of information including risk assessments, links to the EYFS, all the forms and paperwork you need to make outings happen, plus 50 crafts and activities you can do with childminded children. You will also receive marketing tools to help you to use the idea of weekly outdoor outings to promote your childminding business.


OMG! I won !

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On the 8th October, I was in for two awards via Bizmums.

I was finalised for health and beauty mum of the year for my lash addiction business and exceptional service for my childminding.

The national conference and awards was help at the Manor House in Alsager.

I was a nervous wreak, in 2015, I attended with my parents this year I was braving it alone. Even though I knew Becky was with me I was still petrified. I knew a few other members of Bizmums would be there, a good friend Jennifer and others local to me but was a totally different feeling this time.

Ever since I was nominated for these awards, I have put a lot work into my self belief and done a lot with Feng Shui thanks to Patricia Lohan from Patricialohan. I was gunning to win.. I wanted it and did loads to help this happen, from manifesting, to writing affirmations and adding to my fame and reputation area…I knew my business was amazing… I knew it was greatly appreciated by the families and women using my services… I wanted it….

The conference day was amazing the buzz around was electric. Women connecting in person, after knowing each other virtually.

There was three guest speaker Sue Tonks, who talked to us all about talking to people, our common subjects as a typical Brit. Emma Privilege, taught us about mindset, the snooze button and have ten great tips, the be the 2nd time heard Emma and she still so grounded. She even managed to give the Boyfriend (who jode for afternoon, a verbal kick up the bum). Victoria Molyneux from the fashion trend, Want that Trend. (Where I have many a dress from) was so helpful in tips and seeing how fast her own business had taken off. Michelle had chosen  the speakers so well. Each one so modest in their success and still so easy to talk to.

The afternoon awards ceremony started there was 10 categories and each one of the finalists all deserved a win for their efforts, from business, to personal and charity efforts.

My health and beauty category came up and went but my goodness, I am so proud friend Michala Leyland and Jo Howarth were joint winners. I really can not be compared to them and the changes they have both made to other people’s lives.

Within the Exceptional service award, I again was up with Michala and many other inspiring mums. I was sitting with Becky and just pointed in the programme to the winner  “clean sweep here, Michala will have this”

Oh how I was wrong… My god I was in shock, when I heard the reason to winner…I twigged on it was referred to me…. It still gives little shivers now listening to the video now.

Here’s link to see via my Facebook, Winner video 

I was in total shock, shaking and crying, I run my childminding business the way I needed a childcare provider while going through a divorce. I knew it was greatly needed by many families. I final felt the childcare sector was being recognised and considered, as a valuable service to families and children.

I must really thank all the families who use my service as without them it would just be an idea trying to get off the ground. Thank them all for completing service questionnaires to show how the business really does help them and their individual needs. Here is some of their kind words.

“We choose Steph for a number of reasons. We quickly realised that nurseries wouldn’t suit our needs for budget and flexibility. Being selfemployed, I required one flexible day per week childcare at the time of looking. Steph could accommodate this and understood our requirements” mum of two in my care.

“Stephs childminding has helped us so much as a RAF family, my kids were nervous to go to a ‘strangers’ house, they have Confidance issues, Steph changed all that with her up beat personality and enthusiasm…she is very flexible with her working hours which is fantastic for my shift changes” Mum of 2.

These words and words from other families and friends after the awards just go to show that the hard work is paying off. That more and more families work less 9-5 jobs and more more flexibility, than the usual structures childcare provider.

I set out 3years ago to provide a valuable service to the new modern day families, and I am achieving this well. To a go degree I have no more room to offer my service out to this high level. With Ofsted restrictions and two of my own children, it’s a balancing act daily, however an extremely rewards one. Seeing the changes I have made in the parents lives, watching some of these children bloom from babies to three years olds speaks volumes to me. The excitements they bring each morning on drop off says it all too.

I want ant to say a final thank you to my friends and family who have highly supported me on this 3 year journey, the families who access my services and Jo Howrath for the regognition via Bizmums awards and Michelle Child’s and Stacey Knight-Jones for bringing Bizmums to my local area.

To find out more about Bizmums and how it can help you or another lady in business check it out here. Bizmums main site

Patricia Lohan and feng shui mastery http://patricialohan.com



Yikes I’m a finalist


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,