A NURSERY manager has won a prestigious award, making him manager of the year.

After 190 applications and 6,500 votes cast, Tobie Keel, manager of First Friends Day Nursery in Barford St Martin, received the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA)’s manager of the year award last Friday, thanks to praise and nominations from parents and staff.

The accolade was awarded by broadcaster Katie Thistleton during the ceremony held at the Chesford Grange hotel in Warwickshire, and Tobie feels "it still hasn't sunk in,".

He added: “I would like to say thank you to our parents, children and staff team for their kind words and support.

"I am grateful to Louise Hayes, the owner of First Friends and Jane Andrews the area manager for their guidance, trust and opportunities they have given me. I hope that in the future we see more men in childcare.”

NDNA chief executive, Purnima Tanuku OBE, added: “A huge well done to First Friends Day Nursery. This is a fantastic achievement for them.

"They should be extremely proud of their amazing and hard work in the early years sector and all that they do supporting young children."