A DEDICATED manager of nurseries in Dudley and Stourbridge has been named 'employee of the year' by the Black Country Chamber of Commerce.

Kellie Simcox has helped hundreds of children in her role as the area manager of YMCA Day Nurseries which has nine settings - including St James's Road Nursery in Dudley and Hayes Lane Nursery in Stourbridge. 

She beat off the challenge of some of the region’s most talented individuals to win the main prize and be named Employee of the Year in front of 500 people at a ceremony at Dunstall Racecourse in Wolverhampton.

Having dedicated the last 12 years of her life to helping children in their development journey, she impressed judges with her unwavering commitment to the success and wellbeing of her team, as well as achieving a host of operational successes in the last twelve months.

These include recruiting new staff, launching the organisation’s Apprenticeship Academy and helping get the latest nursery, on St James’ Road in Dudley, up and running.

Kellie’s work in developing the bespoke YMCA Early Years curriculum was also praised and highlighted as a key factor in helping those in disadvantaged communities to progress developmentally, outperforming many of their more affluent peers.

Steve Bavington, Chief Executive of YMCA Black Country Group, said: “I can’t think of a more worthy recipient for the Employee of the Year Award than Kellie – she is more than just a manager; she is a guiding light for her colleagues and the entire early years team.

“She always just says she is doing her job, but it’s so much more than that. Her determination to give children the best possible start in life has made a positive difference to hundreds of young lives in the Black Country and that number is only going to increase as we widen our network of nurseries.”