THE search is on to find Worcestershire’s bonniest baby in this year’s Worcester News Baby of the Year competition.

Our 2013 contest to find the county’s cutest cherub starts on Monday, with prizes worth hundreds of pounds up for grabs.

Up to and including next Saturday, Perfect Picture photography will be taking pictures of top tots in the former Diamonds and Pearls shop in Friary Walk, CrownGate Shopping Centre, Worcester, from 10am to 4pm.

Photographs will be taken for free and parents will be invited back a week later to view and choose their favourite pictures, which will be then entered into the competition free of charge.

The contest will be judged in three age categories: 0-9 months; 10-18 months and 19-36 months.

There will be a winner chosen from each category, with one of them being crowned overall champion – the top prize is a free home shoot worth £1,750.

The remaining category winners will receive a shoot worth £1,000, while two runners-up in each group will be presented with a 16in by 12in framed print.

Worcester News promotions manager Sarah Bevan said: “We are looking forward to another exciting Baby of the Year competition and welcoming readers to our great new premises in CrownGate.

“Don’t miss this great opportunity to have your baby photographed for free and then to see your baby’s picture in our great supplement in the Worcester News.”

15-month-old Jaylen Green, of Brecon Close, Droitwich, was crowned the overall winner in last year’s competition, when he was just six months old, and was also the winner of the 0-9 months category.

Proud mum Abbey, aged 18, said: “The pictures are very memorable. It was nice to have something like that you can keep and always remember which is nice for him.

“It’s something for Jaylen to look back on when he’s older.”

A full colour supplement will appear in your Worcester News at the end of March and readers will then vote for their favourites.

The votes will decide the top 10 in each category and this year’s panel of judges will decide the winners.

Last year, more than 350 tots entered the competition and 12,500 readers texted, phoned and posted their votes for the top 10 in each category.