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The Mayor and Mayoress of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council enjoyed a picnic with teddy bears, children and staff of Sycamore Day Nursery on Friday as part of nation-wide celebrations for Employee Ownership Day.
While politicians championed the idea in London celebrations, Cllr Les Page and Cllr Mrs Bette Philpot joined Sycamore staff owners, children and parents for a Teddy Bears picnic.
As Manager of the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Sycamore Day Nursery in Howlands, Welwyn Garden City, Carol Kewley, explained:
“We are a unique partnership of shareholders invested in giving each and every child in our care the very best start in life. We are enormously proud of our nursery and our company.” Cllr Page, Mayor of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, said employee ownership was an important and growing part of the UK economy and that Sycamore presented a marvellous example of the benefits of this business model.
“I am delighted to see the range of learning and play opportunities available to children in this marvellous setting and to talk with the enthusiastic and dedicated staff who are clearly very proud of their nursery and their role in its success,” he said.
Leading the celebrations was long-serving staff owner, Alida White who has been at the nursery for 10 years and looks after children aged between three months and two years, who said:
“Ofsted inspectors have told us that a happy and engaged staff team equals confident children ready to realise their full potential and make a positive contribution in the world. Working under the banner “We all contribute we all benefit” we believe this is as much about our children’s future as it about shared success now,” she said.
A cream tea, prepared by Chef Andrea Jonasson and assistant Seana Prentice, was served to staff, all wearing special commemorative caps, and guests which included children’s teddy bears brought from home.
Staff and children in the pre-school room worked together on creating a jigsaw puzzle piece – with a picture of the nursery held up by balloons made from children’s fingerprints – which was sent to company headquarters to join pieces from 46 sister nurseries throughout the South of England.
Sycamore Day Nursery is part of the award-winning Childbase Partnership, one of only 108 UK organisations rated ‘Extraordinary’ by Best Companies in 2014, where every employee is a partner in the business and can take part in a ‘save n’ buy’ share scheme and benefit from ‘Buy One Get One Free’ deals.