The National Day Nurseries Association is the voice of the UK nursery sector.

They champion great practice, and lobby government to invest in the early years.

Their annual awards are a true mark of quality childcare. That’s why we were thrilled when Rebecca Slater won Nursery Manager of the Year in 2018, for her leadership of The Oaks Day Nursery.

Rebecca Slater (far left) at the 2018 awards.

And we’re even more thrilled to have done the double this year. The shortlists of nominated nurseries have just been announced, and Birmingham Day Nurseries have made the grade in two categories.

The Elms Day Nursery: Team Development

The Elms Day Nursery has been shortlisted for the NDNA Team Development Award 2019.

A team training day for the nurseries in Straford-upon-Avon.

This award is given to a setting that nurtures its staff, providing opportunities for formal training and career development guided by the staff member’s own interests and ambitions.

It also rewards and recognises a nursery where staff choose to stay for a long time, and above all feel valued.

I’m given endless opportunities to bring valuable, interesting and varied experiences to the nursery. I also feel that the new age group I work with keeps me very motivated, interested and happy at work.

The Oaks Day Nursery: Nursery Manager of the Year

The Oaks Day Nursery, meanwhile, has been shortlisted for the NDNA award they won last year: Nursery Manager of the Year.

Emily Grainger, Nursery Manager of the Year nominee.

This time, it’s Emily Grainger who has been shortlisted, who is acting as manager while Becky is on maternity leave.

Her staff team put her forward for this award because they think she really deserves it. She’s supported team members through difficult times this year, and empowers staff and parents alike by listening to them. She’s also inspired some big changes around the setting. As one staff member put it:

Emily acts as an umbrella within the setting ready to cover us from any rain that falls, whether it be drizzle or whether it be a downpour.

You can view the complete shortlist here.

The winners of the NDNA awards 2019 will be announced in June, at a glittering ceremony in Kenilworth.

We’re really proud of the work we do, and it’s great to see that acknowledged at such a high level. Fingers crossed!