Fairytale ending for award-winning nursery
Giving children a natural and healthy approach while retaining caring and passionate staff.
Those are principals that have seen Fairytales, in Dudley, named Nursery of the Year for the Midlands.
After being nominated by parents and shortlisted against six other nurseries, Fairytales, in St James's Road, impressed judges the most during the National Nursery Recognition Awards.
Owner Deb Latewood, 48, said: "We are so proud and happy to have received the award.
"We recently started an accreditation, taking the 'curiosity approach', which has seen us replace all plastic toys with more natural resources.
"We have also created a more homely feel in our rooms. It's taken a long time to adapt, so for us to be recognised by judges is amazing.
"To be up against other equally important settings, and to win, is an honour. We were hopeful but on the night you are on tenterhooks."
Fairytales, in Bourne Street, opened in 2003 followed the award-winning nursery at the St James's Road site, in 2016.
Deb, who has been a nursery nurse for 32 years, said caring for children had always been her passion.
"We currently have 200 children on our books and employ 39 staff," she said.
"More than a third of our staff have been with us for at least nine years. We are so fortunate to keep such excellent staff.
"We couldn't run the nurseries without them and all of our staff are genuine, caring, happy and dedicated to our families.
"We believe that children should have a natural and healthy approach to learning.
"They should be encouraged to be curious ask questions and develop at a rate that suits them. Staff engage and nurture the children to allow this to develop.
"We have turned our back on using technology with the children, instead using real-life resources such as teapots, China cups and loose parts.
"Our children developing into strong individuals with the ability to solve problems and help the world is what's most important to us.
"We have had feedback from our early years team in Dudley and our parents are all very proud.
"We are very thankful to the people who nominated and voted for us and for the next 12 months will strive to continue being the best we can, for our families and community."