Hundreds vote already as NDNA launches Nursery Awards with new categories

The National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) Nursery Awards have launched with two exciting new categories recognising innovative practice and promoting staff well-being.Overall NDNA Nursery of The Year Winner 2018

NDNA’s Nursery Awards are the only awards voted for by parents. They are judged on the quality of these submissions, giving parents the opportunity to show their appreciation. 

The ever popular awards have already received more than 300 votes in the first three days and all NDNA members are invited to put themselves forward in any category they feel they or their staff have excelled. 

This round of NDNA awards sees the launch of the Innovative Practice Award. Innovative practice could include anything from parent projects and partnerships to use of technology or innovative ways to narrow the attainment gap and new ways to teach numeracy and literacy. 

The Supporting Staff Well-being Award has also been launched to recognise settings that have established strategies to support staff well-being. Nurseries will need to demonstrate how this is prioritised in their settings. 

There are nine awards to enter this year, these are split into three categories: 

  • Public vote – Nursery of the Year, Practitioner of the Year, Healthy Nursery of the Year 
  • Nomination – Outstanding NDNA Network, Outstanding Contribution 
  • Evidence-based – Innovative Practice, Supporting Staff Well-being, Team Development, Manager of the Year.

For each award there is a rigorous shortlisting process, conducted by our early years experts, followed by submission to a judging panel in order to determine the 2019 winners. Nursery of the Year finalists also receive a visit from an NDNA early years advisor. 

Awards will be presented by a celebrity guest at a glamorous ceremony on Friday 28 June at the Chesford Grange hotel in Warwick. The awards night promises to be as enjoyable as ever with live music and a three course dinner.

All finalists receive a promotional banner to display on their nursery’s website and in other marketing materials to show off their impressive achievement in the run up to the ceremony itself.  

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA, said: “We want to know how fantastic your setting is and the great work your staff do. These awards are about recognising and celebrating the excellent practice happening in nurseries. 

“From previous entrants and winners we know that just putting the nomination in can boost staff morale and give you a chance to reflect on all the positives in your setting.

“Getting parents to vote and recognise quality practice helps promote your business too. Make sure to shout about what’s great about your business, we need your submissions, evidence and testimonials from your parents to help support your applications. 

“I am already looking forward to celebrating your successes at our awards show which is always a guaranteed night of fun and celebration and I hope to see lots of you there.”

Annie Silcock, Nursery Director at Smarties Smartcare Ltd who won our overall NDNA Nursery of the Year Award in 2018, said: “Entering the Nursery of the Year award from the NDNA was such a great thing to do and the award evening was an evening of celebration for everyone who attended. 

“Parents were more than happy to support us and their recognition of the work the staff do was a huge boost to staff morale. The nursery has been inundated with applications for children to join our setting since winning the award, so much so we have no need to market the nursery at the moment. The staff are hugely proud of what they have achieved and we would highly recommend entering the award to other nurseries – who knows you might be the next winner!”

Nurseries can enter as many awards as they wish. Winners from 2018 may not enter the same award again in this awards cycle. 

Registration is simple, just visit our dedicated awards website to register and apply at or find out more at

The deadline for awards submissions is 31 March 2019.