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Employee Owners – Working for your child

Children and employees in Childbase Partnership nurseries were definitely ‘having their cake and eating it’ during the first-ever nationwide celebration for employee-owned businesses.

While Government ministers championed the idea inLondonand at events nationwide, Childbase employee owners decorated their nurseries, baked and crafted in celebration. 

Michelle Nokes, Manager of Cedars Day Nursery in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire,  who has been with the company for 23 years said: 

"We are a unique partnership of shareholders invested in giving each and every child in our care the very best start in life. We are enormously proud of our nurseries and our company."    

Wearing special T-shirts, Cedars staff created a display to explain what employee ownership meant at the nursery and all pitched into make a pavlova pudding complete with official Employee Ownership Day logo created in summer berries. 

Leading the nursery celebrations were long serving owners - who collectively have more than 82 years with the company - Margaret Cavanagh Di Hawes, Sandra Maxwell, Michelle Nokes and Gemma Leotta. 

At the Ofsted-rated 'Outstanding' Nursery, Highbury Lodge in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, the employee owners also donned official 'T' shirts and handed out freshly made gingerbread men for children and parents to enjoy at home. 

A giant gingerbread man wall display was also created and everyone - including parents - added written messages to share what employee ownership at the nursery meant to them. 

As Alison Goodrum Highbury Lodge Deputy Manager, explained, staff feelings of pride in their nursery and love of their work is rooted in the fact that as owners every employee has a voice and a role in the decision making process which is great news for the children in their care. 

"Ofsted inspectors have repeatedly told us that a happy and engaged staff team equals confident children ready to realise their full potential. As owners we are personally invested in achieving that," she said. 

'Having your cake and eating it' was the theme for celebrations at Meadow View where an iced cake, saying just that, was centre stage at a special lunch. For the children the event provided another opportunity for crafting and partying with the babies painting their hands and feet on to canvas and the older children opting for 'hand-painting' on T shirts and making biscuits and salt dough animals. 

Staff continued the 'many hands make great work' theme by painting their hands onto a large canvas, together with personal messages, which was then displayed in reception. Party games in the garden followed a celebratory lunch. 

Pictured (Top to Bottom)

(L-R) are Margaret Cavanagh, Di Hawes, Gemma Leotta and Michelle Nokes with Sandra Maxwell holding the celebratory pavlova at Cedars. 

Celebrations at the three-times Ofsted-rated 'Outstanding' Oak Tree Day Nursery in Wokingham,Berkshire. 

Celebrations at Ofsted-rated 'Outstanding' Pennypot Day Nursery in Chobham, Surrey.