To mark the day, Co-op Childcare will be setting up appreciation walls for parents and children to share positive feedback about the work practitioners do and hosting ‘thank you’ parties for colleagues across all 44 of its nurseries, as well as launching a competition for colleagues to win a range of great prizes.
National Nursery Practitioner Day was launched in 2018 by Co-op Childcare to make nurseries workers feel special and appreciated for their continued efforts, following research that found one quarter of nursery workers are considering leaving their post . Nurseries up and down the country came together on the day to demonstrate their appreciation for the time, care and effort staff members put in every day through a range of celebratory events.
Sally Bonnar, Chief Operating Officer at Co-op Childcare, said: “National Nursery Practitioner Day is a chance for the whole industry to come together to say thank you and make all nursery practitioners feel valued for their work. It is so important for us to recognise the inspiring work that they do to shape the minds of the future every single day.
“It is just a small way of saying thank you, and forms part of a much wider programme Co-op Childcare has implemented to reward our fantastic workers. This includes a host of incentives, such as competitive salaries, progression opportunities and a wellbeing and benefits scheme, which help us to let our workers know just how important they are to us.”
National Nursery Practitioner Day has received the backing of The National Day Nurseries Association, as well as a number of providers. One of the nursery groups that has already confirmed activity is Spring Nurseries, which will be hosting celebrations across all 50 of its nurseries.
Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA said: “We are delighted to support Co-op Childcare’s National Nursery Practitioner Day. Early years practitioners are the unsung heroes, caring for and educating our youngest children, giving their dedication, experience and love on a daily basis. It’s right that there should be a special day to provide recognition and celebrate the important work that they do.
“As we know, children’s earliest years of education are fundamental to their future life successes therefore practitioners’ dedication and commitment is essential. NDNA fully endorses this day of recognition which enables us to thank children’s early educators and raise awareness of careers in childcare. We hope this will encourage more people to find out about early years as a career, which is suffering a current recruitment and retention crisis. Our recent workforce survey across the UK showed that there are fewer qualified practitioners. Early years professionals have the skills and a genuine interest in each individual child’s well-being, this needs to be recognised.”
Nia Blackler, Strategic People Planner at Spring Nurseries, said: “Work in the early years can be incredibly tough. It’s important to us that the incredible work our staff do for children and families across the UK is recognised that all staff feel valued, regardless of the role they play in the nursery. Nursery Practitioner Day is a fantastic and fun way to say thank you and last year was a great success for us.
“This year, the date falls just after Early Years Wellbeing Week and World Mental Health Day, when our Wellbeing Champions will be holding events and promoting our range of wellbeing support services and discounts available to staff to further raise awareness of the importance of looking after ourselves. We’re looking forward to celebrating with all our practitioners on Nursery Practitioner Day!”