Our ToyBox Early Years manager Gemma Turner has made it into the top 10 Finalists for The 2021 Famly’s Children’s Champion of the year 

“Early years is where my heart is. My mission will always be to create a wrap-around service that supports the family as a whole and recognises the importance of early years. I feel very proud even to make it to the top ten!”

Gemma’s innovative ideas of pedagogy, philosophy, trauma-informed practice and child development speak from the heart and have been rightfully recognised. She has a way of understanding behaviour as communication, and not seeing it as unwanted. She has supported children with a range of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, treating every child individually. She is continuously looking for ways to support the community, and she is well known for linking ToyBox with women experiencing displacement/ adversities such as women seeking refuge. Gemma has adapted the nursery setting to allow childcare to be attainable to all women. 

During the pandemic, Gemma completely changed the way the nursery ran by transforming it into a family service hub. This included services such as helplines, consultation, parent support, safeguarding, applying for funding for those families that needed it and securing electronic devices for all children.   

Gemma was nominated by colleague and valued team member, Clare: 

“Gemma is incredible. During the pandemic, she has sustained true leadership, turning our nursery into a hybrid centre that offers true wrap-around care. She has created a trauma-informed feminist nursery that is a hub for the community, with women and children at the centre of everything we do.”

The winner will be picked by a panel of expert judges and announced at the Nursery World Show at the end of April. We will be keeping our fingers crossed for Gemma!