Childminders to gather for Borders conference

Childminders from across the Borders will gather in Newtown St Boswells this Saturday, March 9, for the Scottish Borders Childminding Conference.

The conference will be opened by Aileen Campbell MSP, Minister for Children and Young People, and will also be addressed by John Carnochan, former director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit.

The event, which takes place at Tweed Horizons, has been organised by the Scottish Childminding Association and is supported by Scottish Borders Council.

Workshops on offer at the conference include outdoor play in nature, domestic abuse, social networking, autistic spectrum disorder, early years literacy, and supporting breastfeeding families.

SCMA childminding development officer for the Borders, Raquel Lloyd-Jones said: “This is the first time we have organised a regional conference on such a large scale and we have had a hugely positive response from childminders and other early years professionals within the Borders, all keen to gather and share knowledge. This conference is giving us all a wonderful opportunity to network and to learn from one another. We are extremely grateful to Scottish Borders Council and the Childcare Partnership for the investment in our childminding community which has made this event possible.’

The 85 delegates are being asked to come prepared for all weathers, since rain or shine, Mindstretchers, a Perth-based company specialising in connecting children with the nature, will be leading their workshops outdoors.

A lunchtime exhibition will feature Borders Scrapstore, Play Borders, The Care Inspectorate, Borders College, Scottish Borders Council Foster Care Services, Child Safety At Home, Health Improvement and Child Smile.

Raquel added: “We have approximately 140 childminders across the Borders, providing flexible childcare to enable parents to be able to access work, study and other opportunities. If anyone is looking for a childminder they can access our childminder search at www.childminding.org.”