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The Childbase Partnership, which runs 41 nurseries, is the country’s 8th best company to work for, according to The Sunday Times.
The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For Lists gave Childbase a third place rating for personal growth. It is the only nursery group to appear in the list.
Founder and chief executive Mike Thompson, the man behind the 64 per cent employee ownership of the company, was voted fifth place for leadership.
Childbase Partnership HR director, Helen Bass called the results “phenomenal in what has been a challenging year for UK businesses generally and our sector in particular”.
She added: “They are a clear demonstration that at the Childbase Partnership we really are listening to each other as we pursue excellence in every area of our working life.”
Childbase Partnership says it has a ‘listening culture’ through initiatives ranging from its 42-member elected partnership council to lunches with the senior team for small groups of employees.
This is where ideas like a phased plan reducing the working week from 40 to 37.5 hours, while maintaining pay and benefit levels, and a 'well-being' strategy originated, recognising the fact that while rewarding, work in the early years sector is also demanding. Employees are also given paid leave to support local charities and community projects - and recognised and rewarded for their efforts as volunteers - in addition to the annual fund-raising drive which last year made more than £100,000 for good causes.
Natalie Hudson, manager of Westwood Day Nursery in Coventry, said: “Ofsted inspectors have told us repeatedly that a happy and engaged staff team equals happy children. Our pride in our nursery and our company is reflected in our happy and confident children and there is nothing more rewarding or satisfying than that.”