A PLAYGROUP assistant that ‘adores’ her job has been shortlisted for a national award for her work, following nomination by colleagues and the parents of the children she cares for.

Becky Tobin, deputy leader and special education needs officer for Cylch Meithrin Llangollen, the only Welsh language playgroup in the town, has been shortlisted in the top three of the Assistant category for the Mudiad Meithrin Awards (MMA), a national awards ceremony for the early years Welsh language childcare provider.

The MMA received more than 350 nominations for its staff that have been recognised for their work and, of those, 33 have been shortlisted for awards.

Ms Tobin, 30, mother of two, aged 10 and six, said: “ It’s amazing to be recognised. I go to work and do a job that I adore.”

The playgroup is linked to Ysgol y Gwernant, the Welsh language primary school.

“It is phenomenal that their little minds can be fluent at the age of three,” Ms Tobin said.

“My own children go to school where they learn in Welsh, and come home to read and write in English.

“It has no negative impact on their learning of English.”

Ms Tobin, who was born and has lived in Llangollen all of her life, has worked at the playgroup for seven years and recently achieved a Level 5 qualification in Advanced Childcare.

She previously worked at her uncle's pub and held gynmastics classes at Ysgol Dinas Bran, the secondary school she used to attend.

“I’m a local girl so I know most of the parents and their children from outside the playgroup,” she said.

“It is an honour that they put their trust in me to look after their children.

“When I do see them outside the playgroup, in town, the children will often stop and say ‘there’s Becky from Cylch!’ – I feel like a little celebrity.

“All the families know what kind of person I am and I give 110 per cent.

“But this is about the team, there is never an ‘I’, it is always us.”

Ms Tobin received a number of nominations from parents and colleagues, and amongst them is playgroup leader, Katrina Jones, whom Ms Tobin considers her own inspiration.

Ms Jones said: “Becky is a much loved member of the team and by parents and children.

“She is a friend, caring, with great teaching skills and has a way with the children.

“We are very proud that she is a part of Cylch Meithrin Llangollen.”

The MMA ceremony will be hosted by TV weatherman Chris Jones at the University of Aberystwyth at 5.30pm on Friday October 19.