Nursery World Awards 2020 - Outstanding Contribution

Friday, February 5, 2021

Nicola Fleury, Director – KidzRus Nursery, Greater Manchester

Nicola Fleury started a childminding business in 2005, working from home with a vision of one day having her own chain of nurseries. In addition to providing childminding services seven days a week and overnight, she studied for a childcare qualification and attended regular training to develop her practice.

As a result, Nicola became director of Kidzrus Private Day Nursery, a group of five settings operating across Salford, Greater Manchester, and has gone on to achieve a degree in Early Years Leadership.

She continues to develop her knowledge of early years to help her grow her business and deliver the highest quality childcare and training to practitioners.

Nicola is consistent in supporting all 384 children and families, and 93 members of staff in the group to ensure they are thriving and that their well-being is paramount.

With many areas of deprivation in the community, she makes it her mission to ensure children have access to new experiences, plenty of outdoor time and a nurturing home-from-home environment where they are supported by highly qualified, skilled staff members and therefore get the best possible start in life. This year, she opened a Forest School at one of the settings, allowing children from across the group to spend afternoons in the outdoors.

She is passionate about making a difference to families, and prides herself on the level of support provided, from parent workshops to book bundle deliveries, contributing to a child’s school uniform when she discovered a parent was struggling and providing free childcare for a local women’s refuge.

Nicola strives to shape the future of the early years workforce and has long-established relationships with local schools and colleges to help to promote childcare and the early years. She has also delivered a motivational speech to young learners at the House of Commons, encouraging them stay focused, work hard and follow their dreams.

During lockdown, Nicola recognised that many families in the Salford area were struggling. She contacted a local supermarket which helped donate food and, with help from her family, personally began distributing food parcels to parents in the community and hampers to residents at local care homes.

She also made book bags for children and delivered packed lunches to enable families to celebrate VE Day together with picnics in the garden.

A food bank project also started during lockdown has been continued in the form of an ongoing family support project, allowing parents to take a free meal home from nursery when required, entirely confidentially.

Nicola’s dedication to the diverse community of Salford and her drive to impact local families, whether registered with one of her nurseries or simply in need of support, means she stops at nothing to help everyone she can. Her personality and heart shines into and out of every nursery in the group.

FINALISTS

Jamie Louise Fitton, owner and director – Little Giggles Private Day Nursery and Preschool

Mary Rose, deputy manager – Seahorse Nursery School

CRITERION

For an individual whose long service and dedication in day-to-day work with young children is truly inspiring

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