Honours Recognition for Margaret Mason - Children 1st Day Nurseries

Honours Recognition for Margaret Mason

There’s a great buzz of excitement around Children 1st as everyone is delighted with the news that Margaret’s lifelong work to improve the quality of early years care and education across the UK has been acknowledged with an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Margaret Mason

The announcement of Margaret’s honour for her services to education in a career spanning over 60 years, is being celebrated across our nurseries. Children from Clowne were quick to send our founder and executive chair their greetings and the message from the staff summed up the feelings of everyone in the company.

“Here at Clowne, we would like to express how super proud we are of Margaret for receiving her OBE! We are so grateful for everything Margaret does for us and the ethos Margaret has embedded into our practice to ensure we are the best we can possibly be. We couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of this award!”

Maragret Mason congratulations

Throughout the company and across the nursery industry Margaret has a strong reputation as an inspirational leader and as an exceptional ambassador for high quality, visionary early years practice and the OBE award is a testament to the high esteem in which she is held.

On hearing the news Margaret said, “I’m thrilled to receive this award. It came as a shock as my colleagues had done a such a great job of keeping the award nomination a secret! Little did I realise when I started my career as a nursery nurse in Stoke back in the 1950s that I would one day receive such a prestigious honour!”

Quite an achievement for a woman who left school aged 15 with no formal qualifications! Margaret is an exceptional role model and endears herself to her staff at the company’s annual conferences by talking openly about her own career progression, describing her humble start in childcare, where she was awarded a special certificate for her excellence at changing nappies!

After this hands-on start in Stoke, Margaret moved on to hold positions of increasing responsibility in Scotland, where she was involved with the Scottish Pre-School Alliance, and Lincolnshire, including working in advisory positions for local authorities and social services.

Margaret’s determination and a strong conviction about ensuring that early years’ children benefit from the best possible provision became embedded in all her actions. This belief in quality, her mantra about being ‘the best one can be’ led to the opening of her first nursery in Long Eaton in 1988 and has been the foundation of her life’s work to the benefit of the quality of nursery education across the UK today.

Of course, Children 1st is a family company and Margaret is keen to acknowledge the support given by her family.

“Whilst it is my name on the award, I’d like to pay tribute to my close family and colleagues who have been by my side throughout my career. Children 1st is a family business and what we have achieved together in raising the quality of provision for young children and their families is testament to the family ethos of the company”

Now there’ll be more celebrations happening around Children 1st nurseries and we’re all looking forward to seeing what Margaret wears for her visit to the palace later this year!

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