June 2000 Newsletter
Welcome to our June Newsletter. We hope you all enjoyed the Easter sunshine.
The EGM was held on the 30th of March, and a full committee was elected. We would like to thank Maureen for providing the venue and superb refreshments. During the meeting the new NCMA constitution was discussed, and then adopted unanimously. To find out more see the attached minutes.
The Toy Library has settled in its new home, courtesy of Mary Johnson. Toys are available for loan to LBCMA members only. Toys include those promoting equal opportunities and multicultural play. The Library will be open between 10-12am on the following dates: June 15th, 26th, July 13th, 24th and Sept 7th. Mary has many years of childminding experience and is happy to offer advice as well as coffee and biscuits to those visiting the toy library. If you have any toys (eg puzzles and dolls) to return you can hand these in at the toy library, or if you are unable to attend contact Mary on 378895 to arrange for their collection.
‘Drop-ins’ are held at the Youth Centre, Church Road (off wing road), together with the ‘Mother and Toddler Group’, on Wednesday’s between 9.30- 11.30am for mothers, childminders and toddlers. The cost is 75p for the first child, and 25p for each additional child. This includes activities, coffee, drinks and biscuits.
The Children’s Information Service (CIS) results from a Government initiative providing a single point of contact, for those looking for all types of childcare. Contact the CIS, on 01234 228 229, with details of your vacancies.
Please fill in the attached questionnaire and return to Tunja or one of the other committee members. We are hoping this questionnaire will give us an insight into what childminders want and what services they can offer to the wider community.
LBCMA Web Page
The LBCMA web site was officially launched on May 9th at the Cedars School by the new Mayor for Leighton Buzzard, Cllr Mark Freeman. The site, www.lbcma.org.uk, is designed to promote the professionalism of registered childminders within the LBCMA. The site is linked to other sites with well-known organizations such as the CIS and NCMA and also to a variety of search engines, so people looking at childcare can find it too. The site has been receiving correspondence on a variety of issues both from this country and from America. Since the website was put onto the Internet, it has received over 150 visitors including 43 who listed their reason for visiting as looking for childcare.
If you have an email address, please email it to Tunja at email@example.com so we can contact you easily and more quickly with new information.
Childminders Offered Advertising on the Web
The LBCMA is offering to provide childminders with their own page as part of the website. This would include your own design and logo, with details of your vacancies, contact details etc. This will be for a one off cost of £5, the page can be updated as often as you like and for no extra charge. If you don't have an email address of your own and would prefer not to put your phone number online, then the LBCMA will pass on prospective customers details to you via their own email account. You can then contact the customer instead of the customer contacting you.
For more information, or to set up your page, email our webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Tunja on 371595.
The Easter party held at the Church Road Youth Centre on April 17th was very popular, 35 children accepted the Easter Bunny's invitation. There were many activities for the children, but the most popular were the messy ones. Three handprint and portrait friezes were produced by the children, these were much admired at the web launch. The children made hats for a bonnet parade, Easter cards, masks and collages. Bunny and her furry friend, Jasper, proved popular with the children, as did the chocolates she handed out. The Bunny hopes the children enjoyed the party.
The Tax Men
Three speakers from the Tax Office talked to us about Working Tax Credit, Self Assessment Claimable Allowances and other factors related to childminders and self employment, and then answered questions as well as providing private consultations, calculating individuals working tax credit. A photograph of this event is on our website.
Picnic in the Park
This event on the 21st of June at Parsons Recreation Ground, Linslade from 10-2pm is a great chance for a social gathering and a fund raising opportunity. The theme this year is "From Rhyme to Reason".
The "Minders Munchies" stall is aiming to feed the hungry hoards. We will be selling sausages cakes, and allsorts of munchies donated by you! Please bring donations to our stall in the park, or deliver them on Tuesday 20th June to 451 Bideford Green, or ask a committee member to transport them for you. We need to raise £125 during this years fundraising, to subsidise the children’s Christmas party. We need volunteers to man the stall for half hour sessions, please contact Tunja on 371595. If there are insufficient volunteers we will send out the press gang!
The LBCMA has started a publicity campaign to promote the use of childminders. You may have seen us in the newspaper recently, first for the Easter party and more recently for the website launch. If you look around Leighton Buzzard and the surrounding area you will soon be seeing posters appearing. We are also providing a display in the library during childminding week (10th-17th June). We recently took information and equipment to the EYDP Education Fair to promote childminding generally. The EYDP chair, Julia Babiak and the NCMA chief executive, Gill Haynes, are both visiting Leighton Buzzard to see the "impressive work" of the LB childminders.
Bedfordshire Childminding Association AGM
The BCMA meeting will be held at Leighton Buzzard Day Centre, Duncombe Drive, on Tuesday 13th of June, starting at 7.30pm. The meeting will give childminders a chance to see the workings of a large committee and have their opinions heard and carried to higher powers. As well as the usual reports there will be coffee, a chance to read and obtain some of the many NCMA publications, a children's book stall and a raffle. It's also a great chance to meet childminders from all around the county. Please support this event.
To be held on July 13th from 10.00am-3.00pm. Children, childminders and parents welcome, larger play equipment and toys will be available for their entertainment. If the weather is fine please bring swimming costumes and towels for the children, no streakers please. Come and stay for as long as you like. Bring a picnic if you are staying for lunch. Drinks will be provided.
British Red Cross First Aid for Childcarer's
The LBCMA organised training course started on May 16th, at the Red Cross Centre. It was fully booked.
- June 10th - 17th National Childminding Week
- June 8th NCMA Chief Exec in LB for a visit 10.00am
- June 13th EYDP chair visiting LB childminders 10.00am
- June 13th Beds AGM with fun social gathering Duncombe Drive 7.30pm
- June 21st Picnic in the Park 10.00am - 2.00pm
- July 13th Garden Party 10.00am - 3.00pm
Meetings are to be held at a variety of venues, normally starting at 8:30pm unless specified.