As many of you may know Pebbles Childcare celebrated it’s second birthday this week with the most beautiful (yet blustery!) beach party on Friday, joined by our children and their families, spending the afternoon on the beach doing all of the things that encompasses our Pebbles’ favourite things; play, dig, learn to fly kites, paddle, making fires and eating!
Every day myself and Bridgit find ourselves overwhelmed with how lucky we are to be able to call what we do ‘work’ when we both get so much enjoyment out of spending our days facilitating and planning the learning of the children in our care; all of which have truly developed into the most incredible characters over the past 2 years and we feel truly blessed to be a part of each and every one of their learning and growth.
So as Pebbles turns 2 this week, let’s take this time to reflect on what a crazy adventure the past 2 years have been:
Bridgit established Pebbles Childcare in 2015, becoming an OFSTED registered childminder in July 2015, with her first children joining her shortly after. Bridgit’s dream and vision for Pebbles was to adapt and implement her incredible 26 years experience in the Early Years Sector into her own home to provide a flexible, personal and home-based childcare provision within her local area. Bridgit’s passion for childcare and bringing learning to life is as evident now as it was when Pebbles first began and this thirst for adventure and spontaneity, outdoor learning and turning every experience and outing into a valuable learning experience resulted in word spreading fast about Pebbles Childcare within the local area, and caused popularity and demand to grow significantly. In order to meet the incredible demand for spaces, Bridgit considered her options and how she could develop the business whilst continuing to provide the high quality of childcare that was now becoming so increasingly popular, with word of mouth resulting in Bridgit receiving enquiries almost daily for spaces, Bridgit decided to take on an assistant (Me!) in February 2016, enabling us to offer more spaces and meet the incredible demand we received, within weeks Pebbles Childcare was full to capacity as we welcomed more children into the Pebbles family.
The popularity and success Pebbles Childcare has received since celebrating it’s first year of operation is truly overwhelming; from being featured in the local newspaper as they documented our first birthday party (and continued to feature us for various outings/activities.) to Bridgit being awarded the “New Business Start Up” award at the Sussex Woman In Business Awards in October 2016, shortly followed by featuring regularly in Nursery World for various articles, on the noticeboard and letters talking about prevalent topics within the sector, Chloe conducting a project as a result of a seminar attended at our annual Pebbles outings to the Nursery World Show; which led to an article in Nursery World as well as a blog piece for Enabling Environments. Pebbles have also held their first ever Bonfire Party with a campfire, fireworks and sparklers, our first Coffee Morning for MacMillan. Our presence in the community continued as Bridgit organised a Toddle Waddle for the Magic Minders community to raise money for Banardos and we arranged our first Harvest collection and donated it to the local Salvation Army.
In the past 2 years, we have also been featured in a range of other Early Years publications as well as working with PACEY on their new information booklet for parents (you can find it here: https://www.pacey.org.uk/Pacey/media/2015-images/PACEY%20general/Childcare-Choice_final-docx.pdf) as well as being considered to be ‘Childminder Champions’ by PACEY for the continued work we do to raise the profile of Home-Based Childcare and childminding as a profession. Similarly this also resulted in an article for Raring2Go Magazine (https://raring2go.co.uk/articles/educationandchildcare/why-chose-a-childminder)
Most recently, and for us our biggest achievement to date was being shortlisted for ‘Early Years Setting Of The Year’ at the prestigious TES School Awards, we were completely overwhelmed and honoured to be shortlisted for a such an award and truly was an incredibly proud moment in both of our careers.
Since, Chloe has written a blog for TES highlighting the negative view on home-based childcare, why this needs to change and how early years settings and schools can work better together for the benefit of the children. (https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/why-negative-view-home-based-childcare-needs-change)
From Bridgit’s initial dream when establishing Pebbles Childcare, to where we are now, 2 years on, is truly astounding, and as we celebrate our 2nd birthday and reflect on what an incredible 2 years it has been, we would like to say thank you, to you as parents for allowing us to provide the care for your children, for embracing us and the spontaneity of what we do and ultimately for being a part of the Pebbles family; as for us, the feeling that encompasses what we do is the sense of community and family that Pebbles has developed and grown into and for that, we are truly grateful.
None of this would be possible without your wonderful children and your unfaltering support. From the bottom of our heart’s, thank you.
Here’s to the next year!