Nature Trails Day Nursery has been crowned Britain’s overall Nursery of the Year at the National Day Nurseries Association’s annual awards.
Nature Trails Cawston topped the Central England regional category before they were revealed as the overall winner at the glittering awards evening, which took place at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Milton Keynes on 1 July.
Staff accepted their accolade from host Dave Benson Phillips, children’s TV presenter and entertainer, as well as £500 of prize money from awards sponsors Hope Education.
The NDNA Nursery Awards celebrate excellence in early years care and are the only awards in the sector voted for by parents - with around 7,000 parents voting this year.
Owner Alison, who founded Nature Trails 12 years ago, was thrilled along with her husband Steve and staff members to receive the prestigious award.
She said: “I created Nature Trails based on a vision of a nursery which met all aspects of a child’s health, education and emotional wellbeing. A year ago I took a back seat and my staff who took over its management have continued to maintain it in keeping with this vision. We are so proud of them and so happy.”
NDNA Chief Executive, Purnima Tanuku OBE, said: “Congratulations to Nature Trails on this fantastic achievement! Our awards pay tribute to the talent, dedication and innovation in nurseries across the UK, and I have been hugely impressed by the praise from parents for nurseries and their staff.”
Judges applauded Nature Trails’ food menu, with parents invited into the nursery to taste new dishes made up of food sourced locally by the chef. Judges also loved the setting’s rural location, which provides “exceptional” outside space and outdoor learning including forest school.
Parents commented on the outdoor areas, saying: “I love the setting and the amount of time they spend outdoors” and “The environment is enriching, the staff dedicated and encouraging and the setting perfect for a blend of outdoors and indoors.”
Another added: “I could not have asked for a better environment for both my children. The setting, the staff, the attention to detail and the relationship with the parents are fantastic. I feel genuinely lucky to have had such a great start for my children.”
This parent summed up the glowing reviews: “Really lovely setting, my daughter skips in every morning and doesn’t want to come home at the end of the day.”
To see a full list of winners and photos from the night, visit the NDNA website at www.ndna.org.uk/awards.