Nursery World Awards 2017 - Our judges decide…

Nursery World
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Chesterfield Hotel in London provided the venue for our expert panel of judges to meet and debate who deserved to win in each award category. With a large number of entries, and the standard higher than ever, it was an exciting and enjoyable day that tested the judges’ powers of decision-making. We are grateful for their hard work!

anneAnne O’Connor

Anne taught in early years settings in London primary schools for more than 20 years before becoming an independent consultant, trainer and writer. She contributes regularly toNursery World and is an associate of Early Education. She co-founded and is a principal consultant with Primed for Life Training Associates, providing innovative training for physical development and the prime areas of the EYFS.

catrionaCatriona Nason

Catriona is director of consultancy Daycare Doctor. She holds an Early Years Teacher qualification and has more than 25 years’ experience working in the sector. Also chief executive of NEyTCO, a social enterprise for early years trainers and consultants, Catriona co-founded the #OfstedBigConversation and is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood.

janeJane Comeau

Jane is chair of PACEY. She volunteered for the organisation for many years and joined its board as a trustee in 2011. Jane has been a registered childminder since 1995 and was awarded Outstanding in all areas in her last three inspections. She graduated with a BA in early years in 2010 and gained Early Years Professional Status in 2011.

julieJulie Mountain

Julie is a specialist early years landscape designer and educator. She is former operations director at Learning through Landscapes, while her community interest company, Play Learning Life, currently works alongside schools, settings and families to make the most of the special nature of outdoor learning and play. Julie has travelled widely for her work, written three books, created numerous online resources, produced a DVD training programme for Nursery World and regularly writes for the magazine.

francescaFrancesca Thomas

Francesca is part of Elmscot Group’s management team, and has worked in early years for seven years. She is a passionate supporter of promoting best practice in the early years and is very knowledgeable in her field. She has supported the group through four Ofsted inspections and inspectors have commented on the value of her work. She works alongside her colleagues to support their development.

fionaFiona Carter

Fiona is regional development manager for Early Excellence covering the South. Formerly she led the EYFS in Reading and focused on improving the quality of all early years settings, including schools and children’s centres. Fiona has also worked in Sheffield across all age ranges and specialised in setting up Foundation Stage units in areas of deprivation.

racheleRachele Parker

Rachele is an area operations manager with the London Early Years Foundation. She has been working with LEYF for the past seven years and before that in early years recruitment and for a large nursery group. After more than 20 years of working in this industry, she says she can’t imagine doing anything else – every day is completely different and always rewarding.

janeJane Harrison

Jane is director of Red Hen Day Nursery, which has gained national accolades for providing outstanding provision on a working farm. Jane has a first-class degree in early childhood and is an advocate for children’s healthy lifestyles. Her nursery has won numerous awards includingNursery World’s Nursery of the Year, Enabling Environment and Food awards. Jane was also a finalist in BBC’s Food and Farming Awards Caterer of the Year.


josephJoseph Wright

Joseph is director of Paint Pots Nursery. His mother Anna started Paint Pots Pre-School and Nursery when he was three years old, and his father David joined her ten years later. He has been working with them for the past seven years and says childcare runs in his blood. He is also a member of SAMEY (Southampton Area Men In Early Years) and believes passionately that boys and girls need men and women.

joDr Jo Verrill

Jo is managing director of Ceeda, an independent agency specialising in early years education and childcare research. Jo has worked with the sector for 16 years, conducting research to inform grass roots practice and government policy. From continuous sector benchmark studies on parent satisfaction and employee engagement to influential studies on childcare delivery costs, Jo’s passion is research that makes a difference.

lauraLaura Henry

Laura is an expert international award-winning early childhood specialist. She is the founder of the community interest company for early childhood trainers and consultants, NEyTCO, vice-president of The British Association for Early Childhood Education, and national representative for the World Forum on Early Care and Education. Laura is organising the second Early Years Safeguarding & Child Protection conference.

lyndseyLyndsey Tanner

Lyndsey is a graduate in Early Years Education and manages an Outstanding 70-place nursery, part of Snapdragons Nurseries, which is based in Bath, Bristol and Wiltshire. She also acts as area manager for three of the nurseries. She won theNursery WorldManager of the Year Award in 2013 and has received praise for her innovative use of ICT, both to enhance children’s learning and to support partnerships with parents.

lindaLinda Keats

Linda is an early years educator who has worked in the sector for more than 25 years. She has worked in a number of roles including early years teacher, practitioner, deputy and manager. She is an EY adviser working with pre-schools, nurseries, childminders and out of school clubs. She is passionate about supporting early intervention and the importance of providing a rich, enabling environment.

joolsDr Jools Page

Jools is a senior early years lecturer at the University of Brighton. Her research, together with her policy knowledge and practice experience of attachment-based relationships between adults and children under three years in group daycare provision, has brought her national and international acclaim, most notably for her conceptualisation of ‘professional love’.

