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Three nurseries in Tamworth have received a Gold Level in an innovative new Staffordshire awards scheme.
The Nurturing Health Award is a unique scheme aimed at supporting nurseries to improve and recognise high standards in food provision, physical activity and oral health. Such standards have been introduced to encourage better health outcomes for children under five, and emphasise the importance of getting young people off to a healthy start so they will continue eating healthily in the future.
Rainbow Day Nursery, Footsteps Day Nursery (Lichfield Rd) and Footsteps day Nursery (Dosthill) have all gained a Gold Level Nurturing Health Award, meaning they have achieved high standards in food and drink provision, which will help support a seamless healthy lifestyle transition between nursery and school environments.
As well as this, they have been developing policies on food and nutrition, and continued to provide a good standard of physical activities and health related learning activities, such as cooking and growing vegetables.
County Councillor Matthew Ellis, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing presented the awards. He said: "The Nurturing Health Award is an important award to achieve, as it focuses on the quality of care provided in nurseries and children's centres, together with family learning and engagement. Nurseries who have achieved this award are showing their commitment towards healthier lifestyles and better health outcomes for children under five.
"I am pleased to be able to present not one but three nurseries with their Gold award, and I look forward to seeing many more nurseries achieve the Gold standard."
Kelly Allum, Nursery Manager at Footsteps on Lichfield Rd praised the award: "We wanted to participate in the Nurturing Health Award scheme to ensure that the food and experiences we provided for our children and parents are the best that they can be. The children enjoy the food they are provided with throughout the day and the menus have imparted inspiration for the parents to continue healthy practices at home. The nursery offers more physical activities than ever and has continuous free flow so the children can access the outdoors environment all day."
Julie Parry, a parent whose daughter attends Footsteps said: "My daughter has attended the nursery for over 12 months, in this time she has been given the opportunity to experiment with a variety of different healthy foods, which she wouldn't have necessarily been exposed to in the family home. Footsteps nursery has a cook onsite, so all meals are freshly prepared and home-made. As a parent, it is comforting to know that the catering standard of the nursery is high and that your child's nutritional needs are being met."
Nurseries wishing to register their interest the scheme can contact Lucy Gratton (Community Food Advisor, Staffordshire County Council) for more information. Telephone 01785 277888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.