Best place to work accolade is child’s play for Midlands nursery group

L-R: Nursery Practitioner Natasha Tallis, Seth McDonald (three) Ivy-Blue Carter (four) and Third-in-Charge Nicci Porter celebrating Tommies Childcare’s triumph in the Best place to work scheme

A Coventry nursery group which looks after hundreds of children has been praised as one of the top places to work in the UK.

Tommies Childcare is the only nursery provider to be highlighted in the annual Sunday Times Best Companies initiative. It is named at 34th place in a final list of 100, following thousands of entries.

The family-run firm cares for some 468 youngsters at eight sites throughout Coventry, Derby, Kenilworth and Nuneaton.

It was started by mum-of-three and former PA to the dean of Coventry, Caroline Fooks in 1998 when her twin girls were babies, and has flourished to employ more than 100 staff.

The accolade comes after an anonymous staff poll showed employees felt listened to, valued, respected and cared for.

Tommies Childcare  operations director Danielle Butler  said: “We’re immensely proud to be listed in the Top 100 Small Companies to Work For 2019.

“This was the first time we have entered so to be included as number 34 on the list is mind-blowing.

“A huge thank you goes to all of our managers, staff teams and support staff for their contribution to Tommies Childcare each and every day. If we’re asked what makes Tommies Childcare so special there is only ever one answer: Our people.

“For us, it’s simple – value and look after those who work for you. Your people are always your biggest asset. Engagement is about far more than your salary.

“Communication, listening and taking your employees on the journey with you are at the heart of what we do

“Our employees receive a comprehensive benefits package which consists of additional annual leave entitlement, performance-related pay and opportunities to be involved in decisions at a company level.

“This year has been the first time we have run our own succession planning programme that aims to identify and support the growth of those individuals looking to take the next step in their careers.

“Our success should be shared with those who really make the difference. For our senior team this has always been an important part of growing a successful business. Quite often in organisations hierarchy dictates how people are treated and valued within a business. We have worked hard to change this attitude.

“The recognition of the hard work and commitment our employees make to Tommies Childcare. Quite often within the early years’ sector engagement levels can be extremely low; however, we are proud to be an exception to this common problem. Through a redefined approach that puts individuals at the heart of what we do, we have seen improvements in every area of our organisation, non-more importantly to the service we offer to the children and families we work with.

Jonathan Austin, CEO and founder of Best Companies said:  “I would like to congratulate the Tommies team on its achievement.

“Best Companies have been producing the Accreditation standard since 2006 to acknowledge excellence in the workplace. Organisations like Tommies have continued to focus on their employees and have been rewarded with an engaged workforce who tell us that this is a best company to work for.”