Droylsden childminder first to be awarded Smokefree Gates


Sarah Jayne's Childcare in Droylsden is the first childminder in Tameside to be awarded Smokefree Gates for adopting and implementing a smokefree gates policy.

The child care setting run by Sarah Jayne Haldane, 34, has de-normalised smoking for children and young people by asking parents and carers not to smoke in the vicinity of the setting's entrance.

85% of people strongly agree that smoking outdoors in front of children and young people sets a bad example.

Sarah, who has been looking after children for four years, wanted to become a Smokefree Gates setting to help promote a healthy lifestyle.  She said: "It's important to educate adults in keeping our children in a safe smoke free environment, so I contacted Victoria Hamlett, Tameside Council's Public Health Programme Officer, about the scheme and how to get started."

Supported by the Council throughout the process, Sarah Jayne was sent useful information for her childcare setting and to share with parents.

She continued: "I created a smokefree policy for my setting that all parents were willing to abide by.  I also displayed a poster in my window at the front door to advise, not only to parents but to the general public passing, that this is a smokefree area."

The childminders also has a metal sign that is placed at its back gate, which leads on to a courtyard that all neighbours, workmen, bin men, etc. have access to reminding them not to smoke near the setting.

She added: "I found the process to become smokefree very straight forward.  Victoria was amazing.  She checked my documents and advised me of any changes I should make before I sent them to parents.

"I am based in a small community where neighbours have praised me for becoming smokefree.  The children's parents have also given their positive feedback.  It has even encouraged one parent to give up smoking.

 "I would encourage other early year settings, in particular childminders to get in touch with the Council and take on the award to become smokefree spaces for children and young people to de-normalise smoking. 

"Children learn from a very early age by what they see, the sooner we talk about it the better."

Tameside Council's Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Population Health, Councillor Eleanor Wills, said: "Congratulations Sarah for your commitment to making your childminding business a smoke free environment.  It's great to hear that your actions have even encouraged one of your parents to give up too.  Well done and keep up the great work you're doing helping to protect the children and young people you care for from the harmful effects of smoking."

To find out how to become Smokefree Gates and to download a toolkit to get started visit https://www.tameside.gov.uk/Smokefree

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