Happy Birthday to Children 1st! We’re 30 Years Young!

At Children 1st we love celebrating the birthdays of our children but now it’s our turn  because the company has reached it’s 30th anniversary and we’re planning a year of activity to mark this milestone.

From Humble Beginnings, How We’ve Grown!

Children 1st Day Nurseries was launched by Margaret Mason OBE and her family with a nursery in Long Eaton, Derbyshire in 1988. Called ‘The Berries,’ the nursery was established to provide Margaret with a setting where she could implement all her ideas about the best early years practice based on her extensive experience in the sector.

From this beginning, the company has grown to have 24 nurseries across the Midlands and South Yorkshire. Children 1st cares for 2,356 children, employs over 600 people and trains its own apprentices at its CACHE accredited training academy in Long Eaton. To date, we have achieved 17 ‘Outstanding’ inspections as rated by Ofsted.

Throughout this time Margaret Mason OBE has been the driving force behind Children 1st and continues to play a very active role in the company. Margaret’s dedication to raising the standards and quality of nursery education in the UK was recognised in 2017, when she received an OBE for services to early years education.

Margaret comments: “When I started Children 1st I never dreamt that we would be where we are today. I have set out to do my best for the children we look after and have instilled this ethos in my amazing staff. It’s the philosophy of putting ‘Children First’ that has led to the company being where we are today. I’m looking forward to our continued growth and the opportunity to provide more and more children with access to outstanding early years education.”

A Year Of Celebration to Mark our 30 Years. 

With the best interests of children and their families at the heart of our ethos, we have decided to celebrate our significant birthday with a year-long programme of activity to support a range of children’s clubs, charities, groups and local initiatives.

We are currently consulting with staff, parents and carers to identify the local organisations that they will fund raise for throughout the year. Their efforts will be supported by the directors and staff at the company’s head office in Long Eaton.

Margaret Mason, Children 1st Founder and Chief Executive adds:

“To celebrate our anniversary we wanted to involve all our settings and their local communities which have shown great support over the last 30 years. It’s our nursery teams, parents, carers and the local community, many of whom have been with us since the start, that have helped to make Children 1st the company it is today. I can’t thank these people enough.”

“We felt it was important to use this significant milestone to help children and their families who are facing difficult times and to do this throughout the year so we have maximum impact.  I am therefore delighted to launch our year of ‘charitable celebrations’ to support local and national good causes with a range of events at our nurseries. We want this to be a fun, action packed year and involve as many people as possible.”

As this year of celebration unfolds we’ll keep you posted on everything that’s happening.










Come along &


We would love to meet you and your child and take you on a tour of your local Children 1st Nursery. Our experienced staff will be delighted to answer any questions you have about enrolling your child in our nurseries.

Our promise to you

We will deliver the highest quality of learning and care to your child