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02 Oct 2023

Finalists revealed for the National Nursery Awards 2023 (Part 2)

Finalists revealed for the National Nursery Awards 2023 (Part 2)

This year’s National Nursery Awards are taking place on 25th November at ExCeL London’s Platinum Suite. Why not join us there in the evening after the Nursery Managers Show to celebrate the very best of the early years sector?

Here are the individuals that judges have shortlisted as finalists for the National Nursery Awards 2023. See Part 1 of this blog to find out the nursery, nursery group and supplier finalists…

Nursery Manager

This award will recognise a manager who has demonstrated outstanding skills and leadership in developing a high-quality nursery that delivers a superb environment for children, staff and parents.

  • Claire Atkins, Harpenden Central Day Nursery Bright Horizons
  • Donna Reid, Wylde Green Nursery, The Old Station Nursery Group
  • Susan Thomas, Teddy Bears Day Nursery
  • Louise Kent, Kids Inc Nursery Chingford, Kids Inc Nurseries
  • Hazel Moody, Advantage Day Nursery
  • Natalie Bannister, Playdays Daycare Nursery, Just Childcare
  • Michelle Gould, Tiny Toez Treehouse, Tiny Toez

Nursery Room Leader

This award will go to a Nursery Room Leader who has shown the leadership skills required to provide a safe and stimulating environment for children, as well as excellent ability to support and develop other team members.

  • Charlotte Bailey, My Ohana Jubilee Nursery, My Ohana
  • Joanne Briggs, Tiny Tree Day Nursery, Shine Childcare
  • Hannah Abraham, HDC Dartmouth, The Old Station Nursery Group
  • Jesse Allmark, Andover Day Nursery and Preschool, Bright Horizons
  • Sophie Gardner, Kiddi Caru Day Nursery, Exeter, Matford Green, Grandir UK
  • Charlotte Eaglesham, Monkey Puzzle Loughton Day Nursery & Preschool, Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries
  • Megan Williams, Montessori Minds
  • Katie Miller, The Purbrook Day Nursery and Preschool, The Nursery Family

Nursery Operations/Area Manager

This award will go to an Operations or Area Manager who has demonstrated exceptional vision and leadership across the settings they are responsible for, enhancing the reputation and success of the nursery group as a whole.

  • Gemma Hughes, Kids Planet Day Nurseries
  • Gail Howarth, Portland Nurseries
  • Mandy Forrester, Children 1st Day Nurseries
  • Danielle Hamer, Bright Horizons
  • Angharad Jones, Little Inspirations
  • Sarah Yates, The Old Station Nursery Group
  • Jordan Tully, Ashbourne Day Nurseries
  • Katrina Weir, Pinocchio’s Children’s Nurseries

Nursery Chef

This award will go to a nursery chef or cook who has shown exceptional ability in providing well-balanced, nutritious and delicious food, taking into account individual needs of children.

  • Sam Handley, Head Start Crew Hill, Family First Nursery Group
  • Patrycja Kozak, Hungry Caterpillar Day Nurseries Acton Park, Hungry Caterpillar Day Nurseries
  • Pablo Sazo, Kiddi Caru Bedford, Grandir UK
  • Marian Ionita, Kids Inc Clarence Avenue, Kids Inc Nurseries
  • George Deadman, Snapdragons Horfield, Snapdragons Nursery
  • Lisa Callaghan, Cherubs Wynndale, Cherubs Nurseries

The SENCo Award

This award will recognise an outstanding Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) who has shown exceptional commitment to the sensitive assessment of children with possible SEN and the skilled planning, delivery and monitoring of SEN care.

  • James Seaman/Archie Rogers, Patacake Nursery, Bright Stars Nursery Group
  • Katy Hicks, Kingswood Hull, Bright Horizons
  • Tammie Blockley, Hermitage Nursery School, Storal
  • Zoe Townsend, Little Acorns Preschool
  • Leanne Narcisi, Gossoms End Toad Hall Nursery, Toad Hall Nursery Group
  • Victoria East, Smallville Nursery – Snodland, Smallville Nursery
  • Abbie Ainsworth, Oberlin Street Nursery, MiChild Group
  • Rebekah Curphey, Newbank House Day Nursery, Shine Childcare

Parent Engagement

This award will go to a nursery which has made exceptional efforts to boost parent engagement.

