A WINWICK nursery manager was ‘shocked but delighted’ after she was named as a finalist in the national Nursery World Awards 2017. 

Mum-of-two Rachael Richards, who manages The Cheshire Day Nursery @ Winwick, has been shortlisted for the nursery manager of the year award.

“It’s amazing recognition and I am so grateful to nursery owners Brenda Burling and Julie Mannering, my deputy manager Tracey Spiers, and to all of the team for nominating me,” said the Great Sankey resident, whose 18-month-old son Dexter also attends the nursery. 

“I have had some truly lovely messages of support from our parents since the shortlist was announced, and I am excited for the finals in September.” 

The Cheshire Day Nursery Group took over the nursery on Hollins Drive in May 2015. 

The group has since introduced a forest school to the Winwick site.

“Rachael is absolutely deserving of this national recognition because she has embraced the new developments which came along following the change in ownership,” said group director Julie Mannering.

“Under Rachel’s leadership, occupancy figures have doubled – and even though the nursery team has already tripled, we’re still actively looking for more nursery practitioners in response to the demand. 

“Rachel has created a fabulous environment where all our children can flourish.”

The nursery group is also a finalist in the Nursery Group of the Year Award and its Latchford Kindergarten is in the running for the Enabling Environments Award.