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Outstanding achievements celebrated at Children 1st Annual Conference

Article By: Breedon House

On Saturday 14th January, Children 1st @ Breedon House Nurseries celebrated an outstanding 2011 for the company, recognising the efforts made by its 393 strong workforce at their annual conference held at the Doubletree Sheffield Park Hotel.

It has been a fantastic year for the East Midlands based company, after winning the prestigious Business of the Year award for Nottinghamshire and Excellence in People Development award for Derbyshire, presented by the Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce (DNCC) and from this, going from strength to strength at their nurseries.

Four nurseries received glowing reports following recent Ofsted inspections gaining an ‘Outstanding’ in all areas rating for their excellent nursery care and education. Grantham, Main Street and Toton nurseries were awarded the outstanding grade, with Ofsted reports commenting on the exceptional staff and excellent levels of care provided to children in their care.

Late last year, Children 1st added to its growing number by acquiring 2 Stoke based nurseries, Meir Park and Acorns, which takes the family run nursery group to a total of 15 settings throughout Derbyshire, East Midlands, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and now Staffordshire. Due to the consistent training and development of its teams, Jacqui Mason Managing Director said, ‘We are able to grow our group knowing that our ethos, culture and passion for providing the highest quality of provision and learning experiences continues to be embedded in our every day practice by our long serving childcare and management teams. Children 1st are passionate about their people and support them to be the best they can.

The conference kicked off with inspirational speeches from Margaret Mason, Executive Chair & Founder and Jacqui Mason – praising the efforts of everyone for their hard work and commitment in making 2011 a success for the company. Parents representing our nurseries were in attendance, sharing their experiences with the staff and thanking them 1st hand for their fantastic work and support throughout the year.

They were delighted to have a few representatives from their partnerships attend the conference and helped give out important awards to the Staff. Paul Henshaw from Derby College was on hand to give staff their training certificates gained through their association with the college. Karen Faux from Nursery World presented the Nursery Nurse of the Year for the North award whilst Sue Churchill from Nursery Management Today presented the Nursery Nurse of the Year for the South award. Other guests attending were from Redwoods Dowling Kerr, Paul Miller CEO, Andrew Stein MD and Lucie Wright Sales Manager

Sarah Champion from Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice gave our staff a heart-felt talk about the work Bluebell Wood do to help Children & young adults with a short life expectancy. Children 1st have done numerous fund raising activities throughout the year, in supporting Bluebell Wood and in recognition of our partnership; Jacqui Mason, Managing Director, Margaret Mason, Founder & Executive Chair along with our nursery managers from Sheffield presented Sarah with a cheque for £1000 for the charity.

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