Nursery of the Year 2023 - Overall Winner Little Professors

NDNA Awards 2023 returns to celebrate sector achievements

The NDNA’s annual conference and awards evening brought members and sector experts together to celebrate their achievements in a glitzy ceremony held at Coventry Building Society Arena.

Celebrity guest Jenny Powell returned for a second year to host the awards, telling the room: “It is a delight to see the room full of early years professionals as you all deserve to be celebrated and have your hard work and dedication to children and families rewarded.”

The biggest award of the night, the Overall Nursery of the Year Award, was given to Little Professors, Walsall who were ecstatic to receive the top prize as well as being awarded Nursery of the Year 2023 – England Central.

NDNA’s Chief Executive, Purnima Tanuku OBE, celebrated alongside the winners and said: “This event is a wonderful opportunity to all come together and celebrate the people who make our sector so amazing.

“Congratulations to our winners and finalists and thank you to all the dedicated parents and carers who voted.  This year we’re delighted to have introduced new award categories to further celebrate our members and highlight the fantastic work they do. It’s been yet another memorable occasion, with our annual conference today, followed by our prestigious awards ceremony this evening.

“The quality of the entries has been extremely high, and it was a tough job for the panel of judges choosing the winners. Despite the constant challenges you face you continue to provide an exceptional service supporting, caring and guiding our youngest children. It makes us very proud to hear and celebrate you all this evening.”

Wellside Kindergarten, Falkirk was named Nursery of the Year Scotland and St Aubin, Roath won the top prize in Wales. The two other regional Nursery of the Year awards in England were scooped by New Moon Day Nursery, Castleford in the North and Bright Little Stars Nursery, Stanmore in the South.

In recognition of their work in their settings, Carole Blackwood, Oakwell Children’s Nursery, Linlithgow and Sandra Roles, Dimples Day Nursery, Darenth won the Practitioner of the Year Award and Manager of the Year Award respectively.

In recognition of their work in their settings, our NDNA Trustees Hazel Moody, Ann McEwan and Tina Jones MBE were each given our Shining Star Award. This Special Recognition Award celebrates their incredible achievements and commitment to NDNA and the early years sector.

And the winners are:

  • Nursery of the Year 2023 – Overall Winner (sponsored by Hope) – Winner: Little Professors, Walsall
  • Nursery of the Year 2023 – England North (sponsored by Hope) – Winner: New Moon Day Nursery, Castleford
  • Nursery of the Year 2023 – England Central (sponsored by Hope) – Winner: Little Professors, Walsall
  • Nursery of the Year 2023 – England South (sponsored by Hope) – Winner: Bright Little Stars Nursery, Stanmore
  • Nursery of the Year 2023 – Scotland (sponsored by Hope) – Winner: Wellside Kindergarten, Falkirk
  • Nursery of the Year 2023 – Wales (sponsored by Hope) – Winner: St Aubin, Roath
  • Practitioner of the Year 2023 (sponsored by Morgan LaRoche) – Winner: Carole Blackwood, Oakwell Children’s Nursery, Linlithgow
  • Manager of the Year 2023 (sponsored by Citation) – Winner: Sandra Roles, Dimples Day Nursery, Darenth
  • Outstanding Contribution 2023 – Winner: Karen Simpkin, Sunflower Children’s Centre, Sheffield
  • Outstanding Contribution 2023 – Winner: Susan Marshall, Oak House Nursery School, Herefordshire
  • Apprentice of the Year 2023 – Winner: Nadine Da Silva Andrade, Little Adventures Nursery, Worle
  • Health and Well-being 2023 – Winner: Honey Pot Nursery, Wavertree
  • Learning Through Play: Supporting Children with Speech and Language 2023 – Winner Essential Early Years, Birkenhead
  • Community Support/Charity Fundraising Award 2023 – Winner Little Adventures Nursery, Worle
  • Nursery Training & Development 2023 – Winner: Essential Early Years, Birkenhead
  • Network of the Year 2023 – Winner: Edinburgh Network
  • Shining Star Award 2023 – Winner: Tina Jones MBE
  • Shining Star Award 2023 – Winner: Hazel Moody
  • Shining Star Award – Winner: Ann McEwan.

See all NDNA Awards winner photos on the NDNA Facebook page.

Sandra Roles, Manager of the Year, said: “I am really flattered and a little bit surprised that my team took the time to nominate me. I am only doing my job and have only won this award because I have the best team, they won this for me!”

Abby Selibas of Little Professors, Overall Nursery of the Year Winners 2023 said: “It means the world to us to win this. We can’t believe all our achievements over the last year. It’s down to hard work, dedication and commitment to the children and our families. A huge thank you to the staff team.”

Essential Early Years nursery was up for four awards and won two of them. Emma Sweeney said: “We look after children with additional needs so communication is massive for us and is embedded into the nursery to give our children a voice.

“We train our staff in a range of special areas.  Our children are non-verbal and many also have medical needs. We recruit staff and keep them. What we do is amazing for the children.”

Carole Blackwood, Practitioner of the Year, said: “I really can’t believe this has happened to me after 50 years in childcare! I like dressing up to make the children happy, they do not expect me to do silly things and at this stage in my life, I like doing silly things! If the children are happy, I am happy.”

NDNA received a significant number of parent and carer votes for these awards, which supported the panel of judges in choosing the awards winners.

The headline sponsor for the Awards was Hope, NDNA Partner and provider of early years resources. Additional sponsors were Christie &Co, Citation, Morgan la Roche, Blossom Educational.

Find out more about the NDNA Awards

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