A PRIVATE child care centre has been nominated for the small business of the year title in The Press Business Awards.

Patchwork, in Sutton on the Forest, is licensed to provide full children’s daycare and an out-of-school club for up to 30 children in the two to 11-year-old age range.

It is run by Laura Foster who took over in February 2020 after buying the business when the previous owners retired.

Nicola Lacy, who nominated Patchwork for the award which is being sponsored by Hethertons Solicitors, said: "Laura's philosophy is that she wants each child to experience what she wants for her own children."

Within weeks of taking the plunge, Laura was forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"This didn't stop her or her team; they took on the task while they were shut for a few weeks to overhaul the whole interior and exterior," said Nicola.

"When the doors reopened the parents and children were overjoyed. The large external area boasted dens, climbing frames, flower beds and veg patch. They also set up football nets for the older school age children as well as a dedicated room for the pre-schoolers to use away from the younger children."

Nicola also credits Laura with creating new jobs - she has already taken on three new nursery workers, and enabled staff to further their learning by enrolling them on courses that will benefit children at Patchwork while also furthering their careers.

As well as looking after the children's wellbeing and learning, the Patchwork team also help in the community, recently doing a litter pick to raise money for the park.

An application has been made to increase the number of children, potentially creating more jobs, and Patchwork now has a waiting list.

The centre has an active Facebook page to keep parents up to date with what children have been doing, with each week dedicated to an area of learning.

Nicola said: "Patchwork caters for all religions, food preferences and intolerances. Each child is an individual and whatever their needs the team will work with the child and parents to make sure everyone is happy.

"They now have five-star reviews across the board, never had to advertise apart from staff. I believe that in just 16 months the team have turned around a good nursery to an outstanding one and deserve recognition for their hard work and dedication."

The Press Business Awards are open to businesses from all sectors and of all sizes in York, North and East Yorkshire. Find more details or enter here