The Famly Children’s Champion

A brand new award to find and celebrate the very best early years professional in the UK.

Each year we ask you who the most extraordinary champion of our young children is.

From your stories one will be crowned The Famly Children’s Champion each year – and win £5000!

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What is the Famly Children’s Champion Award?

The vital and skilled work that goes into educating and caring for our youngest children isn’t always recognised for what it is.

We think that needs to change.

To recognise the incredible challenges that is thrown at those working in Early Years, we look to celebrate early years professionals who create a nurturing space for every child in their community by asking you to share their stories.

We look for people who embody the joy and wonder of early childhood – someone who every child would be lucky to have as their champion.

We hope this is a chance to share those stories beyond our little bubble, and get a very public conversation going about why early years education is so valuable.

Nominations will be open around the new year each year, where the public can vote for their favourite Champion. Come spring time, the final shortlist will be announced and our expert panel will come together to debate the finalists, before they cast their votes.

The winner will be announced when the final votes are in and one will be crowned the Famly Children’s Champion.

Submit your nominee here!

  • Make sure to fill out your application with as much detail as possible. For tips on how to do it best, have a look below.
  • Once finished, both you and your nominee will receive an email confirming the submission.
  • Want to prepare a bit before you start filling in the questions? Have a look at them here.

The prizes

The Children’s Champion

Cash price of: £5,000.00

  • 1 year of Famly's Nursery Management Software on the Premium Plan for free (worth £2433)
  • 1-year subscription to Early Years TV
  • 2-year subscription to Teach Early Years
  • All Access Training Pass on Childcare & Education Virtual Summit training platform & access to two days seminars at a live event in 2021

The Nine Finalists

  • Goodie bag with Twinkl merchandise
  • 3 month subscription to Early Years TV
  • 1-year subscription to Teach Early Years
  • Two seminars at a live Childcare & Education Expo event, and Gold passes for their training platform.

Note: All nominees (not just those shortlisted) will receive a Free Seminar Pass to Childcare & Education Expo's training platform, plus 50% off seminars at their live events.

The timeline

The panel

Neil Leitch, CEO, Early Years Alliance

Neil Leitch

CEO, Early Years Alliance

Liz Pemberton

Director, The Black Nursery Manager Training & Consultancy

Aaron Bradbury-Coffey

Principal Lecturer & Chair of the LGBTQIA+ Steering Group

Alice Sharp

Owner and Creator of Adventures with Alice EY Training

Rachel Buckler

Co-Founder, Early Years Hub

Dr Stella Louis

Independent EY Consultant & Author, Course Leader – Short Froebel Courses

Dr Sue Allingham

Independent Consultant, Author, Trainer – Early Years Out of the Box

Alison Featherbe

EYFS Trainer & Consultant, Orange Caterpillar

Jan Dubiel

Executive Principal, Harrow Little Lions Kindergartens & Early Years Consultant

Dr Mine Conkbayir

Independent EY Consultant & Author

Top tips

What are the criteria?

‍Our team and then our panel of ten early years industry experts will be looking for someone who:

  • Puts the child first
  • Is a true Early Years Professional
  • Constantly reflects on their practice
  • Looks out for every child
  • Is at the heart of the community
  • Goes the extra mile
  • Inspires others
  • Connects people
  • Understands the bigger picture

We want to be as public as we can about these criteria, so that everyone who send a nomination knows what we’re looking for. We’ll also be anonymising all applications so that the judges can judge on these criteria alone. With that in mind, you can find the full criteria and a description for each by heading over here.

Should I include a video and photos?

Yes please! It’s not compulsory to add any videos or photos, but words can only go so far and we’d love to get a deeper understanding of why your nominee deserves to be Children’s Champion. Make sure you have permission from anyone visible first, though.

What sorts of stories are you looking for?

We know outstanding Early Years practice can take many different forms. However, we’re particularly interested in specific stories relating to work towards the challenges of this year, including the coronavirus pandemic and the continued fight for a more equal society.

We’re looking for someone who goes the extra mile and puts the individual child first. Someone who staff respect and look up to, who parents admire and trust, and who makes a difference to their community. If they inspire you to make a change, tell us why and tell us how.

We’d love to hear about educators who deeply understand their own community and put in the effort to work within its context. Maybe they teach in a way that addresses challenges the community is facing? Or intentionally work with what makes your community special? Whatever it is, we want to hear it.

What makes my application stand out?

Tell us all about why your nominee inspires you. The more detail the better - we want the full picture of why they should be this year’s ‘Children’s Champion’, and why their work makes an impact on the people around them. Give us examples and stories about their work so we get an idea of who they really are and why their work deserves recognition.

Ready to celebrate someone special? Nominate your champion now!