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A nursery manager and senior room manager were invited to attend the Prime Minister’s reception on Thursday 15 July to thank individuals from the early years sector for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Laura Jacques, Centre Director at Busy Bees Mardley Hill in Welwyn attended the rose-garden reception alongside Busy Bees colleague, Hayley Collins, Early Years Educator and Senior Room Manager at Busy Bees Chatham. The pair were among 30 nursery practitioners from across England invited to the event.
Laura and Hayley were handpicked to attend the Downing St reception for their dedication throughout the pandemic.
During the early days of the pandemic Laura helped to establish ‘hub’ nurseries to support front line families in need and as knowledge of Covid-19 developed and Government guidance changed, she led directional changes to practice as required, always delivering the highest standards of hygiene, safety and care. Meanwhile, Hayley demonstrated the strength of her early years experience by working together with her nursery team to create learning at home packs suitable for each age group, while also ensuring provision was ready for the children of key workers who were continuing to attend nursery.
Cheryl Creaser, Europe CEO of Busy Bees, said: “We’re incredibly lucky to have Laura and Hayley as part of our Busy Bees family. In March 2020, we were faced with a situation that no-one had experienced before, but both Laura and Hayley showcased the perfect attributes to lead and support their teams during the pandemic. They are a true credit to the profession.
“We’re delighted that they were invited to attend this special thank-you reception at Downing Street that they are so deserving of. We’re so proud of Laura, Hayley and those like them, who, in the most turbulent of times became the calm for their children, families and each other.”
In a joint statement, Laura Jacques, Centre Director at Mardley Hill, and Hayley Collins, Early Years Educator and Senior Room Manager at Busy Bees Chatham, said: “It was an honour to receive an invite to Downing Street to celebrate the efforts of early years practitioners from all over England. The last 18 months have been extraordinary but there is no other job we would rather be doing. Our priority has and always will be to provide children the best start in life in a safe and nurturing environment, and although we’ve had to adapt to the changes along the way we’ve never been more proud of our team and the role early years practitioners play in society than we are today. We’re so grateful to have been able to represent Busy Bees at the Downing Street reception for simply doing the job we love alongside our amazing teams.”
Mardley Hill obtains the highest score available on Day Nurseries as voted for by parents and has done for four consecutive years. Busy Bees at Chatham upholds its triple Outstanding rating by Ofsted and has recently been recognised as a Busy Bees Centre of Excellence.