A “dedicated and passionate” childminder proved she is top of the tots after being rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.
The education and childcare watchdog gave Sarah Barnes the highest possible grade in every aspect of early years provision after saying she places “children at the heart of everything she does”.
The 35-year-old mother-of-two, from Wisbech St Mary, said she was overwhelmed by her Ofsted report, which was published recently following an inspection in March.
She told the Fenland Citizen: “I was genuinely shocked because I wasn’t sure what they were looking for, and if what they’d seen during the inspection was enough.
“To be awarded outstanding on every level was just amazing. I cried because I was so overwhelmed. I work hard and I love what I do, so it was lovelyfor that to be recognised. It made me feel like a valued part of the community.”
Mrs Barnes, who lives with her husband Andrew and children Chloe, 11, and Ryan, 8, in Station Drive, has been childminding for about six years.
She added: “I love kids and being around them.
“To have a bond with the child in this work is really important. It is also important to help, not just them settle, but also make the parent feel happy and reassured that their little one is happy.”
The Ofsted report praised the quality and standard of Mrs Barnes’ early years provision, and said children make rapid progress towards their learning goals.
It said: “Children flourish in this enabling and enriching learning environment, where the childminder’s natural teaching ability complements and fosters their innate ability to learn.
“She uses children’s interests as a guide to unlocking their potential and opens their eyes to the world around them.”
It also said children enjoy a superb variety of creative and outdoor activities, like arts and crafts, cooking, and leisurely walks with the family dog.
The report also highlighted how settled and secure the children feel, and said safeguarding was given a very high priority.
Mrs Barnes has childminding spaces currently available.
For more information, you can contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org or search ‘Sarah J Barnes’ on Cambridgeshire County Council’s website at: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk