A RETIRED nursery director has received an MBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Sylvia Tiffney, who lives in Appleton-le-Moors, was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List earlier this year in recognition of her lifetime achievements through her career and voluntary work in supporting children in their early years.

Sylvia said: “I have had the privilege to work with many early childhood educators over the past 40 years.

“I would like to accept this honour on behalf of them and the thousands of children and families I have had the pleasure of knowing and being with in that time.

“This is such important work and I hope this honour goes a small way to raising the profile and the status of working with young children.”

Starting her career in early years education by running a committee-led nursery in a Grimsby Church Hall in the 1970s, Sylvia offered support to Lincolnshire families and developed the area’s first working place nursery in 1987.

In 2000, she opened the Children’s House Nursery in Stallingborough, near Grimsby, alongside her twin sister Theresa Ellerby.

The sisters developed the nursery from an initial £5,000 personal investment to a business which now employs 35 people and provides care for 120 children a year.

Acknowledged with an “outstanding” Ofsted at every inspection, Sylvia has led the quality of early years education provided at the nursery.

Her co-leadership of the nursery and the work of the nursery team has gained several local and national awards.

Eventually developing 10 nurseries across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, she was recognised by the National Day Nurseries Association in 2005 as a local champion.

The MBE honour particularly recognises the voluntary work she has undertaken with the charity National Day Nurseries Association since the 1990s.

Supporting the local authority to leverage £1 million for the development of more than 600 new childcare places across the borough, Sylvia has challenged decisions on early years funding and championed children’s rights.

Sylvia added: “The ceremony was wonderful - truly a real honour and made even more special to be presented with an MBE by Her Majesty The Queen.

“I am so pleased to have shared the day with family members.”