Monthly Archives: September 2018

We Won!!!!

NWAwards18We were shocked and delighted to be announced as national winners of Nursery Group of the Year category at the Nursery World Awards 2018 held at the prestigious Brewery in London. We have subsequently received so many messages of congratulations.

The judges commented on Paint Pot’s commitment to children, families, our team and our community. We believe the award is recognition of the dedication and hard work of the men and women who make Paint Pots what it is through their efforts, caring for and teaching the children we have the privilege of sharing our lives with on a daily basis in our nurseries, preschools and out-of-school clubs. They regularly go the extra mile. We know that every single one of them wants to make a difference in the lives of the children. Our personal thanks goes to all of them. We are just a tiny bit proud to be national Nursery Group of the Year. It was an honour to receive the award on behalf of Paint Pots.

I was reflecting on the glory and glamour of this Saturday night event, on the following Monday morning as I dismantled a blocked sink, followed by an equally blocked (but rather more unpleasantly so) toilet at one of our nurseries. But this wasn’t any old blocked toilet – it belongs to the 2018 Nursery Group of the Year. What a privilege to unblock it!!!   :0)

Preannouncement of my Book


Anyone that knows me well soon gets to hear about my personal journey as a man working in Early Years. It is an issue that I am passionate about and which has lead me to many places. I have had the opportunity and privilege of working with colleagues from across the World, meeting some inspiring men (and women) who share my determination that we need to do something about the very poor representation of men in the Early Years workforce. I have chaired a task group for the government which produced a report for the Minister. I have spoken at conferences across the World. I have been interviewed on television, radio and the internet and I have collaborated with researchers. Locally I have helped to establish Southampton Area Men in Early Years (SAMEY) and to organise the first ever UK national Men in Early Years conference in Southampton in 2016. In that same year, I was approached by Jessica Kingsley Publishing to consider writing a book about my experiences. I was delighted to receive an offer of collaboration with the well respected expert and academic (something I am definitely not!), Dr Simon Brownhill. Simon and I have been typing away, interviewing, researching and editing, for the past 18 months. We have commissioned photos, discussed typefaces, title wording and cover layout.

We are delighted that our book will finally be released in November 2018. We do hope it will be a useful resource and help to change the culture around men and women working together for the benefit of our youngest children. I will be very happy to sign a copy.

As I write, Paint Pots currently employs 6 men – maybe I need to read my book! :0)