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The prestigious What’s On 4 Little Ones Awards 2008 are being launched next week, with celebrity judge Alice Beer on board.

The award programme, which is sponsored by pioneering children’s food company Organix, is now in its second year.

The awards aim to celebrate the best pre-school activities across the UK, as voted for by parents.

And this year, the awards are bigger than ever, covering 20 different categories ranging from Best Antenatal Class to Best Messy Play Class!

The awards are divided into three categories: national, for activities that are available in more than one area of the UK; local, for activities that are based in one area of the UK, and special awards.

The special awards are for the Best New Activity, the Best Innovation, the Best Baby Development Activity, the Best Toddler Activity and the Most Outstanding Volunteer.

The 2008 awards also see the introduction of the Organix Make A Difference Food Award, which will go to any class or activity that has made a difference by introducing healthy food choices.

From August 1 to October 31, parents can log onto the on-line directory - www.whatson4littleones.co.uk - to nominate their favourite local pre-school classes and activities.

Online voting for the national awards will then run from November 1 to February 29 2008.

Broadcaster, author and mother-of-two Alice Beer will be on the judging panel that picks the local and special awards. The panel also votes on the national awards nominees.

The winners of the awards will be announced in March 2008.

Every pre-school activity in the UK has the chance to be nominated and voted for, making the awards a true representation of how parents feel towards what is on offer for their little ones.

Last year’s awards saw more than 1,400 votes cast and fifteen winners, from across the UK.

What’s On 4 Little Ones co-founder Sam Willoughby said: "I'm so excited about our 2008 Awards!

“I can't wait to receive the nominations as it's a privilege to read how the groups help parents - sometimes it brings a tear to my eye!”

Sam, who was recently short-listed for the mother@work awards for inspirational working mums, added: “I also know how much the teachers and organisers value being nominated, they put a lot of heart and soul into their activities so it's such a great way for us all to say thank you.”

Ian Sharland, director of Baby Sensory, said: “It is great that What’s On 4 Little Ones have established these awards.

“There are so many exciting and innovative activities for babies and young children, many of which gives families the opportunity to have fun together.

“The awards will give high profile publicity to the nominated activities and will help to raise standards as we all strive to produce award winning activities for parents and young children.”

Sasha Felix, co-founder of Sign and Sign, the UK’s leading baby signing programme, which won a Gold Award last year, said: “It's great to see What's on 4 Little Ones going from strength to strength!

“What's on 4 Little Ones is a quality website for parents and we were thrilled to be win our award this year. We are looking forward to the results of the 2008 awards too!”

The full list of available awards is:

NATIONAL AWARDS

Best Swimming Class
Best Baby Signing Class
Best Messy Play Class
Best Music Class
Best Performing Arts Class (such as dance, singing or drama)
Best Football Class
Best Physical Activity Class (such as gymnastics and other sports)
Best Language Class

LOCAL AWARDS

Best Local Activity
Best Pottery/Painting Studio/Mobile
Best Soft Play Centre
Outstanding Baby and Toddler Group: The winners will receive a £100 donation and an Organix hamper of goodies.
Best Antenatal Class or Course
Best Day Out

SPECIAL AWARDS

Best New Activity: This award is for any activity that has been running less than 2 years.
Best Innovation: The award is for any activity that has shown innovation in what they do or how they do it!
Best Baby Development Activity: This award is for any activity that has excelled in baby development.
Best Toddler Development Activity: This award is for any activity that has excelled in toddler development.
Most Outstanding Volunteer: We know that a lot of activities are run by volunteers and we want to recognise one volunteer that is particularly outstanding!
Organix ‘Make a Difference’ Food Award: How has your class or activity made a difference by introducing healthy food choices? Tell us what you have done and you could win this award and an Organix Goodies Hamper! This award is open to any activity or group that includes snacks or refreshments for the children.

Editors Notes:

1. What’s On 4 Little Ones is a website that was set up in March 2006 to provide comprehensive and up to date details of classes and activities for babies and children under 5. What’s On 4 Little Ones receives 15,000 visitors a month and lists 7,000 activities for children – with more being added on a daily basis.

See www.whatson4littleones.co.uk

2. Organix is a 15-year-old pioneering children’s food company making organic foods for babies and young children. The company is based in Christchurch, Dorset. Company founder Lizzie Vann was one of the team that initiated the pioneering Food for Life School Meals programme for primary schools.

Organix was created to campaign for better quality children’s foods and exists to ensure that healthy eating for children is made as simple as it can be to offer parents a range of healthy children's foods as an alternative to the conventional foods on offer.

We believe that children need safe, nutritious and wholesome foods. What they eat affects not only their daily well-being but also their long-term growth and development. Organic children’s foods give children a better start in life, developing healthy bodies and avoiding diet related problems including heart disease, obesity and anaemia.

We hope to provide a good example to other children’s food companies by emphasising the benefits of healthy eating for children. We do this by setting the highest standards in nutrition, food quality, honest labelling and responsible promotions.

For more information go to www.organix.com

3. The winners can use the WO4LO awards logo on their website and other marketing material and they will each received an awards certificate.

-ENDS-

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