Footsteps nursery in Hove has received national recognition for the work they have done to promote active travel. The nursery won the award for Early Years Establishment of the Region 2019 at the Modeshift STARS awards ceremony which took place in London on 14 November.
Modeshift STARS, which is supported by the Department for Transport, is the national school travel awards scheme that has been established to recognise schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting walking, cycling and other forms of sustainable travel for the journey to and from school.
Brighton & Hove City Council nominated the nursery for demonstrating best practice in the promotion of sustainable school travel. The nursery has been participating in the STARS initiative for three years and in that time, the number of parents and carers driving to the nursery has decreased significantly from 43% to 28%. Many of the families have moved over to walking, with a 31% increase in three years.
Footsteps have been highly engaged with Modeshift STARS from the start and were the first early years setting in the country (outside London) to achieve Gold accreditation. Their hard work and dedication to STARS, and their work on leading the way and spreading the word about STARS, has inspired other early years’ settings.
Over 90 children attend the nursery and each summer around a third of the children leave to move onto school, and a new group of children then start. The nursery manager and owner work hard to introduce new families to the nursery’s ethos of active and sustainable travel from the start of their life at Footsteps.
Hannah Moss, owner of Footsteps, said: “Everyone at Footsteps is delighted that our work towards promoting active, safe, sustainable travel is being recognised at a national level. The staff, parents & children have worked so hard and it is great that this is being rewarded. We really believe that active travel is a great way to reduce pollution and congestion and that it encourages our children to be more active.”
Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, Councillor Gill Mitchell, said: “I am delighted that Footsteps nursery has received recognition for their work promoting sustainable school travel.
“The nursery has worked really hard to encourage active travel which has resulted in a significant increase in the number of families walking instead of driving to the nursery. Through their work, they have also inspired other early year’s settings across the city to take part.
“We know that walking and cycling to school makes children happier and healthier. It also helps improve air quality in the city by taking cars off the roads and reducing congestion. I hope that many other nurseries and schools are inspired to sign up to the Modeshift STARS scheme.”