Busy Bees, the UK’s leading provider of childcare, joined recipients of the prestigious Queen’s Awards at a special royal reception at Buckingham Palace where they were congratulated by Prince Charles.
Busy Bees received the Queen’s award for Enterprise: Promoting Opportunity in April this year and is the only early years provider to receive the accolade. Karen Mackay, Head of External Affairs at Busy Bees and Fay Gibbin, CEO of BB Training Academy, met Prince Charles at the reception to receive congratulations for its Queen’s award win.
The first Busy Bees nursery was opened in Lichfield in 1984 by six teachers who wanted to make a difference in the early years sector after feeling frustrated with the lack of good quality, flexible care available for their own children.
It now cares for 50,000 children across nearly 500 settings in the UK, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, China and Australia.
To maintain the quality of its staff amid such growth, Busy Bees’ sister company BB Training Academy delivers management qualifications, apprenticeships and short courses to the nurseries, as well as external settings. BB Training Academy, which is rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, has worked with Busy Bees to provide accessible routes to employment and career progression, upskilling 3,765 members of staff to date.
“We were honoured to be personally congratulated by Prince Charles, and we were delighted that he took the time to individually greet each award winner. Fay and I both thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet other British businesses excelling in their field. My favourite part of the evening was when Prince Charles said to me ‘I don’t know how you look after 50,000 children; I only just manage to cope looking after three grandchildren’.”