Childminder finalist 'Jojo' who just loves her job

Published: 1 Nov 2012 13:000 comments

BELLANALECK childminder, Joanne Keys will learn next Tuesday whether she has been awarded the title of Northern Ireland's Childminder of the Year.

Joanne Keys, (front centre), Childminder of the Year nominee with from left, Megan Keys, Tommy Watson, Harry Elliott, Molly Watson and Grace Keys; standing at back, Jenny and Sam Elliott.<<

Nominated by mum of two, Jenny Elliott from Florencecourt, she has only been childminding for three years now.

But she couldn't be happier with her new chosen career path.

"I have no idea what my chances are of winning next week but if I do it would just be a bonus," she insisted, "I love my job so much and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to be able to work at home with their own children as well."

Joanne has three children of her own aged between 10 and 15 years of age and looks after five other children.

"My two girls are really into looking after the children," she said, "They are off on their Halloween holidays so they are helping me out this week.

"It is a happy wee household when we are all here. Everything has just fallen into place.

"I'm in a great routine."

Despite her contentment, Joanne had never considered childminding as a career until a couple of years ago.

"I just wanted a fresh start," she said, "I wanted to be able to work at home and thought childminding would be ideal.

"So on August 29 I left work and began childminding on September 1 -- I have never looked back since."

Joanne has been looking after Jenny's two children, Harry (4) and Sam (2) for over a year now.

"I have never had that feeling 'I don't want to work today'," said Joanne, "The way I see it, I am so lucky that I have two families -- my own three kids and then the children I look after -- my extended family."

Joanne is one of six finalists in the Childminding Association's annual awards.

She and the other hopefuls will be interviewed by a panel of judges in Belfast's Opera House next Tuesday before this year's winner is revealed.

Her nominator, Jenny says Joanne goes far beyond the call of duty, ensuring that not one birthday goes by uncelebrated.

"Joanne is just fantastic. She is so good with the children and the parents as well. The kids are so happy and content with her which in turn makes me feel happy to go off to work and leave them in her care. She has birthday parties for them, she's having a Halloween party for them this week and at Christmas she always does special things with them as well. The children really love her -- they call her JoJo.

"When I was nominating her I had to write 100 words saying why she deserved to be put through -- it was actually hard to get it into just 100 words. I could have written so much more about her! We would be lost without her," said Jenny.

But Joanne insists that she enjoys it all just as much as the children do.

"Birthdays are important -- every birthday is a milestone especially in a child's life -- any old excuse to get the music blaring and have some sweets and cake and crisps!

"I know I am very lucky to have such wonderful kids and parents and for Jenny to nominate me and be thought of so highly is praise enough for me," she added.

Jump to first paragraph.

Comments

comments powered by Disqus

Get more stories from our Roundup section

20 Apr 2014 19:00

'We want to do it for the supporters' - Davy Black

Clogher Valley coach David Black has vowed to make up for their All Ireland Junior Cup Final defeat by winning the Ulster Towns’ Cup for their supporters when they take on Donaghadee at Ravenhill on Easter Monday.

Social:

20 Apr 2014 15:00 • Julie Kenwell

Family ‘sick of thought’ of third round of heart surgery for Alfie

THE family of Bellanaleck toddler, Alfie Keys are nervously looking ahead to this September.

Social: Comments0 comments

20 Apr 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department

Trust identifies ‘extreme risks’ that could kill patients

Extreme risks have been identified by the Western Trust which could “compromise client safety” or even lead to “injury or death of patients or staff”.

Social: Comments0 comments

20 Apr 2014 09:00 • Editorial Department

‘End of an era’ for Leslie and McCrea family

Tempo Primary’s long serving caretaker - whose family has a long connection with the Fermanagh school - was paid a warm tribute at the start of the school’s Easter Holidays.

Social: Comments0 comments

19 Apr 2014 21:00 • Brian Donaldson

First election nominations made at Townhall

The countdown to the first election for seats on the new Fermanagh and Omagh District Council on May 22 has begun with the first candidates nominating at Enniskillen Townhall this week.

