Bernadette Orbinski Burke Shares her Love of Art with us here...


Back in 2018 when Childminding Ireland was holding an evening meeting in the Horse and Jockey Hotel in Thurles Co Tipperary, I came across the above quote for the first time.  It was being used as the title for a series of stunning paintings by Paul Maloney (click here for more information). The quote stayed with me for a number of reasons. The words, because they are true, and the paintings because they were so striking. Although I am completely artistically challenged myself, I have always enjoyed looking at art and admired other people who can create such beauty. To see all the fantastic entries coming in for the Annual Childminding Ireland Art Competition gives all the staff at Childminding Ireland a boost. However, I have to admit I have been found spending endless lunch hours transfixed with pile-upon-pile of entries, just mesmerised by the creativity of the children and their childminders. If you have any favourite local artists and would like to share their details, please email

In addition to Paul Maloney’s beautiful prints, the quote Childhood is a Short Season means a lot to me because it resonates with Childminding. I have always thought that one of the reasons childminding is so important is that childminding protects childhood. In a world that is increasingly pressurised childminding allows for spontaneity. Children in childminding settings can be themselves, individual and different, with their own interests and preferences for playing. For those of us fortunate enough to look back on a happy childhood, it is often the memories of playing freely with siblings or other children that stand out, or being allowed to help with ‘grown-up’ things like baking, licking the spoon, eating the buns once they finally cooled and taking the buns to neighbours and grandparents watching their delight and being told how delicious they were. Childminders are building memories that will last a lifetime.

Childhood is indeed a short season, and it feels as though the season is getting shorter and shorter. Protect childhood by supporting and protecting childminding.

The quote “childhood is a short season” is attributed to Helen Hayes MacArthur, who was an American actress with a career that spanned 80 years. Helen Hayes is one of the few people who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award (the Triple Crown of Acting). She was also the first person to win the Triple Crown of Acting.