10th June 2021 All Posts

Four reasons to enter the NMT National Nursery Awards

With the submissions deadline for The NMT National Nursery Awards looming, we are encouraging our network of nursery leaders to enter. 

Resources are often stretched in Early Years Settings and putting yourself forward for business awards is not always the top of the agenda. That’s why we’ve pulled together four reasons why entering an award could be good for your nursery business.

Boost Employee Morale

After a difficult year for the sector, entering the NMT Awards could help to recognise the hard work and achievements of your staff team. Winning an award would help to boost staff morale and improve motivation. Employees are focused on what’s great about the nursery they work for and can feel proud to be a part of it. This can be maximised by making sure staff feel they get the recognition they deserve by holding a staff meeting to celebrate your victory or inviting your team members to the awards evening. The National NMT Nursery Awards gathers over 500 key industry contacts to celebrate the well-deserved winners who are selected by an illustrious panel of judges. It is a fantastic night out and can create networking opportunities between suppliers and other nursery settings.

Free marketing for your setting

Business awards can be an overlooked tool in your marketing toolbox but awards can be used to celebrate hard work and success and are great PR opportunities. Just being shortlisted can improve brand awareness and promote your business to new parents. Make sure you maximise PR exposure and update your marketing materials with the award logo including website, literature, email and sales material. It’s fantastic to be recognised so it’s important to make sure that people know what your business has achieved.

Increased credibility

An NMT award win or shortlisting can act as a 3rd party endorsement for your business. A win can give a seal of approval to your activities and is a sign of quality for potential parents, so it can form part of your sales pitch. It’s a great way of differentiating your company from other nurseries in your area and will send out positive signals to parents and potential staff members. We know that in the Early Years Sector, attracting good quality staff can be hard. By pitching yourself as ‘award winning’ you can attract the talent you need to push your business forward. Increased employee morale will also help attract and retain new recruits. 


The application process for entering an NMT award can often force you to look at your nursery business from a different perspective and compare yourself to other nurseries. This will help you think about ways you could be doing things better and identify areas for improvement and is one of the ways your business could benefit that could be more valuable than the prize itself.

NMT National Nursery Awards 2021

Entries close on 16th July and there are lots of different categories you can choose from:

  • Nursery Training & Development Award
  • Individual Nursery Award
  • Nursery Indoor Learning Environment Award
  • Nursery Room Leader Award
  • Nursery Team Award
  • Community Nursery of the Year
  • Nursery Manager Award
  • Nursery Business Development Award
  • Nursery Operations/Area Manager Award
  • Nursery Chef Award
  • Nursery Outdoor Learning Environment Award
  • Nursery Childcare Practitioner Award
  • Forest or Beach School / Kindergarten Award
  • Nursery Personality of the Year Award
  • Nursery Group (Under 10 settings) Award
  • Nursery Group (Over 10 settings) Award
  • The SENCo Award
  • Parent Engagement Award
  • Nursery Product Award


  • Entries close: 16/07/2021
  • Finalists announced: 06/09/2021
  • Awards ceremony: 20/11/2021

We are proud category sponsors of the Nursery Business Development Award

What the Judges are looking for… 

A brand new nursery business – launched between January 1st 2020 and now. Or a nursery or nursery group which has expanded significantly since January 1st 2021.

Think about:

  • Why has your launch/expansion been outstanding? 
  • How has it benefited the children?
  • How has it benefited the staff?
  • How has it benefited the surrounding community?

Judges will also want to see your most recent inspection report (if available), photos highlighting the best details of the launch/expansion and 1-5 Testimonials from parents/staff.

If you decide to enter an award, we wish you all the best of luck!

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About the Author

Marketing Lead at Connect Childcare