Hungry Caterpillars are finalists at the 2022 NMT Nursery Awards!

We are finalists at the NMT Nursery Awards 2022!

We are so excited to announce that we have been shortlisted for 4 NMT awards this year!

What is the NMT awards?

For 20 years, the National Nursery Awards has recognised and celebrated many amazing achievements for people and companies within the early years sector.It is an annual event organised by Nursery Management Today, the leading business publication in the nursery sector.There were 19 categories to enter overall and there were three to six finalists in each category.All finalists will be reviewed by 2 independent judges for each category.

So, what categories are we finalists for?

The first award that we have been shortlisted for is Apprenticeship scheme of the year. Hungry Caterpillars Scheme is unique in that it offers a variety of learning pathways tailored to the needs of the apprentice. Our apprenticeship program has grown dramatically in the past 8 to 10 months due to our own assessment, challenges and workforce development planning.Our apprenticeship offer has grown from 10 to 15 on program to over 40 live apprenticeships in that time.This has been achieved through support from the London Progression Collaboration (a charity that’s supports businesses with all aspects of apprenticeships, levy transfer and provides social mobility for young people in West London) and securing over £150k in levy transfer funding.The process has been difficult and at times very slow but we have secured significant funding to support learning opportunities at all apprenticeship levels. We are members of the 5 % Club an organisation that supports and recognise businesses that achieve 5% or more of the workforce in earn and learn positions. We are currently going through the benchmarking program with them and aim to achieve Gold Member Accreditation by the end of 2022. This will be achieved as we already have over 30% of our workforce in earn and learn apprenticeships with plans to maintain that level moving forward.

The second shortlist is for Training and development. Training and development starts from day one. Each member of our team goes through a detailed six-month induction and probation process to ensure they are fully on boarded into the organisation, fully understand their role and responsibilities and are successfully integrated into the team.We see this initial process as an integral part of the employee experience and key to staff retention short and long term. During this time and beyond, all staff have access to a bank of industry specific courses through Noodle now, Edu care, NDNA and via the local authorities, we work with.These are amazing resources to sign post team members too in order to develop or refresh their skills in a particular area.

We also offer all staff the opportunity to access Mental Health First Aid training in order that they can support their colleagues, parents and themselves in this very challenging world we are currently living in. As a minimum, each nursery has one qualified Mental Health lead.

Next is Indoor learning environment at our West Twyford Nursery. The indoor environment at Hungry Caterpillars West Twyford nursery is inspiring for children and staff alike.Since taking over the position of manager in 2020, Lisa Hennessy has really put her creative stamp on every corner of the nursery and taken her team with her on that journey.The appetite for providing open-ended learning and real experiences is clear in every inch of set up within the indoor environment.It can be seen, felt and smelt in the detailed resources in the home corner with its real fireplace, fruit bowl, mini sofa and ornaments – to the sensory corner, which provides peace, relaxation, and tranquility for all that need it during the course of a busy day at nursery.The environment is brimming with ‘real resources’ and nature and really does bring the outside/natural world swirling into our West London nursery.

And the final award is Nursery Room Leader (Nancy from Academy Gardens). Nancy is a fantastic role model to her team, leading by example. She organises activities which encourage the children to be independent and allows them to develop whilst having fun. Nancy helps support other team members as she has excellent communication skills and a very good relationship with her staff which ensures the team to work well together.She has also built close relationships with parents to make sure they trust her to provide the best learning and development for their child.Nancy tweaks and changes the learning environment to meet the needs of the children attending and sets up/gives access to fun activities that enables all children regardless of their stage or ability.Her focus is always on learning through play and having fun but with a clear focus on development, next steps and individual learning goals of all the children.Nancy encourages the children to explore the environment safety but she also supports their curiosity.

When will the winners be announced?

Winners for the NMT Awards 2022 will be presented with their awards on Saturday 19th November at the Park Plaza Westminster Hotel.