Social: Comments0 comments

19 Apr 2014 17:10

Mallards gain another crucial point in safety battle

Ballinamallard took another step closer to safety as they claimed a share of the spoils at home to Ballymena today.

Social:

19 Apr 2014 15:00 • Meadhbh Monahan

Leading anti-fracker believes local protesters are on the right track

Founder of Frack Free Sussex and Britain and Ireland Frack Free, Vanessa Vine visited Enniskillen last Saturday to discuss the local anti-fracking campaign.

Social: Comments0 comments

19 Apr 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department

Road rage car chase for boxing champ who turned away from possible fight

A boxing champion shied away from a fight with a man over twice his age only to become embroiled in a road rage incident.

Social:

19 Apr 2014 11:00 • Editorial Department

Milk suppliers assured that Society is debt free

The forty-eight former Fivemiletown milk suppliers have been assured that Fivemiletown and Brookeborough Co-operative and Agricultural Dairy Society (the Society) is debt free and that they will “continue to be paid”.

Social: Comments0 comments

19 Apr 2014 09:00 • Rodney Edwards

Elliott votes against bill on powers for new Super Councils

ULSTER Unionist MLA Tom Elliott has joined his party colleagues in voting against the Local Government Bill, the legislation that sets out the powers of the new Super Councils. Mr. Elliott spoke of his concern around community planning ahead of the amalgamation which will see 26 Councils merge into 11, including the amalgamation of Fermanagh District Council and Omagh District Council

Social:

19 Apr 2014 08:30

Police name motorcyclist killed in Fivemiletown crash

Police can confirm that a male motorcyclist has died following a two vehicle road traffic collision on the Belfast Road in Fivemiletown last night, Friday 18 April.

Social:

18 Apr 2014 22:00 • Rodney Edwards

Orange audit: 93 per cent believe Catholics ‘suspicious’ of order

A MAJOR survey into the Orange Order in Fermanagh has found that 92.8 per cent of people who took part in the project believe Catholics are “suspicious” of the organisation.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 19:00

'We have a big eight days ahead of us' - Anderson

By 5pm on Saturday April 26 all the decisions will be made in the Danske Bank Premiership and Championship One. The destination of the title will be decided and who is going down or which teams are facing a play off will be known.

Social:

18 Apr 2014 17:00 • Rodney Edwards

Enterprise Minister disagrees with keeping Aventas Group all locally owned

ENTERPRISE Minister Arlene Foster says she cannot support the view of local political representatives, including her DUP colleague Maurice Morrow, that the Aventas Group in Derrylin must remain exclusively locally owned.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department

Tweets of the Week - did you make it?

Charlie Lawson @charlie_lawson1 I’m reliably informed that my alter ego and constant companion is to return, so he is. Must contact The Home Secretary to confirm.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department

Foster vows to take school merger to the Assembly

“I am not powerless, I will fight this,” declares Stormont Minister Arlene Foster as she reflects on the fall-out over the proposal by the Western Education and Library Board to amalgamate Portora Royal School with Collegiate Grammar School.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 11:00 • Lily Dane

Those were the days: Miss Derryclavin Selected

This image “Miss Derryclavin” Selected was featured in The Impartial Reporter on April 16, 1964.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 08:30

Depression is an illness, mourners told at Kenny Andrews funeral

MOURNERS at the funeral of Brookeborough man Kenneth Andrews who died unexpectedly last week were told that the 47-year-old had been fighting a private battle with depression.

Social:

17 Apr 2014 19:00 • Rodney Edwards

#fermanaghspake This Week is...

‘I’m not half well’

Social: Comments0 comments

17 Apr 2014 18:06 • Rodney Edwards

Would-be Unionist politician admits Catholic Facebook question was 'badly worded'

A would-be politician seeking a seat in the new Fermanagh and Omagh Council for the Ulster Unionist Party has defended himself for a second time following comments he made on Facebook.

Social: