After winning the Judges’ Special Award in 2017, D-Dee’s Day Nursery is the first business to throw their hat into the ring for the 2018 awards. The full-day, early years nursery now employs fourteen people to provide quality, individualised care for children aged five and under, 51 weeks of the year.
Debbie Gunn, Proprietor and Manager discussed the changes that had taken place in her business since picking up a Swale Business Award last year: “2017 was a year of awards for us. We were delighted to win the Judges’ Special Award at the Swale Business Awards. This was just wonderful for us and boosted our credentials in the business world. We were also named ‘Runner Up, Nursery of the Year 2017 - Southern’ by the National Day Nurseries Association; and on top of this in December we were invited to London where we were awarded the Nursery Management Today (NMT) National Nursery of the Year and National Nursery Team of the Year. This accolade was massive for us as we were nominated against all the big players in the industry. For a little nursery from a small village in Swale to stand out was just incredible.”
While Debbie may still think of D-Dee’s as a “little” nursery, this is far from being the case. Over the course of the last 22-years, Debbie has grown the business from humble beginnings in a refurbished meals-on-wheels hall to the thriving nursery that has cared for thousands of children throughout its tenure. She also now provides consultancy, staff training, and presentation services, including running workshops and giving presentations.
After the success of 2017, this year and beyond is looking bright for D-Dee’s. Debbie discussed what was next for her business: “We hope to continue to raise the profile of the nursery both online and wherever our journey takes us next. We have recently been approached about providing consultancy services in China and also, to support a head teacher of a kindergarten in Qatar with their curriculum planning. We have completed our re-model of the whole indoor environment and will be working on our outdoor environment over the next 12 months.”
Finally, Debbie discussed her hope to once again be recognised at the Swale Business Awards: “Why should anyone win an award? We are all hopefully, doing our jobs to the best of our ability; however, we really feel that our passion for our sector gives us an edge. Our ethos of individuality means that an award will be celebrated and give us the ability to reflect further on our business. Developing the business and finding gaps in our market has given us additional revenue streams and this is now leading to us being recognised further than the UK for excellence in our field. The accolade of being award winning will further endorse our business model to those interested from further afield. If we can share our passion, individuality and practice with those who also care passionately for the sector then more and more little people will benefit from doing it the D-Dee’s way.”
D-Dee’s Day Nursery
Boughton under Blean