This morning, I visited Julie Wilson, a registered childminder who lives in New Addington. As well as caring for six children herself, she provides support to newly registered childminders.
The visit was organised by the National Childminding Association (NCMA), of which Julie is a member. It was very useful to learn more about what childminders are required to do and hear what government is doing - and could be doing - to support them.
There are over 500 childminders in Croydon and more of them are rated good or outstanding, like Julie, than in virtually any other council in the country, which is testament to their commitment and to the support that Croydon Council provides. They play a vital role, both in supporting parents and in promoting development during the first crucial years of a child's life. There needs to be a much wider recognition of the vital role they play.