NURSERY staff excited to be nominated for a Worcestershire Education Award for the first time.

Stepping Stones, based at the Civic Centre in Queen Elizabeth Drive, Pershore has been nominated for the Early Years Education Award.

Lisa Allen, nursery manager, said: “It is really exciting to be nominated for the award. We have such lovely parents and it is so nice they have put the effort in to nominate us.”

Mrs Allen began at the nursery 21 years ago, and was later promoted to deputy manager and then became manager 12 years ago.

The 43-year-old said: “I absolutely love my job. Seeing the children smile and making them laugh is so rewarding.

“We are a friendly bunch and know all the children really well. We care about each individual’s well-being and development.

“The best resources we have at the nursery are our staff. They are role models to the children and have the ability to make something amazing from something so simple, such as a cardboard box. We may not be able to afford expensive things, so we are creative in what we do.”

She added: “We have strong bonds with the local community and regularly visit the retirement home next door to us. The students go carol singing each year and bring homemade cakes to the residents. The elderly love seeing the little ones, it is heart-warming to see.”

The kids enjoy their ‘forest fun’ activities twice a week, where the older children visit their local schools. This gives them the opportunity to go on bug hunts, climb trees and make mud pies.

Swimming lessons are provided to the children aged three and above where they have the chance to have a splash at Pershore Leisure Centre and also work towards their duckling badges.

The nursery is a small venue, with 24 children across two rooms.

The nursery owner, Emma Dixon, aged 49, and Mrs Allen have worked together for 20 years. Talking about their relationship, Mrs Allen said: “We have huge respect for one another. We are both so different and offer our opinions on things. It is good to have discussions on different views as no child is the same.

“Emma is a fantastic practitioner and always goes the extra mile for all the children and their parents.

“Making the nursery a safe and secure place for the children is our goal. Their happiness is important to us and we build foundations to create learning opportunities for the children.”