Footsteps Day Nursery in Portslade has lived up to its name, winning special status for cutting the number of children travelling to nursery by car.
The nursery on Old Shoreham Road has been awarded Modeshift STARS ‘Early Years School of the Region’, for its efforts to encourage pupils to walk, cycle or use other active and sustainable means of travel.
In the year to last May, the proportion of trips to Footsteps made by car dropped from 21 per cent to nine per cent. There was a four per cent increase in walking, a five per cent increase in scooting and a 10 per cent increase in ‘Park & Stride’ – a mix of driving and walking.
The honour was announced recently at the Modeshift STARS south-east regional awards event at The Camden Centre in London.
My First Friends and Footsteps Hove nurseries in Brighton & Hove were also nominated to attend. Footsteps Portslade will now go forward to the national awards, announced next March.
Initiatives which helped the nursery win the award included storage for bikes, scooters, and buggies and a parent shelter for cosier drop-offs and pick-ups. Promoting ‘Park & Stride’ and a ‘5-Minute Walking Zone’ help keep any cars further from the nursery. Staff car-free days encourage them to try sustainable travel.
Children earned stars on a chart for walking to nursery, and the things they saw on the way were discussed in lessons.
Supported by the Department for Transport, almost 1,000 schools and early year settings nationwide have achieved Modeshift STARS accreditation. All three Footsteps Day Nurseries in Brighton & Hove have achieved their Silver STARS, and are working towards Gold accreditation.
Hannah Moss, co-owner of Footsteps Day Nurseries says: “Everyone at the Footsteps Nurseries is proud of our achievements in promoting active and sustainable travel. We are delighted that all the hard work has been recognised at the Modeshift STARS Regional awards.”
Nick Butler, Modeshift’s National Awards Manager says: “The regional awards are a great opportunity to recognise schools and early years settings for their commitment to promoting active and sustainable travel. It’s fantastic to see the varied range of new and creative ways that schools and early years settings adopt to embed a culture of active travel within their communities.”
Chair of the council’s environment committee Cllr Gill Mitchell said: “Sustainable travel is a great life-long lesson for children.”