Founders of Busy Bees receive OBE for outstanding contribution to early years childcare

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Busy Bees staff, parents and children are celebrating the news announcement this weekend that two of their founders, Marg Randles and John Woodward, will be receiving an OBE this year for their longstanding service to the childcare sector.

Busy Bees was founded thirty years ago by six teachers who wanted to make a difference in the Early Year’s sector after feeling frustrated with the lack of good quality, flexible care available for their own children. Marg and John, with their respective spouses Pete and Lynn, sold their homes to afford their first nursery.  They lived above the nursery for three years and had the most exciting period building their quality template.

Thirty years on Marg Randles, Busy Bees Managing Director, and John Woodward, Busy Bees CEO, are still at the helm alongside Simon Irons (FD) and Clare Phizacklea (HRD) to ensure, throughout its growth, Busy Bees continues to deliver quality childcare to thousands of families across the country, and since February this year, around the world.

Clare Spottiswoode, former Chair for Busy Bees (2002-2005) said “I had the pleasure of working alongside John and Marg and the other four founders when they were still a family-owned company. I think, apart from their devotion and experience and ability to find good people to join them throughout their growth, it’s their integrity that has been instrumental to their success.  It’s never been about the money.  Their personal achievements have been a bi-product of their absolute commitment to improve outcomes for young children.  They are an incredible team, and I am proud and delighted that they have received the recognition they deserve. I look forward to hearing more about their international expansion as they roll out their exceptional childcare blueprint across the globe.”

Marg and John believe their success over the years has been largely down to the people who they have been fortunate to work with, and provide a service for. Marg Randles said “This award is not, and cannot be, about the achievements of one or two people. The strength of Busy Bees is, and always has been, due to the enthusiasm, commitment and passion of our nursery teams who strive to deliver the highest standards of care with the support of our National Support Centre teams – and, of course, to our parents who have chosen Busy Bees as their childcare partner.

“We are both delighted to accept these awards on behalf of all of the founder Directors, Lynn Woodward, Peter  Randles and Dave and Sally Thackray who made it possible to open the first Busy Bees Nursery in 1984 and to realise our vision to deliver high quality are for our own children and thousands of others over 32 years.”

John Woodward said “We are honoured to have been nominated and accept the award for and on behalf of loyal colleagues past and present, to those who have dedicated their lives to the delivery of high quality care, making a difference to the lives of thousands of families, those who have made Busy Bees an integral part of their lives, and have contributed to the growth and success of Busy Bees.

“The most important thing we do at Busy Bees is to ensure that we have the right people at the heart of the business; people who are passionate about delivering the best care, and assuring the best outcomes for our children. It’s an incredibly inspiring time for us all as we continue to expand overseas and we look forward to the challenges ahead.”

Jo Taylor, Managing Director EMEA, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, London Office also commented “We are delighted that Marg and John have been recognised with this honour. They have both devoted their lives to providing childcare of the highest quality and today’s prestigious award‎ is a well-deserved recognition of their commitment and hard work. We are certain they will continue to push for ever higher standards, helping to ensure that future generations enjoy the best possible care and education. It is a privilege to know them and to be a partner to Busy Bees.”