Cathy Maidment who works at Sacred Heart Pre-School this week was delighted to find out that she has come runner-up in a National Nursery Practitioner of the Year competition.
She was nominated by Pre-School Leader Veronika Cintra for her “working hard to improve practice and curriculum for her key group.” She has taken on long term projects which include early mark making from gross to fine to build up writing skills and recycling projects and initiatives in the pre-school.
“I had no idea that Veronika had entered me. It was a really sweet thing of her to do that. I couldn’t believe that I came second, that’s quite high and such a big thing,” said Cathy. Cathy has been working at the pre-school for 8 years. She added, “I always wanted to work with children and started after my son was born 18 years ago. I love working with children seeing them progress. It’s really nice here as many of them go on to the school and I see them grow.”
Cathy started the recycling project as the pre-school had lots of waste which she thought could be recycled instead. She explains, “We had lots of paper waste, bottles, and packaging from lunch which we now recycle. It is good for the children to learn at a young age to care about their planet. A child every day helps with the recycling. We’ve recently had a sea world day where we did activities around the sea and learnt about how plastics affect the sea. I think if they learn at young age they will carry this on through their lives.”
Veronika said, “I was extremely pleased for her and it was well deserved. It will increase her confidence in her practice which is always needed in childcare. I would like to think it is recognition for the pre-school and I hope that the community will recognise that there is hard work put into childcare. Looking after children is not easy and if you do it well, you’ve got to do it with passion and dedication and I’m very proud that my team has got this. We have a small team of 3 and they all have their strengths which we celebrate weekly. I needed to look closely at who made the most progress and the outstanding activities. The company said that they chose Cathy because they were particularly impressed on the recycling project which is very relevant at the moment.”
The award was run by Training Early Years to mark a new National Practitioners Day on 17 October. Cathy has won a dinner for two prize to celebrate.
Sacred Heart Pre-School is small parent led committee run charity Pre-school at the heart of the community located in the grounds of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Primary School. Although they are closely linked with the school, the pre-school is non-denominational and they welcome children from all religions and backgrounds.