£3,000 tax-free bonus for Aylesbury nursery staff to help meet soaring bills

Ensuring the security and wellbeing of staff ‘is quite simply, the right thing to do’, says CEO of employee-owed childcare provider
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Employees at three day nurseries in Aylesbury are getting a financial boost with a tax-free bonus of up to £3,000.

Grasshoppers in Wendover Road, Willows in Mandeville Road and Berryfields in Nimrod Street, which is due to open in January 2023, all belong to the employee-owned company Childbase Partnership – a UK Best Workplace Award winner for 13 years – which has 44 nurseries across the south east and Midlands.

Full-time staff contributing to the company’s success during the last financial year will get six tax-free monthly payments of up to £500 each (up to a maximum of £3,000 from December to May 2023), with pro-rata payments for others.

Christine Wollas, Ellie Reid and Jessica Price from Grasshoppers Day NurseryChristine Wollas, Ellie Reid and Jessica Price from Grasshoppers Day Nursery
Christine Wollas, Ellie Reid and Jessica Price from Grasshoppers Day Nursery

The support has been extended to new nursery recruits on contracted hours who will also get additional money – up to a maximum of £100 a month based on hours worked – until May 2023, to help them meet soaring cost of living bills.

This is alongside a new pay rise, access to discounted shopping, two meals a day in nursery during the winter months and company-sponsored training and mentoring to help staff gain new qualifications and associated pay rises.

Kimberley Hartwell, quality manager at Willows Day Nursery on the Stoke Mandeville Hospital site, said the extra help could not have come at a better time as she is getting married next year and currently house hunting.

She said: “We really are partners in this company. This is amazing becomes it comes on the back of a lot of support and events like our summer festival and the little things like fresh fruit and breakfasts in the staff room that make all the difference.”

Kairit Jalast, who works with pre-schoolers at Willows Day Nursery and is mum to a three-year-old herself, said: “It really is brilliant news and getting the bonus in monthly instalments and a month early really helps with costs going up so fast.”

Christine Wollas, who works with pre-schoolers at the Ofsted Outstanding-rated Grasshoppers Day Nursery in Wendover Road, has an adult son with special needs:

She said: “I can now afford some extras for him at Christmas, but really the support goes much further than this. It’s not like working for a company – we really do feel like family here.”

Grasshoppers apprentice Ellie Reid said: “I really didn't expect it because the pay is great. I am saving for my car and driving lessons, but this means I can help my parents too."

The new pay rises – which include a 10 per cent increase in the starting rates for Qualified Level 3 practitioners - follow a record tax-free, profit-sharing ‘Partnership Dividend’ payment of £1,500 for qualifying full timers in January 2022.

Childbase Partnership CEO Emma Rooney said: “Every employee is a partner in our business, and we stand together during tough times.

"Ensuring the security and wellbeing of colleagues is not only vital to our mission to achieve the best possible outcomes for every child in our care. It is also, quite simply, the right thing to do.”

Get the detail on: https://childbasecareers.com