She has been the leader of a local playgroup for over two decades, and now she’s in the running for a top childcare award.
Anthea Ridley has nutured hundreds of local children through the Playhouse Activity Centre Playschool, and this week we’re delighted to annouce that she’s been shortlisted for an award in the childcare category at the annual NI4Kids awards.
Nominated for the award by the parents’ committee, who wanted Anthea’s hard work to recognised externally.
“We can all tell Anthea how much we appreciate what she does for our children, but it’s always nice to get a pat on the back from someone who doesn’t know you,” said Geri Martin, whose daughter attends Anthea’s pre school.
There were hundreds of nominations from across the Province for the ‘Childcare of the Year’ Award which is for a nursery, childminder or healthcare professional who constantly goes above and beyond their normal duties creating a safe and loving environment for children.
Geri went on: “Within minutes of meeting Anthea, her passion and dedication to her role become overwhelmingly apparent.
“Not content with providing the run of the mill preschool experience, she researched various strategies and became the first playgroup leader to bring the Mindstretchers child-centered learning programme to Northern Ireland.
“Anthea was integral to a campaign for a new community centre in Coleraine which provided playhouse with new premises in 2011. Every detail of the playgroup space has been carefully planned with her learning ethos in mind, from the indoor space to promote ordered play and activities to the extensive outdoor play area with mud kitchen and garden.
“Every area provides the children with the tools to let their imaginations take flight and their minds to develop thanks to Anthea’s never ending ideas. “
Anthea, and the two others shortlisted in the category will attend a glittering ceremony later this month to find out if they have won!