Sheffield nursery leader scoops top spot!

Karen Simpkin, founder of Sunflower Children's Centre in Sheffield was delighted to accept the award in her role as Chair of the Sheffield Network for the Most Outstanding Network in the highly acclaimed NDNA Awards last week. These industry awards recognise the best of the best among the membership which spans across the whole of the UK.

As one of the leading figures in the sector, with forthright conviction and determination, Karen was appointed Chair of the Sheffield Network of the NDNA in 2016. Since then she has lobbied on behalf of all nurseries with local and central government, been quoted in the Financial Times, and seen big changes in funding as a result which has benefited Sunflower and many other nurseries in the country. Her clear focus on improving both standards within the industry and support for nurseries from local authorities was one of the key reasons for winning this 2019 award.

Karen comments, "I am over the moon with this award as it recognises all our hard work as a Network. There is a lot more to come, so we can't sit back on our laurels just yet!"

This NDNA award follows an exceptional record of winning awards and accreditations for the Nursery; Sunflower are one of the highest achieving nursery settings in Sheffield boasting Quality Counts, Maths Champion, Literacy Champion, Healthy Early Years Gold Award and working towards Millie's Mark.


With summer holidays just a memory, I would like to say.
Welcome to Autumn at Sunflower Children's Centre.

There are a lot of changes in nursery at the moment. With last terms oldest children at school and all the children growing up fast, many of the children are getting to know new rooms, teachers and friends.

I am pleased to say that the children are enjoying these changes and settling well.


Recycling – October

We have booked the next Skycycle collection for the 9th October. So if you are having a clean out, please use the attached bag provided and bring it in to use on the above date. (Please do not bring bags before this date as we have nowhere to store them.)

Half Term - October

Children who are receiving Government Funding

There is NO FUNDING from

Monday 29th October until Friday 2nd November

(See you w/c 5th November)

Term Time Children

The half term holidays are as above.

If you need to have your child in Nursery during these dates, please contact Hayley/Sam/office and we will do what we can to help.

(Ask the office for a tariff if your child gets funding)

Holiday Club

We are open to Holiday Club children from Monday 29th October to Friday 2nd November.


Morrisons Lets Grow Vouchers

We are collecting these vouchers again. Morrisons vouchers are being handed out between now and 28th October,

Nestle Box Tops for Books vouchers

We are signed up to this scheme so if anyone has any tokens from the tops of your cereal packets can you please drop them into the Nestle Box Tops box in the Reception area as we would love to replace some of our books which have seen better days.

Wish em Well

We raised a total of £54.95 from our by pyjama day fundraiser in July for Emily.

Toddle Waddle & Fun Day

We were lucky to have a dry day in for our Toddle Waddle and Fun Day in September.

The full amount has not yet been received but we have raised in excess of £500.00!!!!

Well done to everyone!

Many thanks to the providers of our raffle prizes who included The Relaxation Den, Townend Florist, Viva Tequila, Franky and Benny’s, Rapid Tan and Tone, Rejuvenation, The Sherwood Pub, Beauty Works, Temple Spa, Runaround Play Centre, Paradise Island Golf, Kidz Kingdom, Body Shop, Avon and Kippy’s,

Well done to all our Raffle Winners – full list of winners available on request.

New Fencing

You may have noticed some new fencing going up in the past week outside. This is due to the mindless vandalism of our front windows being broken.


We are still in the process of improving the outdoor flooring of our rear playground. Unfortunately, the safety surface we are putting down needs a period of dry weather to set correctly and we have found this has not been the year for dry periods of weather!!! We are however going to be laying the hard core down very soon in readiness.

Have you seen our bug house?

We have had some visits from the Wildlife Trust. They, together with the help of some of our children, have made the bug house which is in our front garden area. We are hoping to turn the area into a Sensory Garden with plants that smell great as you walk past them and some herbs that we could use in our cooking.

Parents Book Loan

Did you know that we offer a free book loan to parents so that you can read to your child? Ask in the office for more details.


Start times

Full day sessions do not start until 7:45am.

Grant sessions times start at 8:30, 11:00, or 1:30pm.

Please do not leave your child before these times without prior arrangement with the management as it affects our Child:Adult ratios.

Spare Clothes

Now that the weather is even more unpredictable than usual with cold, warm, wet or dry weather becoming the norm, can you please ensure that your child has a spare set of labelled clothes so that should your child become wet we can get them into some dry clothes as soon as possible.

Also.. as your child grows out of clothes, the nursery is always on the look out for spares as a lot of spares get taken home but don’t seem to be returned to us for future use.

Update contact details

Don't forget to let us know if you or any of your emergency contact peoples details change, addresses, home and work numbers or mobile numbers so our records are kept up to date in case of emergency.

The following is a quote from the publication, Nursery World:-

'The quality of the nursery that children attend still makes a difference to how well they do at school at the age of 14, research shows'

it goes on to say:-

'The researchers found that pre-school quality and effectiveness continued to predict students' academic achievement in Year 9 (age 13/14), even after background characteristics were taken into account'

Basically this boils down to the better the quality of pre-school childcare, the more likely your child is to be a success in subjects at school.

Did you know that in our last Ofsted Inspection (2010) we gained an overall GOOD and 3 OUTSTANDINGS?

When you compare that with the Ofsted results of nearby nurseries (private and state run) it is clear that our result was a VERY good one and the BEST IN THE AREA. We gained GOOD comments for our practice and our centre. (If you would like to look at the OFSTED report there is a copy in the Reception Area or you could go on the OFSTED website).

In our last Food Hygiene inspection we were awarded 5/5, a great achievement for our staff.

And not forgetting that we also achieved the Healthy Early Years Award and the Charter for Quality. These awards are displayed in Reception on the Information Board and all action plans taken from these are on the board opposite Sunflower Room.