TRACEY Butcher has swapped entertaining children for looking after them.
The mum-of-two, from South Shore, worked for Pontins for 15 years as a showgirl and later entertainments manager before being made redundant.
She was at a loss to know what to do at the time, as she was pregnant and her older daughter, Amber, now 12, was settled in school.
But eventually she came up with the idea of running her own business – and now works alongside her mum in their child-minding firm, Lilliput Kiddies Care, based on Boscombe Road.
Tracey, 34, said: “I’d worked for Pontins since I was 19 and I loved it.
“When the Blackpool one closed, I commuted to Southport every day – even when I was pregnant – and then we were given the news we were being made redundant.
“My sister also worked there and she went to London to carry on working in the entertainments industry.
“But I couldn’t really move as I was pregnant and my daughter was settled in school.
“It was a shock and I didn’t really know what I was going to do.
“Then my mum suggested child care, as I had qualified in that when I was younger.
“We went to an event about child-minding and my mum suggested we both do it together, from our own home. It meant I could stay at home to look after my son, Joel, who is now 14 months.
“My mum used to be a nurse and did her training to become a child-minder too. It works really well for us.
“It’s been a big change from being on-stage to looking after children – with two of my own though, I do have some experience in that field.
“We have a nice big three-storey house, so we have plenty of space and use the downstairs for the child-minding.
“We’re both registered to care for babies, so we can look after all ages, right from birth.”
Tracey says with her own experience and her mum’s, they can provide a home-away-home for the little ones they look after.
“My daughter Amber, 12, loves the fact we have all the children around.
“We see it as one big family. One of the things we love to do is all sit round the table for tea or lunch as a big family – eat together and chat.
“It’s a bit old-fashioned I suppose, but we want to provide that home away from home experience as child-minders. We are really enjoying it so far.
“My mum and I get on well and bounce ideas off each other. We spend a lot of time together anyway.
“At first we were going to offer just a whole day at a time, 9 until 5, but then we realised lots of people just need help for a few hours while they might have an appointment, or the grandparents aren’t available and so on, so now we offer people whatever suits them.
“We offer child-care before and after school, all day and emergency care. And we’re registered with Ofsted.”
* To contact Lilliput, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01253) 401063.