Di Chilvers

Di is an advisory consultant in early childhood education, having worked in the early years sector for more than 39 years as a nursery nurse, teacher, senior lecturer, adviser and National Strategies regional adviser. Her work includes children’s creative and critical thinking. She has written several books, many articles and has created an assessment tool called Development Map.

nancy-stewartNancy Stewart

Nancy is a trainer, consultant and writer with extensive experience in schools, children’s centres and private provision. She advised the Tickell Review, and co-produced the revised EYFSDevelopment Matters. At National Strategies, Nancy led Every Child a Talker in central England. She serves as vice-chair of TACTYC, the Association for Professional Development in Early Years.

neilNeil Leitch

Neil is chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance. As the largest early years membership organisation in England, it also represents 14,000 nurseries, pre-schools, and childminders. Prior to this, Neil held several senior posts in the commercial environment and moved into the area of financial underwriting in 1985. Until 2006, he chaired the Finance Industry Standards Association. Neil was recently elected a Fellow of the RSA.

chrisProfessor Christine Pascal

Chris is director of the Centre for Research in Early Childhood, and director of Amber Publications & Training. She is president of the European Early Childhood Education Research Association and vice-president of the British Association for Early Childhood Education. She was awarded an OBE for services to children in 2001 and a Nursery World Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

helenHelen Moylett

Helen is an independent early years trainer, consultant and writer. She has been head teacher of an early years centre and a primary, and an early years lecturer. While working for National Strategies she was centrally involved in developing the Early Years Foundation Stage and led the Every Child a Talker programme. She co-authored Development Matters with Nancy Stewart and has written and edited several early years books.

nicoleNicole Weinstein

Nicole is a freelance journalist specialising in early education, resources for childcare settings and outdoor learning. She spent five years writing news and features in-house forNursery World and continues to be a regular contributor. She has extensive links throughout the childcare sector. Since becoming a mum, she is even more passionate about what is on offer for children in the early years.

kateKate Tyler

Kate is a social media expert and director of Shake Social – an online marketing agency with expertise in the early years sector. Kate, who has written a monthly column forNursery World, works with nurseries across the UK to help them implement digital strategies that work, and raise their online presence.

patriciaDr Patricia Mucavele

Patricia was head of nutrition at the Children’s Food Trust, leading national standards for school food in England. Patricia has also led the development of the Voluntary Food and Drink Guidelines for early years settings and the Children’s Food Trust programme Eat Better, Start Better. She joined the trust in 2006, having spent 17 years working overseas for international development agencies. Patricia received an OBE in 2016.

pennyPenny Tassoni

Penny is an education consultant, author and trainer. She previously worked as an early years and primary teacher before lecturing on childhood studies. Penny has also worked as the UK education and training manager of a large nursery chain. She has written more than 30 books, including the best-selling Practical EYFS Handbook. Penny is also president of early years organisation PACEY.

purnimaPurnima Tanuku

Purnima is the chief executive of the National Day Nurseries Association, a charity and membership association for nurseries across the UK. Recognised as an authority on early years and childcare, Purnima works closely with ministers and senior civil servants and is a major contributor to the policy debate in all three nations. She was awarded an OBE in 2011.

stellaStella Ram-Louis

Stella is a freelance trainer and consultant, who has worked as a nursery nurse, manager and NNEB course co-ordinator. Stella has developed a sustained interest in schemas. She wrote about schemas in her first book, published in 2008, and has had articles published inNursery World and by Early Education. Stella has an MA, is studying for a doctorate in education, and is a Froebelian-trained travelling tutor.

sueSue Robb

Sue joined the charity 4Children (now Action for Children) as head of early years in 2011, with the specific brief to lead the development of the Department for Education’s new early years strategic programme, Foundations for the Future. She has worked as an Ofsted inspector and is recognised nationally for her work on early years quality improvement. She has also worked at schools and local authorities.

wendyWendy Scott

Wendy received the Nursery World Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. She is a Froebelian-trained teacher and was head of a demonstration nursery school. Wendy is honorary president of TACTYC and served on the Nutbrown Review. She was chief executive of the British Association for Early Childhood Education, and has worked with the DfE, the British Council and UNICEF.

oliviaOlivia Vincenti

Olivia has 30 years’ experience of leading children’s services, programmes and multi-agency partnerships, mostly in local government. She started as an early years practitioner and manager, before moving into social work and child protection, and subsequently chaired Coram’s adoption panel for 12 years. Most recently she has worked as the head of children’s joint commissioning for an inner city local authority and the NHS.

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