Famly’s £5,000 Early Years Award is back

18th January 2021

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What is the Famly Children’s Champion award?

Famly want to find and celebrate the very best Early Years professional in the UK and Ireland – and award them £5,000.

The winner will also get a trophy and a year’s subscription to the Famly premium package for their setting. What’s more, the nine runners-up will also receive prizes from our brilliant partners, including Early Education, Teach Early Years, Early Years TV, Childcare & Education Expo, and
Early Years Hub.

We’ll start collecting nominations for a Children’s Champion here at Famly on December 13th, and after a round of public voting and deliberation, we’ll announce a shortlist of 10 nominees. These 10 potential winners will be assessed by a panel of Early Years experts and we’ll announce
the winner on March 31st 2022.

Why celebrate a Famly Children’s Champion?

Because early childhood lasts a lifetime Our first five years are the most important of our life:

“Children’s early learning and well-being have a direct and enduring impact on their later educational attainment, socio-economic status, health, well-being and civic engagement .”

“Young children form more than a million synapses per second in the first few years. These critical connections are shaped by our earliest relationships, environments and experiences.”

However, the educators delivering this learning have been undervalued and unrecognised in society as a whole. At Famly we want the Children’s Champion award to help show the world all of the amazing work that goes into caring for children in their first five years – and how it impacts
every year afterwards.

Because Early Years workers need recognition

In our day-to-day work with settings all over the UK and Ireland, we get an inside look at the struggles Early Years sector workers face. On top of the usual juggle between funding and wages, settings are also in the midst of a huge staffing crisis:

“There is a crisis in recruitment and retention in the Early Years sector with qualified and experienced staff leaving the sector due to poor salaries and conditions.”

Unfortunately, Famly can’t produce more qualified practitioners, or higher wages, but we absolutely can showcase, celebrate, and reward the incredible contribution made by those working with children to the families they look after.

Because we’ve seen the impact it has

We’ve seen what an amazing effect being a Children’s Champion can have. Since winning last year, Helena says she’s become confident enough to speak to apprentices at Exeter College and shared her childcare expertise in articles for the Famly blog.

What makes a Famly Children’s Champion?

To make the competition fair there are, of course, criteria that help the panel judge the overall Children’s Champion. More generally, the Children’s Champion is an all-round Early Years professional – someone who clearly and consistently goes above and beyond what would normally
be expected in their role.

“The award is about finding that hidden gem, those people out there who work silently, who love their job, are dedicated, innovative, passionate, holding something together for their community. It’s about recognising them and the work they do” – Helena Meineck, 2020 Famly Children’s Champion.

Who can be nominated?

The competition is open to anyone based in the UK or Ireland, over 18 years old, working with children in an Early Years setting. To nominate, you must be at least 18 years old and know the person you nominate by either working together or because they care for your child. You must
also be based in the United Kingdom or Ireland.

Who’s on the panel?

Our panel is a group of 11 Early Years experts, including 9 from last year’s panel. With their decades of combined experience, each panellist will considerthe final 10 shortlisted candidates thoroughly and cast their votes to decide on a winner.

1. Helena Meineck – Famly Children’s Champion 2020 & Nursery Manager
2. Neil Leitch – CEO, Early Years Alliance
3. Dr Sharon Colilles – Senior Lecturerin Early Childhood and Consultant
4. Aaron Bradbury-Coffey – Principal Lecturer & Chair of the LGBTQIA+ Steering Group
5. Alice Sharp – Owner & Creator, Adventures with Alice EY Training
6. Rachel Buckler- Co-Founder, Early Years Hub
7. Dr Stella Louis – Independent EY Consultant & Author
8. Dr Sue Allingham – Owner, Early Years Out of the Box Consultancy
9. Alison Featherbe – EYFS Trainer & Consultant, Orange Caterpillar
10. Jan Dubiel – Executive Principal, Harrow Little Lions Kindergartens & EY Consultant
11. Dr Mine Conkbayir- Independent EY Consultant & Author

Who are Famly?

Famly simplifies the process of managing a nursery — putting things like child information, registrations, staff planning, invoicing, payments, learning journals and parent communication all in one place. We began making software in 2013 when we realised so many providers were still paper-based, and the existing systems they had access to were clunky, old and just not fit for purpose. The sector deserves a solution that is modern, easy to use, and actually saves them time. But it’s more than that – Famly also provides tens of thousands of readers news and guidance about the latest and greatest in the sector. Famly is a one-stop-shop for Early Years settings – their Early Years sidekick.

Find out more and visit their website here. 

Why attend Childcare & Education Expo?

Join over 2,500 like-minded individuals from the early years & primary sector who are dedicated to improving their practice and their education settings.

Attend educational seminars to credit your CPD

Meet the experts to have your questions answered

Receive fantastic onsite offers and discounts

Experience expert-led informative hands-on workshops

Network with peers and industry players

Pick up hundreds of new products, resources, ideas and services

And most of all, enjoy a great day out with your colleagues

100+ exhibitors | 1000s of industry players | 100s of experts