Staff at a Twyford nursery have had an exciting start to 2019, having received a share of £1.2m.

The money recognises the Cedar Park Day Nursery workers as owners of the award-winning Childbase Partnership, which has 43 early years settings in the south of England,

Celebrating at the Bridge Fam Road nursery, staff broke open a treasure chest piñata filled with chocolate coins.

For room leader Amelia George Ellis, the payment means a trip to Paris for her and her boyfriend. Nursery cook Sally Mockford, who has been with the company for six years, will be spending the money on a cruise holiday.

She said: "Such a lovely surprise - I couldn't be happier. What a great start to the new year."

Cedar Park manager Emma Kemp said the 'dividend day' celebrations were the perfect antidote to post Christmas blues.

She added: "There is a real energy at this time because the dividend payment reminds us all that we are personally invested in giving our children the best possible nursery experience.

"Happy and engaged staff ensures confident children, ready to realise their full potential."

Subject to National Insurance contributions but tax free under HMRC rules for employee-owned companies, the payment follows an average four per cent increase for nursery practitioners in November.

A Sunday Times ‘top workplace’ for more than a decade, Childbase Partnership picked up three top European Business Awards last year when it was described as ‘the gold standard for business excellence.'