Lord Mayor visits Belfast’s Top Nursery

Currently number one for reviews across the city, Puddleducks was also the UK’s top nursery in 2018.

Councillor Kate Nicholl, the Lord Mayor of Belfast, paid a visit to Puddleducks Day Nursery in the city centre this week to witness the award-winning care in practice.

Established in 2012, Puddleducks is a Social Economy Project of one of Northern Ireland’s oldest charities, Belfast Central Mission (BCM), and provides care for up to 70 children up to the age of four years old across its bespoke playrooms in the heart of Belfast.

The Manager, Sharon Malcolm, has designed and implemented with her team a unique approach to care and learning within Early Years. The nationally award winning “Puddleducks Approach” cares for the heart while caring for the mind, focusing on a child’s emotional wellbeing as opposed to formal learning.

Sharon said:

“Developing a child’s self-esteem, independence and resilience is at the heart of what we do, in the hope that each of them leaves us and move to ‘big school’ knowing that they are valued, loved and can achieve.”

Puddleducks is currently the top ranked nursery in Belfast on Day Nurseries.co.uk, based on parent and family reviews, and the team has received numerous accolades, including being named the Best Individual Nursery in all the UK at the 2018 Nursery Management Today national awards.

In 2019, Sharon was invited to be a guest speaker at the ‘Intergenerational Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences’ international conference held in Belfast. As a result of this appearance, Sharon was subsequently invited to contribute to ‘A Treasure Box for Creating Trauma-Informed Organisations’, the new global resource by Dr Karen Treisman, the renowned award-winning Clinical Psychologist, speaker, trainer and consultant.

During the official visit, the Lord Mayor was given a tour of the nursery, its facilities and extensive outdoor play area. The Lord Mayor was invited to take part in story time with some of the older children and then spent a coffee break with team members to learn more about the success of the Puddleducks Approach firsthand.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Kate Nicholl, said:

“It was a pleasure to visit Puddleducks and witness the fantastic work Sharon and her team are doing to create such a positive, nurturing environment for children in their care.

“The fact that Belfast city centre can boast one of the most respected and lauded nurseries in the whole of the UK is testament to the professionalism and dedication of the Puddleducks team, and of Belfast Central Mission in providing this vital service to families.”

Most recently, Puddleducks has also been announced as the Day Nursery of the Year for the Northern Ireland Prestige Awards. The regional Prestige Awards were founded in 2019 to recognise businesses that are working hard to build success and deliver quality service at a local level.

For more information, visit www.puddleducksnursery.org

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