Larne woman Karen Monaghan has been named as Childminder of the Year in the Families First NI Awards 2017.
The awards took place recently at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in Belfast at a glittering awards ceremony hosted by UTV presenters Pamela Ballantine and Julian Simmons.
Karen has been a childminder for more than 20 years and recently extended her business to open a Kidz Play nursery facility at her home at Arran Gardens in Craigyhill. She was one of six nominees for the top title which was awarded after being considered by a judging panel. Karen was nominated by customer Jenny Woodside.
Commenting on her win, Karen said: “Childminding is my job. It is my passion and it is lovely to get such recognition after 20 years. It is great recognition for what I do. It means the world to me.”
However, she admitted that she was “pretty much gobsmacked” to learn that she had reached the final.
“I have always worked with kids. It is what I do. I am living the dream. I am working from home but I am able to offer that little bit more.
“I get a lot of satisfaction from watching kids grow and develop and to think that I have been part of it. You get a kiss or a cuddle. It’s not every job where you get that.”
Karen paid tribute to her husband Thomas and her family for all their “amazing support” which has made her job possible.