Busy Bees, the leading provider of childcare in the UK, has been announced as the recipient of the inaugural Queens Award for Enterprise: Promoting Opportunity.

The royal accolade, handed out in honour of the Queen’s 93rd birthday, recognises the organisation’s social mobility programme and commitment to quality training for its early years apprentices.

The first Busy Bees nursery was opened in Lichfield in 1984 by six teachers who wanted to make a difference in the early years sector after feeling frustrated with the lack of good quality, flexible care available for their own children.

It now cares for 50,000 children across nearly 500 settings in the UK, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia and China.Queens Award for Enterprise

To maintain the quality of its staff amid such growth, Busy Bees’ sister company BB Training Academy delivers management qualifications, apprenticeships and short courses to the nurseries, as well as external settings.

BB Training Academy, which is rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, has worked with Busy Bees to provide accessible routes to employment and career progression, upskilling 3,765 members of staff to date.

Chief Academic Officer and co-founder, Marg Randles OBE, said:

“Receiving the Queen’s Award is the ultimate accolade recognising the commitment of our people. It reflects our drive to provide opportunities for passionate practitioners, unleashing their potential and allowing them to realise their dreams. It recognises that our success is down to helping the incredible people who help us to provide the best experiences for children.

Queens Award for Enterprise“I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to have a career doing something I love. Supporting others to follow their dream has a tremendous impact on the opportunities we provide for both staff and children.

Fay Gibbin, CEO of BB Training Academy, said:

“Training is an integral part of Busy Bees and is an essential part of creating a high performing, inclusive learning environment that values diversity. We believe helping people from disadvantaged backgrounds into successful working lives not only creates a dedicated, loyal and experienced workforce but enables us to deliver outstanding care to young children for working families.”

The organisation will be presented with the award by the Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire at their flagship nursery in Burntwood, which will now fly the Queen’s Award flag. They will also attend a royal reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by Her Majesty later in the year.

For further information about the Queens Award for Enterprise, please contact Rebecca Cousins at Papillon PR on 07757 699 749 or email rebecca@papillonpr.co.uk