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SUNDAY TIMES TOP 100 COMPANIES TO WORK FOR

Childbase was back in the Sunday Times top 100 companies to work for when the results were announced on March 7th. The Company leapt almost 60 places since it’s previous year’s entry. The report from the Sunday Times is detailed below, but the results were a fair reflection of the effort that has gone into assuring the whole team is valued for the contributions they make to the Company.

The Sunday Times survey covers a whole series of issues ranging from: the leadership, the team with whom they work, the nursery managers, their own personal growth, giving something back, and the fair deal in respect of their employment with the Company and the benefits provided. 

Helen Bass, HR Manager for Childbase, said she was delighted to have made such enormous progress within the last 12 months. Whilst there are always challenges to face, comments made by the employees, particularly in respect of Wellbeing where Childbase was placed in the top 3 companies in the country, together with Personal Growth where Childbase scored an impressive 6th place overall, were a great sign that the Company got a lot right,

Helen was also delighted that out of over 960 companies entering the survey this year, and 230,000 staff surveyed, Childbase managed to improve its position to 31st. Given this, at a time when the Company's number of employees and nurseries operated have grown significantly, it was a huge achievement.

31st Place Childbase leaps almost 60 places up our list reflecting the fact that it isn't only children in its nurseries who get well looked after.

Employees, like their charges, are allowed to develop and grow in a stimulating environment. The firm ranks sixth out of all 100 companies for Personal Growth. Childbase wins a positive score of 80% for staff thinking for experience they gain in their job is valuable for their future. They find the training is also of great benefit (75%). Indeed while other companies have had to cut back during the recession, Childbase, which operates 38 nurseries in 15 counties, has introduced additional training and benefits in the past year, including a company bonus for all staff.

To ensure the 1108 workers felt rewarded, an employee of the month award worth £350 was also established and a series of lucky draws over the summer gave employees the change to win prizes such as hotel trips to London and spa breaks. Annual wards recognise outstanding achievers and cards and gifts are given to mark events such as births, marriages, completing qualifications or for just doing a good job.

Based in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, Childbase, which is 50% privately-owned and 50% employee-owned, recorded pre-tax profits of £2.7m on a turnover of £27.7m last year.

Employees are given updates on the financial performance of the business and plans for the future are outlined at annual road shows, during which the senior team visits every nursery. An open-door policy also makes staff feel included. Senior managers truly live the values of the organisation (74%) and managers talk openly and honestly with workers (78%). Chief Executive, Michael Thompson particularly inspires staff (75%) and runs the firm on moral principles (79%).

An annual ball, the staff conference, Christmas parties and team-building events boost the already strong camaraderie. Employees have fun with their colleagues (83%) and work is an important part of their life (79%). Child's play isn't easy though. Childbase gets the eighth lowest score for staff feeling exhausted most days when they get home, with a positive score of just 41%. That said, stress levels are low (77%), and work doesn't interfere with responsibilities at home (71%)

Childbase runs a scheme offering opportunities to travel abroad. Some staff went to New York for a toy fair in February. Others also travelled to Shanghai to meet with suppliers to agree a new staff uniform.

Workers, who also benefit from a share option scheme, on-site crèche facilities, up to 75% discount in childcare costs and a contributory pension, love working at Childbase (76%)