AN under-threat childminder says she would be “absolutely devastated” if her childcare business was shut down over a dispute with the council.

Liz Robinson, 47, has been a childminder for 10 years.

For five and a half of those years she has been running Earlywoods Childcare, based in Fourth Avenue, Frinton.

The popular facility and service, which was rated outstanding by Ofsted following an inspection in 2015, caters for children aged from five months to 13 years old.

Over the years it has grown and developed and has become a highly sought-after setting among parents and carers living in the area who need somewhere for their children to be looked after.

According to Liz, who was born and bred in Frinton, her service is now fully booked until September 2023.


But the future of Earlywoods Childcare has been thrown into doubt after a resident complained to Tendring Council.

The authority is said to have since looked into the business and ruled it needs to be granted planning permission in order to continuing trading at its current capacity.

The need for planning permission is believed to be in place so certain characteristics of the town’s avenues, in which the childcare business is based, can be protected.

“I am absolutely devastated, my business as it is is under threat,” said a distraught Liz.

“I work so hard for long hours to make my setting the best it is for the children.

“It’s more than childcare, I love them like my own and do everything I can to help them fulfill their potential.

“If the council makes me go to a one adult and three children setting, they will destroy so much of what is wonderful about Earlywoods.

“It is not only the children who would suffer, but also my wonderful team of helpers who would be left jobless in six weeks.”


Georgina Giltinane, 28, who signed her up son to Earlywoods two years in advance, has launched a petition to help Liz.

She said: “This will affect the childminder and our happy children, who cry when they leave because they love her so much. I cannot imagine ripping my little boy away from her. It makes me sad just thinking about it.”

Tendring Council said it was a “well-established principle” of planning that running a business from a home may require planning permission.