Nursery World Awards 2010: Individuals - Early Years Professional of the Year

WINNER: Louise Lloyd-Evans, director, Young Friends Nursery, Hove, East Sussex

Gaining Early Years Professional Status has played an important part in Louise having the confidence to develop her small childminding business into a thriving nursery.

It has informed her approach to leading practice at her nursery, which was graded 'outstanding' in its first Ofsted inspection. Louise has also received overwhelmingly positive testimonials from the parents who use her provision, showing how her dedication has made a big difference to many families.

Louise believes the EYFS can be delivered just as effectively outdoors as indoors and she has designed an innovative garden to put her theory into practice. Children can now spend the majority of the day outdoors if they choose and explore the sensory garden, cultivate vegetables and herbs, tackle challenging climbing equipment and engage in mark-making with mud, sand and water.

Louise's leadership has created a dedicated staff team who are proud of their work.

Parent-partnership is also important, with Louise believing that parents are the pivotal point around which a child develops and learns. She has put into place excellent communication practices, including weekly emails, hosting social events and providing parents with Kodak accounts so they can see photos of their children at nursery.

Parent Amanda Atkins, who nominated Louise for the award, says, 'Louise is a professional in all senses of the word and an inspiration to all who know her. She is a natural leader with a charisma that draws the attention of children and adults alike. What lies behind her extraordinary energy is a passion for the development of children and a determination to turn her vision of the ideal early years setting into a reality. She is an absolute credit to her profession.'

FINALISTS

Clare Roberts, nursery owner, Kids Planet Day Nurseries, Lymm, Cheshire

Kate Spence, deputy manager, Great Wood Farm Early Years Centre, Grantham, Lincolnshire


CRITERION

Nominees must have gained Early Years Professional Status.

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