A nursery manager from Harpenden has reached the finals of a UK-wide award.

Claire, manager at Bright Horizons Harpenden Central Day Nursery and Preschool, was one of seven people to make the shortlist for Nursery Manager of the Year at the 2023 NMT National Nursery Awards.

Her work at the nursery has been highly acclaimed by the judges, recognising her efforts to create new and innovative learning activities. She embraced music, for example, with a class called 'Boogie Mites', which is now run at other Bright Horizons nurseries too.

Speaking after the shortlist was announced, Claire said: “I am so happy and proud to be nominated for this award and to be representing Bright Horizons at the NMT Nursery Awards.

"Having been working in Early Years for 25 years, I have always been enthusiastic about providing each child with an enthusiastic learning experience that is inclusive to every child and finding unique ways to enhance our Bright Beginnings curriculum.

“I feel lucky to have such a supportive team who all help and support each other by developing and motivating everyone to create a safe environment.


"Bright Horizons has allowed me to embrace my passion in my role, where I can teach and inspire colleagues and children every day.”

Claire guided the nursery to an 'outstanding' Ofsted rating during its most recent inspection, with inspectors commenting on the inclusive environment - aided by the creation of a room dedicated to accommodating children with special educational needs.

Claire has also been highly praised by her colleagues. One of them a, nursery practitioner, said: “Claire shows outstanding business and leadership skills with running and managing the nursery and allowing the whole team to thrive.

"Through Claire's high performance, she has supported another nursery, as well as continuing to support her team by developing and motivating everyone to create a safe and stimulating environment.”

The winners of the NMT National Nursery Awards will be announced at a ceremony in London on Saturday, November 25.