Children can now join a Northumberland school from birth after it became the first in the north east and just the second in the country, to register as a childminding agency.
In a move to further invest in its early years provision and give children the best start in life, The Northumberland Church of England Academy (NCEA) will now offer families access to affordable, quality childcare from birth.
Investing in early years provision is vital to equip children with the skills they need to start their educationClare Lishman NCEA director of Early Years
The Academy, which serves the communities of Ashington, Lynemouth and Newbiggin, also includes The Centre for children with profound and severe learning difficulties. It recently opened three new Early Years Centres offering 120 free nursery places for eligible two-year-olds.
It is now just the second school in the UK and the first in the North East to successfully register with Ofsted under the new Government scheme. As a Childminding Agency or CMA, the Academy will act as a one-stop shop to connect parents with highly qualified and experienced childminders, who will work closely with the NCEA Early Years team and provide a seamless transition to nursery and school.
Clare Lishman NCEA director of Early Years, said: “This is an exciting expansion to our early years provision.
“Research shows that it is the quality of the provision, whether it is in a nursery setting or with a childminder, that delivers the best long term benefits for a child’s development.
“Investing in early years provision is vital to equip children with the skills they need to start their education.”
“Childminders who join the agency will receive lots of support from the Academy and be part of the early years provision in the school. Parents will also be offered flexibility, quality and the reassurance of quality that comes with being part of the Academy.”
School leaders are keen to hear from childminders who would like to join the agency and hope the move will also encourage more people to think of childminding as a career.
Anyone who is interested in joining the Academy’s Childminding Agency or finding out more information can contact Clare Lishman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01670) 816111.