Liz Bayram’s appointment as the National Childminding Association’s new Chief Executive was announced in early November. She takes over the role from Gill Haynes, NCMA’s current Chief Executive, in mid-December. Here Liz explains why she applied and what NCMA’s vision for home-based childcare is.

Why did you decide to apply for the post of chief executive?

“I am currently NCMA’s Director of Policy and Public Affairs, a post I have held for just under two years. In that time I have seen how extremely committed childminders are to ensuring the high quality of the childcare services they offer to children and families; how much they invest in their own professional development and how much NCMA supports them in doing so.

“NCMA has done a great deal to enable registered childminders to develop as early years

professionals and to raise awareness of the fantastic job they do amongst childcare funders, policy makers and other children’s professionals. The chance to build on this work and, with NCMA’s trustees, key volunteers, staff and members, shape NCMA’s ambitious and exciting plans for the future was too good an opportunity to miss.

“The 10 Year Childcare Strategy presents NCMA with a unique opportunity to ensure home-based childcare becomes a fully integrated part of the children’s services agenda. By ensuring this happens, we will support all home-based childcarers to make an even greater contribution to the well-being of the children in their care.”

What did you do before you joined NCMA?

“My last job was as Head of Communications at the Royal Society, the UK’s scientific academy. Before that I was Head of Communications at the charity Asthma UK, which has a membership of over 20,000 people. Most of my working life has been within the voluntary sector, primarily within campaigning either for policy change or awareness raising. I started my career as a journalist, first in travel journalism and then in women’s weeklies.”

What do you value most about NCMA?

“There are so many things about NCMA that I value – the commitment and determination of staff to support quality home-based childcare; the active and enthusiastic involvement of our trustees, key volunteers and members in helping to shape and deliver our work; and NCMA’s “can-do” attitude which has achieved so much for home-based childcare.

“I think NCMA’s greatest asset is its 50,000 members who – via letters, phone calls, and at our Annual Members’ conference – help direct the work of the Association and ensure we are aware of the impact – both positive and negative – that new childcare proposals and plans have on their profession and their ability to deliver high-quality, flexible, affordable and inclusive childcare to children and families in their local communities.

“This year’s Members’ Conference was a great example of this in action. Individual members presented resolutions on minimum training requirements for registered childminders, the need for inset training days for all early years workers and much more. (You can see all of the resolutions at www.ncma.org.uk). These resolutions were debated at the conference, all NCMA’s members were given the opportunity to vote on them. Now these – and all the other resolutions which were passed – will be key priorities for me as Chief Executive.”

What will your other priorities in your role?

“The 10 Year Childcare Strategy has set a very clear list of priorities for all of us at NCMA. For me, at the very heart of this is ensuring the central role the strategy gives to registered childminding is translated into action at a local level. NCMA will do this by working in partnership with local authorities as they establish Children’s Trusts, develop their local workforce strategies and set up their extended schools and children’s centres.

“Aside from that, one of my main future priorities will be to ensure greater awareness of the benefits of home-based childcare amongst parents and prospective parents. At national and local level, NCMA already does a lot to directly tell parents about home-based childcare and support childminders to promote their services too. But we know that greater awareness is needed. We are currently conducting research amongst parents to inform our marketing plans. My plan is to further increase our promotional work, so that more parents are aware of home-based childcare and so can make an informed choice about what childcare best suits the needs of their child.”

What is your vision for home-based childcare in the future?

“My vision – one shared by all the trustees, volunteers, members and staff at NCMA – is that, by 2015, registered childminders are fully part of the integrated children’s workforce (all trained to Level 3 within five years of registration) providing flexible, affordable, inclusive and high-quality childcare to families and delivering at least one in every three childcare places for children aged 0-14. The 10 Year Strategy provides the framework that can make this a reality and it will be our job to help make it happen!”



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