A Hove nursery manager has won two national awards.
Louise Lloyd-Evans, a director of Young Friends Nursery in Holland Road, Hove, won the prizes at the Nursery World Awards.
She came top in the Early Years Professional of the Year and Business Development of the Year categories.
Miss Lloyd-Evans said: “It was an exciting night for Young Friends.
“Most importantly it goes some of the way to recognise all of our work so far in creating a wonderful environment for our children.
“I want to thank the council for its part in this award because through its training and support I have achieved a dream I have held for the last ten years.”
Miss Lloyd-Evans built up her experience by working in nurseries and studying to complete NVQ level 3 and 4 qualifications and a degree.
With the support of the Brighton and Hove City Council childminding team, she became a childminder in 2008 and gained Early Years Professional Status (EYPS).
This graduate-level qualification is equivalent to qualified teacher status.
The council has supported 30 candidates so far to gain EYPS with a further 30 currently working towards it.
She joined the council’s network of childminders last November after an outstanding Ofsted inspection and originally offered six places.
She expanded her business to become a nursery with 12 places early this year.
She hopes to increase the number of children to 33.
Councillor Vanessa Brown, the council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “Congratulations to Louise and all the staff at Young Friends Nursery.
“We support nursery staff and childminders to improve their skills and gain qualifications so that the city’s young children receive the best care possible.
“The first years of a child’s learning and play are vital to their development.”
Across Brighton and Hove 80 per cent of nurseries and childminders are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted compared with 68 per cent nationally.
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