A STEWARTSTOWN childminder is celebrating after being named runner-up in the prestigious Cow & Gate Childminder of the Year Awards.
Nicola Laverty received a specially commissioned trophy along with a cash prize when she picked up the title at the awards ceremony recently.
The annual awards are organised by Cow & Gate in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Childminding Association (NICMA).
There are upwards of 2,600 registered childminders employed throughout Northern Ireland, and Nicola was selected as one of the finalists after being nominated by Tracey Ruddock.
Tracey, whose three year-old daughter Eva is minded by Nicola, says: “Nicola provides an environment for the children which is relaxed and homely and has even turned three rooms in her house into a crèche!
“Our daughter has complex health needs and has really progressed since she started with Nicola. I nominated her because she is extremely dedicated to meeting the individual needs of the children. Nothing is too difficult for her.”
Brian McComish of Cow & Gate, said: “Cow & Gate is delighted to be working with NICMA on the Childminder of the Year Award again this year.
“NICMA registered professional childminders are a very important part of many households all across Northern Ireland and provide a service which is second to none. It is important to Cow & Gate to recognise the important work they do and through these awards we are able to reward the best of them.”
Bridget Nodder, Director of NICMA, added: “NICMA has been working with Cow & Gate for more than 16 years on the Childminder of the Year Awards - the Northern Ireland Oscars of childminding.”