The Bolton News Education Awards are back for 2023. 

Our awards celebrate the best in Bolton’s schools, from students to teachers to entire schools. 

Our winner for Early Years Provider of the Year, sponsored by The Bolton News, is The Nest Nursery, Heaton.

Providing education for youngsters with additional learning needs, the nursery is based at Canterburys Nurseries in Heaton. 

One nomination said: "We can’t thank you Sophie enough for all of the hard work she and the team have put in to get us where we are in such a short space of time. We came to the Nest feeling very lost and unsupported.

"You have instilled faith in us that our little boy will receive the highest level of support but will also be loved at the same time.

"Our little boy has a much brighter future ahead of him thank to you all and we will never really be able to thank you all for that. Thank you for being so supportive on this difficult journey."

Sophie Hutton, founder of The Nest, said: "It feels amazing, this is only a little part of our team, we do have more team members, but I'm just so incredibly proud of them. 

"I started this journey with Sam and with one of our other members of staff, and we have collected a lot of other amazing staff along the way.

"But to see that they see my vision and they care and they love our children with literally every last bit of them, to be recognised like this is really, really amazing. 

"We have been The Nest for four years, and last year we became our own independent nursery separate from our mainstream nursery." 

She added: "We started with probably a little group of children of eight, and now we've grown to about 12 children a day and 19 on roll, but that just keeps growing. 

"We get so many families that come to us after really challenging times in other settings, where maybe they're not best able to meet their needs, and we scoop them up into our little family. 

"We started out because we had lots of children in our mainstream nursery that, no matter how much support we put in place, no matter how much therapy, no matter how many interventions, the environment was just wrong, it was too big and too busy. 

"To be recognised in that way as an early years setting is incredible, because we work so hard. More than me doing any of this, it is my staff team, because it is them that work hard day in, day out, all the time with our children."

Congratulations also go to Queensbridge Primary School Nursery, who were highly commended for this category.