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Winner of the WeCare Children competition announced


We launched a competition on Instagram to find the childcare teams, play providers and childminders that go above and beyond for the children in their care in Wales.

On 15 October, following a public vote, Gaynor Richards was crowned the winner of the first WeCare Children competition.

 

Gaynor Richards is a Childminder from Llandysul. She was nominated by Llinos Dafydd, a parent of one of the children she looks after:

Care from the heart – that’s what you get from Gaynor Richards. She is patient, compassionate and truly wonderful, and my little girl loves going to her. Everyone in her care is her family, and she gets the best out of every child. With decades of experience, many families in the Llandysul area have had the privilege of loving and warm care from Gaynor.
She gives structure to the children’s day – but also enough freedom to build their confidence, challenge and nurture them safely.
Gaynor’s care is amazing, and she is always very creative with their activities such as nature walks and learning through play.
Gaynor is undoubtedly amazing and does miracles in helping the children in her care develop into thoughtful, creative and loving individuals. A carer who really goes the extra mile. My little girl smiles from ear to ear going to her. Gaynor, the best. Thanks for her.

Our judges whittled the nominations down to five finalists. Here’s what they had to say about our winner:

Maggie Kelly, Chair of the Early Years Network:

It was a privilege to witness all the wonderful nominations for the recent WeCare Children Instagram Competition. Each nomination was highly deserving so it was an unenviable task to shortlist just five but I am delighted to see that Gaynor Richards, recognised for providing ‘Care from the heart’, won with a resounding 783 likes. Congratulations Gaynor!

Matt Anthony, WeCare Ambassador:

Congratulations to Gaynor Richards on her well-earned success. I hope you are busy celebrating the recognition for the decades of support to families and the high-quality care you have provided to the children of Llandysul.

Having sat on the competition panel I felt inspired by reading about all the brilliant work that takes place within the early years sector, especially the work over the past 18 months. I would like to give a thank you to all five finalists for the dedication they have shown to their children and families. Reading the nominations from the parents/carers that use your services, it was obvious to see just how important a part you all play in the lives of the young people in your care and how just the even smallest of gestures and actions you make has a monumental impact on the quality of care you give and the quality of life your children get to experience.   

We caught up with Gaynor to find out what it’s like being a Childminder and how she celebrated her win…

How did you become a Childminder?

I have been a Childminder for 30 years. I’ve looked after 45 children in total, the oldest now being 28.

After having my first child, I started helping a friend which then developed into looking after other friend’s children. As I’m born and bred in Llandysul, I’ve made contacts through friends and the local school and therefore never needed to advertise.

I believe if you do your job well people will know about you, which is how I’ve been so successful. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I absolutely love working with children, helping them learn through play and craft work. I love to live a healthy life by making the most of the outdoors, this makes the job very eventful and interesting.

I enjoy being my own boss, and it’s a pleasure to help other parents. But most of all, life is full of happiness when you’re around children.

What’s your relationship like with the parents?

Withlife being so difficult these days I’m always here for the children’s families, whether it be changing dates last minute or having a child for an extra day. All they have to do is pick up the phone.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a Childminder?

I think it’s vital that you have experience looking after children for this role. If you’re looking to start your own business, there are plenty of groups and charities willing to help you and work with you.

How does it feel to be the winner of the WeCare Children competition?

It’s an excellent feeling! I’m privileged and honored that a parent put my name forward.

How did you celebrate? Last Thursday, around 25 children and their parents came together to celebrate. It was amazing to see them all. I keep a photo album of all the children I have looked after, and I took it with me to show everyone.

Visit our Instagram page to see all the WeCare Children finalists.

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