Nursery named as top UK business

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Everybody at Woodlands Day Nursery was celebrating last week as their employee-owned company was named one of the UK’s top businesses to work for.

Large inflatable balloons proclaimed 13th place in The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For Lists to staff, parents and children as they arrived at the Ofsted rated ‘Outstanding’ nursery in Byerly Place, Downs Barn.

Children made hats bearing the number 13 for a party and staff, who had maintained a long vigil awaiting texts from the awards ceremony the night before, cheered and hugged each other.

Alyson Hefferon, manager at Woodlands, said: “It is a very personal achievement because we are part of an employee-owned company where what we say really does make a difference.”

Parents also got caught up in the excitement, picking numbers from a list before the ceremony and trying to guess the final rating. Nursery administrator, Robina Ballard-Davis got it right and was awarded a bottle of wine.

Woodlands Day nursery is part of the award-winning group, The Childbase Partnership which is based in Newport Pagnell and has 41 day nurseries in the South of England.

Acclaimed as ‘Extraordinary’ by Best Companies, The Childbase Partnership not only consolidated its assault on the Lists – a rise of 77 places in three years - but was ranked 3rd out of all 100 companies for career development and achieved top 20 scores nationally for the pride employees feel about their company and their faith in their senior management team.

Alyson says continual training and support within the company ensures that all staff teams are motivated towards achieving excellence daily, but it is the small things that make her company special. Like the boxed cakes that arrived at every nursery the morning after the awards ceremony or the congratulations card and gift she received on her engagement from her CEO who was on holiday at the time.

“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,” said Alyson.