Smiling tots back in the limelight for this year's 'fantastic' Baby and Toddler of the Year competition
IT was just under a year ago when smiley Kirsten Hall was crowned the overall winner of the Derby Telegraph's annual Baby and Toddler of the Year competition.
But her mum, Joanne Rainford, said her five-year-old daughter still talked about her achievement today.
"It was lovely for Kirsten to win and she often looks at her trophy or tells people about it," said Joanne, 34.
"But entering her into the competition was a fantastic experience anyway, because there's the opportunity to have your child's picture taken by a professional photographer."
And – as the countdown begins to the launch of this year's Baby and Toddler of the Year competition – Joanne said she would encourage other youngsters to enter.
Kirsten was also winner of the three-to-five age range and bagged herself a trophy and a £1,500 cash prize.
Joanne, of Melton Avenue, Littleover, said: "It's special when their photo appears in the paper with the other entrants and there's the anticipation about whether they'll reach the next stage.
"To win the competition really is a bonus."
From next Monday until April 6, our photographers will be stationed outside the H&M store, on level two of Derby's Westfield centre, to take pictures of entrants. Entry tokens will be printed in the Derby Telegraph. To have your child's picture taken, cut one out and take it to the photography station.
It will open every day from 9am until 5pm – apart from Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, when it will open from 10.30am until 4.30am.
There are four categories for youngsters to enter – up to nine months; 10 to 18 months; 19 to 36 months and three to five years. A child from each category will win £500 and an overall winner will scoop the £1,000 prize. On May 13, pictures of all the youngsters will appear in a supplement and the voting begins.
Voting coupons will also appear in the paper over the following five weeks.
Once voting has closed, they will be counted and the photographs of the top 20 in each category will be printed in the paper – before an independent judging panel picks the four category winners and one overall winner.
Derby Telegraph promotions co-ordinator Jim Boam said: "We're really looking forward to this year's competition and hope to see lots of smiley youngsters coming forward to take part.
"We also want to thank the Westfield centre for their sponsorship of the competition again this year and to the generous stores which have donated spot prizes – which will be up for grabs for milestone entries."