LITTLE Twinkles childminders in Wombwell who have been supporting kids – many from key worker households – throughout the lockdown period have been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award for their hard work.

Lisa Harrison, 45, of Dovecliffe Road, is the manager of the service which takes place at her home and she admits that the coronavirus pandemic did bring ‘challenging’ times – though this is something they have overcome.

She said: “We’ve been really busy recently throughout lockdown and we still are quite busy – there’s nine or ten children here nearly every day.

“It’s been quite a challenging time in terms of cleaning regimes, I spend 45 minutes after every day sterilising all the equipment that we use but it’s all to make sure that the children are safe.

“We’re trying to keep it as normal as we possibly can for the children because it is obviously quite hard for a lot of them, we’re having to stick to rules like not letting them play with play dough and things like that – they’re not used to that so everyone’s trying their best with the new measures.

“A lot of our children that have been affected might not have been with us for 12 weeks so when they come back it’s like starting brand new for them – that’s bound to be hard which is why we’re here to support them.”

Lisa works alongside her colleagues Rebecca and Elisha who help ensure the safety and care of the children, with one parent describing them as a ‘superb team who always go above and beyond’.

The children are cared for at her home in Wombwell, with a cabin used as a classroom in her garden.

Lisa has been running the childminders for 15 years, but has worked in childcare before that – working in schools across the borough such as special school Greenacre.

Upon hearing of their nomination in the Children’s Champion category, Lisa added: “It’s lovely that we’ve been recognised for the work that we’ve been doing.

“We’ve got some really good parents, a lot of them are key workers, and they’re all really supportive with any new measures that we have the put in place which is great.

“I’m really pleased that we’ve been nominated.”