- December 6, 2017
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 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 number of trips to Footsteps fell from 21% to just 9%. There was a 4% increase in walking, a 5% increase in scooting and a 10% increase in ‘Park & Stride’ – a mix of driving and walking.
The honour was announced at the Modeshift STARS south-east regional awards event in London. Footsteps Portslade will now go forward to the national awards, announced in spring next year.
Initiatives that helped the nursery to win the award included storage for bikes, scooters, and buggies, as well as a parent shelter for cosier drop-offs and pick-ups. Promoting the ‘Park & Stride’ and a ‘5-Minute Walking Zone’ helps to keep cars further from the nursery. Staff car-free days encourage them to try sustainable travel.
The children who walked to nursery earned stars for doing so, and they would discuss things they saw on the journey in lessons.
Supported by the Department for Transport, almost 1,000 schools and early year settings from across the country have achieved Modeshift STARS accreditation. All three Footsteps Day Nurseries in the city have achieved their Silver STARS, and are working towards Gold accreditation.
Co-owner of Footsteps Day Nurseries, Hannah Moss said: “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.”
Cllr Gill Mitchell, Chair of the council’s environment committee said: “Sustainable travel is a great life-long lesson for children.”
By Clare Calder