Nursery World Awards 2018: Individuals - Nursery Operations/Regional Manager of the Year

Nursery World
Sunday, September 23, 2018

Danielle Butler, Tommies Childcare, West Midlands

At the forefront of Tommies Childcare, Danielle Butler embodies the ethos and culture of the organisation. Since starting at the company in April 2015, she has been a key driver in shaping the organisation as it is today, and is involved in all aspects of the running of the business, from HR to finance, marketing and the nursery managers.

The company has transformed over the past three years, driven by Danielle’s clear vision for children, parents and employees. The management structure has been overhauled and Danielle has led the organisation’s Employee Engagement Strategy, implementing employee benefits, including increased pay, extra holiday, staff welfare budgets, and an annual awards ball to recognise all employees.

She has also introduced a training programme to support all of the staff’s professional development. Nursery managers feel confident in being able to approach Danielle for all aspects relating to their nursery settings. Danielle has personally developed and mentored all the nursery managers to nurture them as leaders and to support their settings.

Nursery manager Melanie Hughes praises Danielle’s ‘positive and enthusiastic way of delivering training and management meetings. I feel this really engages me to think about aspects of my own professional development and my nursery and supports me to deliver and be the best that I can be.’

Colleague marketing officer Lewis Wales says her impact on the organisation has been ‘profound. Danielle has shown tremendous leadership and inspired people to come together and make Tommies Childcare a great place to work.’

Danielle has been instrumental in supporting the renovation of the nursery group’s settings to support a more open-ended, natural approach to learning. Gone are the colourful, plastic resources fit for one purpose only. Since 2015, and in an ongoing project, the nurseries’ environments have been stripped back to allow children to explore and develop through resources that are open to their own interpretations.

Under Danielle’s leadership, parents are involved more in their children’s learning, with Parent Forum groups at all the nurseries, regular workshops on areas of interest to them, stay-and-play sessions at nursery, and communication in place for parents to share their thoughts and opinions on the services Tommies provides.

Danielle is a worthy winner for her passion as an advocate for Tommies Childcare, and her dedication to improving outcomes for children and colleagues. Her dedication and commitment cannot be questioned, and it is through this that she is committed to the long-term goals of the organisation.

Last November, Danielle’s skills were recognised further when Tommies Childcare was named Leadership Team of the Year for 2017 at the Coventry Telegraph Awards.

Danielle understands that the organisation’s employees are its greatest asset and appreciates and values their contribution in everything she does. All her efforts make Tommies Childcare a great place to work and consequently a great place for children to grow and learn.

"Danielle’s impact on our organisation has been profound" — colleague

FINALIST

Hayley Maggs, Little Angels Day Nursery, north London

CRITERION

Open to senior employees of nursery groups working across some or all of the company’s settings

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