Child-friendly awards

PUBLISHED: 10:44 13 February 2007 | UPDATED: 14:59 12 May 2010

THE county s top childcare professionals are being sought after, to celebrate their commitment and dedication to child development. Last year a series of awards to highlight the work of thousands of childcare workers in Hertfordshire were launched by You

THE county's top childcare professionals are being sought after, to celebrate their commitment and dedication to child development.

Last year a series of awards to highlight the work of thousands of childcare workers in Hertfordshire were launched by Young in Herts, the early years childcare and development partnership.

Parents, children and colleagues were asked to nominate who they think has a natural ability with children - from childminders and nursery staff to out of school club and holiday playscheme workers.

The awards were such a success, attracting hundreds of entries, that they are being held again this year.

Lead member for children's services, Jane Pitman said: "The competition celebrates the very best in childcare in the county and it's our chance to highlight the dedicated and inspirational professionals we are lucky enough to have in our workforce.

"If you think your child's playgroup leader is one in a million, or you're impressed by the dedication of nursery staff, now is the chance to put them in the spotlight."

- Nomination forms can be picked up from nurseries, pre-schools, playgroups and childminders. Votes can also be made on-line at www.hertsdirect.org/younginherts

The closing date for the nominations is Friday April 20 and shortlisted candidates will be invited to an awards ceremony at County Hall in June.

Winners will be awarded in five categories

- Early years and childcare sector - for people working with children up to the age of five, in a pre school, playgroup or nursery

- Out of school sector - the winners will be working with five to 16-year-olds in an after school club, breakfast club or holiday playscheme

- Childminder - working with a range of children the winner will provide quality care that offers that extra something special to children and parents

- Newcomer of the year - the winner will be someone who has made an outstanding contribution in any early years or childcare field during their first year

- Team of the Year - the winning team will have created a safe atmosphere mixing fun, care and education enjoyed by children, parents and staff members alike

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