  • Natalie Jones, Kidzrus Swinton, The Kidzrus Group
  • Michelle Gould, Tiny Toez Treehouse, Tiny Toez Nurseries
  • Charlotte Butterfill, The Butterfly Preschool, The Babydrop
  • Lucy Stafford, Blue Giraffe Childcare
  • Emma Cooper & Sarina Kukadia, Bright Little Stars Watford, Bright Little Stars Nursery
  • Kirsten Ward, Willow Tree Nursery School, Storal
  • Claire Gorman, Stepping Stones Nursery Leeds, Stepping Stones Nursery
  • Alexandra Wallis & Saskia Powell, Monkey Puzzle Bedford

Nursery Nurse/Childcare Practitioner

This award will recognise the outstanding childcare provided by a Nursery Nurse/Childcare Practitioner.

  • Jess Mitchell, Children 1st @ Sheffield, Children 1st Day Nurseries
  • Shaun Preston, The Old Forge Day Nursery
  • Chloe Courtney, HDC Dartmouth, The Old Station Nursery Group
  • Sophie Bradley, Finkley East Anton Nursery & Preschool, Finkley Nurseries
  • Nicola Coleman, The Lancing Day Nursery & Preschool, The Nursery Family
  • Joanna Thomas, Seahorse Nursery Wimbledon Park, Seahorse Nursery
  • Charlie Capper, ABC @ The House, ABC Childcare Services Cheshire

Deputy Nursery Manager of the Year

This award will recognise an exceptional deputy manager who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and communication skills, as well as commitment to creating an inclusive and transparent workplace.

  • Sarah Evans, Ashbourne Baby Nursery, Ashbourne Day Nurseries
  • Holly White, Montessori Minds, Montessori Minds
  • Claire Bowen, Sandhills Day Nursery Heath Mill, The Old Station Nursery Group
  • Steph Mills, Kids Planet Billinge, Kids Planet Day Nurseries
  • Sophie Whitfield, Chingford Forest Day Nursery, Grandir UK
  • Amy Barker, Hungry Caterpillar Day Nurseries – High Wycombe, Hungry Caterpillar Day Nurseries
  • Safia Abdullahi, Monkey Puzzle Enfield Day Nursery and Preschool, Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries Ltd
  • Lesley Bezzina, Oberlin Street Nursery, MiChild Group

Nursery Training & Development

This award acknowledges exceptional commitment to training and developing staff within the childcare sector.

  • Leonie Butler, Montessori Minds
  • Karen & Robyn Flynn & Colquhoun, Kirktonholme Nursery, Kirktonholme Childcare
  • Rhiannon Mountain, Kids Planet Day Nurseries
  • Family First Nurseries Training Team, Family First Nursery Group
  • Bright Horizons
  • Senior Leadership Team, Hungry Caterpillar Day Nurseries

Nursery Personality of the Year

This award will go to someone whose great personality and energy has made a real difference, and who has actively promoted excellent care for children, peace of mind for parents and a happy working environment.

  • Jack Pye, Footsteps Nursery & Preschool, Family First Nursery Group
  • Steph Mills, Kids Planet Billinge, Kids Planet Day Nurseries
  • Neil Botha, Wellingtons for Langley Hall
  • Kerryanne Davis, Hemsley House Nursery School, Storal
  • Layla Towner, Smallville Nursery
  • Elaine Sagar, The Sunflower Children’s Centre
  • Carina Roos, ABC Childcare Services

Outstanding Contribution

To be announced on the night – An independent panel will select an individual who they feel has made an outstanding contribution to the nursery sector. The person chosen will be contacted before the awards ceremony and notified that they have won the award.


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