Welcome to NICMA The Childminding Association's first edition of Childminding Matters, 2020. We hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and New Year.

Is it just us or does it feel that January has lasted more than a month? But yet, before we know it Easter will be at our door. We have many dates that provide a great opportunity to get a bit crafty with the children. and this edition is full of hints and tips to help make it as stress free as possible!



Hello Everyone 

It has been some time since our last e-zine but a lot has happened within NICMA during the past few months. The organisation has been restructured and the office has moved premises from Newtownards to the Holywood Road in Belfast. Please feel free to call into the new office at any time; we would love to see you! There are still a few more staff positions to fill, but hopefully in our next e-zine we will have profiles of all NICMA staff for your information.

Throughout this time of change I have been meeting with Departmental officials about the Childcare Strategy and the call for 30 free hours of childcare being extended to Northern Ireland plus the importance of registered childminders being part of any new programmes.  I have also been lobbying to ensure that 0 - 3 year olds are included in any future funding available through Peace Plus and have met, along with Playboard and Early Years, a number of MEP’s.  

I continue to attend the Early Years Practitioner Group raising issues of concern for childminders from planning to voluntary suspensions.  I have also worked with the Childcare Partnerships and delivered different projects in each area.

Warmest regards
Patricia Lewsley-Mooney 
Chief Executive Officer 


As mentioned above NICMA have moved premises. We are now located at Elizabeth House, 116-118 Holywood Road, Belfast, BT4 1NU. 

On Saturday 16th November 2019 we celebrated the opening of our shiny new office! Professor Laura Lundy, the Co-director of the Centre for Children’s Rights of Queens University took the time out of her busy schedule to officially open our office. In her address, she praised registered childminders for the work they do and the supportive role they play in the lives of working children. She also recognised that registered childminders are a huge influence on the young children in their care, who all benefit enormously from being cared for in a home-based setting. 

Two NICMA members, Olive Magill from Banbridge and Dora Byrne from Lisburn spoke with great passion and a little humour, about their experiences of working as registered childminders and the support they have always received from NICMA over many years. 

We would like to take the opportunity to say 'Thank-you' to all of our members! For your loyalty, your support and kindness! It’s a pleasure to work in partnership with you and we hope that we get the opportunity to meet each and everyone one of you! Next time you are passing pop in, our door is always open and the kettle is always on. 



NICMA have designed refresher training courses in Health and Safety and Safeguarding children, specifically for registered childminders, in each of the Trust areas and have put together a TRAINING PACKAGE OFFER that you don’t want to miss!! 

To book please telephone (028) 9181 1015 or complete the form below, Unless otherwise stated all courses run from 7.00pm-10.00pm.



Competition is fierce in the childcare sector with other types of day care compeating with registered childminders, so it is important to promote and market your business. As a member of NICMA we include the following services to help you fill your vacancies;

1. Childminding Vacancy Database
2. Website Childminding Vacancy Service
3. Online profile to advertise and promote your business




NICMA and local registered childminders helped children to get creative when we hosted a festive ‘bake-off’ on Wednesday, 4th December 2019 in Little Hands SureStart Children’s Centre, Rosemount Primary School, Derry/Londonderry.

This event was part of a wider campaign to reinforce the importance of parents using a Registered Childminder to care for their children in the Western Trust area. We had a baking demonstration provided by The Green Cat Bakery, Eglinton, cupcake decoration and of course lots of tasting.

While promoting the benefits of using a registered childminder we also shared easy, health recipes and our own baked goods. Why not try these out with your little ones? 



With Pancake Tuesday coming up why not get creative in the kitchen with some of these tried and tested recipes.  You could also add some fruit and vegetables to get in those 5 a day. 


Hopefully now that spring is on the way we might be able to get out in the garden a bit more. However knowing our climate like we do, that might not always be an option. Lets get the kids involved with some craft activities.

With Valentines day just around the corner, and we know how much parents love reviving hand made cards from their little ones, check out some ideas below. (Don't forget to send us some images of the final product to info@nicma.org or tag us on Facebook).