A NURSERY is celebrating after being short-listed for a prestigious national award.
Footprints Nursery, in Tees Street, Hartlepool, is in line for a top honour after entering the Nursery World Awards.
It has been short-listed as one of just three places in the country for the Team Development Award.
Staff will discover if they have been successful when they attend a glittering award ceremony in London next month.
The awards highlight and recognise the best that is being achieved in the early years sector throughout the UK.
Suzie Yeniceri, business manager at Footprints Nursery, said: “We are really pleased to be short-listed.
“I think one of the reasons why we have done so well is we have got the Investors In People gold status and have spent a lot of time and money on staff development and making sure we have got a good working environment and allow them to have a good work-life balance.”
She added the business, formerly the Little People nursery, was on the verge of closing down in 2006.
Footprints now has 96 children registered aged from birth to eight, and has 29 staff and a number of apprentices.
It comes on the back of the nursery winning two awards at this year’s Hartlepool Business Awards in the Investment in Training and the Service Sector titles.
As well as the care provided at its Tees Street base the nursery also runs out of school and holiday clubs and transport services across the town.
The Nursery World Awards take place at the luxury Lancaster London hotel in the capital on Friday, September 30.
A number of the Footprints staff will be there.
Award organisers say early years education and childcare services are facing challenging times with Government policy changes, funding cuts and the Early Years Foundation Stage under review.
A spokesman said: “Through it all, dedicated professionals continue to improve their skills and qualifications and provide the very best for young children.”