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East Midlands Chamber News

Nursery group wins double award

Nursery group Children 1st has achieved national acclaim with a double industry award win.

The family-run group of 15 nurseries scooped the coveted Nursery Group of the Year Award at the Nursery Management Today Awards.

The award recognises and celebrates the achievement of leading providers of childcare across the UK.

England Rugby legend Austin Healey presented the award to the management team at a gala dinner at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel on Saturday 30 November.

On receiving the award, founder and executive chair of Children 1st, Margaret Mason, said: “Winning the Nursery Group of the Year Award is a fantastic achievement for Children 1st. This award has been made possible by the hard work of all our staff and the support of our parents throughout the year and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their contribution. I am delighted for all staff and everyone associated with the company that we won the award when up against stiff competition from companies across the UK.”

There was double delight for Margaret and Children 1st moments later when Margaret was back on stage to receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for her five decades of tireless work in childcare and education.

In addition to establishing Children 1st Day Nurseries, Margaret also played a fundamental role in founding the National Day Nurseries Association which has grown into one of the industry’s most respected organisations.

Commenting on her lifetime achievement award, Margaret said: “I have devoted my career to children and it gives me great satisfaction to think I have made a difference in their lives and helped them to get off to the right start in life. I know this is what motivates me and everyone associated with Children 1st and will continue to do so. No one enters into a career in the childcare and education sector because they are looking for awards and recognition but I am pleased that I was nominated and have managed to win.”

The award recognises the outstanding contribution Margaret has made throughout her 57 year career in raising standards in nursery education and providing excellent childcare for youngsters across the Midlands and South Yorkshire.

Margaret began Children 1st Day Nurseries in 1988 and is still heavily involved in the running of the company. The company has since grown from a single site nursery in Long Eaton, Derbyshire to a multi-site operation. Of the 15 Children 1st nurseries, 11 of them are rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

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