A TEAM of childcare professionals have been crowned the best in the UK.

The Northumberland Early Years Professionals Network scooped the team development award at the recent national Nursery World award.

The network is led by Northumberland County Council’s early years team in partnership with Northumbria University’s department of social work, education and community wellbeing.

The awards celebrate best practice in early years education and childcare across the UK, with the team development award recognising those who have built a high quality staff team through recruitment and retention, training and career development.

The network was established two years ago and has supported partnership working and staff recruitment, especially promoting men in early years and childcare.

Team member Theresa Iley said: “The annual Nursery World Awards are one of the most prestigious events in the early years sector.

“To be rewarded and recognised nationally for the dedication and commitment to improve quality and best outcomes for young children in Northumberland is such an immense honour and privilege.”

Coun. Wayne Daley, cabinet member for children’s services at Northumberland County Council, added: “This is an absolutely fantastic result for a brilliant team, and a fitting endorsement of the excellent work that they are doing to improve early years provision here in Northumberland.

“The team provides excellent support to early years practitioners through training and development of best practice which all contributes to the high quality of services across our county.”

The team were presented the award by Jen Pringle, a presenter of Channel 5’s children’s television programming show Milkshake.