Helen Luddington, owner-manager of three settings across West Bridgford in Nottingham – two WBOOSC kids clubs and the Playroom Nursery has been honoured with an MBE in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
In a personal letter, her majesty’s chief inspector said: ‘The judgement of outstanding means you are exceptional and significant elements of your work are exemplary.’
Helen’s inspiring leadership and compassion helps ensure that children’s voices are heard, their individual care is second to none, families are supported to a very high level and her dynamic, enthusiastic approach encourages all members of her team to work to an extraordinarily high level. Her team thrive in the workplace and this has made the struggles of Covid-19 far easier to cope with.
Covid-19 restrictions are currently making things hard for nursery life, but at WBOOSC and The Playroom, the whole management team are doing their best to find unique ways to move forward. Helen kept the childcare doors flexibly open for some 31 children of keyworker families throughout the whole of lockdown and re-opened on the 1st June with 88% occupancy.
On her MBE, Helen stated: ‘My focus over the past goodness knows how many years, has been to ensure as adults we listen to our young children and help them enjoy and achieve through providing a very safe and secure environment both physically and emotionally, create a wide variety of exciting and challenging play and to work closely with families to focus on this goal. To achieve this level of recognition is unbelievable and I am completely overwhelmed. My dad was always a good role model to me teaching me right from wrong and that hard-work and careful financial planning gets good results. He was so boastful that his own Auntie had achieved an MBE. Sadly he has now passed away but I know he would have been so proud of this moment, so pleased for me. So a big thank you to him for all his guidance over the years and an even bigger thank you to every member of staff that has ever worked with me, every one of the thousands of children that we have ever cared for, the school teams we have been lucky to work with and the amazing families that put their trust in me. I am so proud of you all and without this amazing team effort and so many special people, I would not be in this position now. I am truly humbled and grateful.’
Purnima Tanuku OBE, chief executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) said: ‘We are delighted for Helen to be honoured with an MBE which is as a result of her passion and dedication to supporting her local children and families.
‘Her determination to keep her settings open during lockdown meant that many key workers could do their essential jobs on the frontline during the worst days of the pandemic. We are proud to have her as an NDNA member.’