PPS Awards Focus: The Best Preschool Essentials product category

One of the most important product sectors in the preschool industry, ‘Essentials’ is a particularly competitive category within the Progressive Preschool Awards. PreschoolNews.net speaks to some of the finalists in this year’s Best Preschool Essentials Range shortlist to find out what the awards mean to them and what their plans are for the big night.

Natalie Jackson 2“Beaba is really excited and proud to have been selected for the Essentials category for the PPS Awards, especially given the challenge in judging virtually this year. The PPS Awards have become the accolades to strive for. Despite these unprecedented times, the preschool sector will never stand still and it’s fantastic that the awards continue to give recognition to all the hard work in the industry.

We think the competition has been as strong as ever this year and it is a credit to brands that in times like this, when delivery of innovation could be a challenge, that there are so many fantastic new products. Picking a favourite is always tough, especially when the calibre this year is so high, but we’re sure it will be a very tight verdict and all finalists should be proud of what they have achieved.

We are planning to make an evening of it and will be watching closely, ready to celebrate along with our trusted PR company and friends, Azaria. Well done and good luck to all the finalists!”

Natalie Jackson, vp, Beaba


IMG_6008“It’s a great feeling when an email lands in your inbox saying you’ve been shortlisted for an award, but for us it’s particularly exciting when it comes from Progressive Preschool. Back in 2018 we won the Best Innovation Award for Rockit and it really helped to raise our profile with retailers both in the UK and abroad. Trade awards are more important than ever this year, with all the major tradeshows cancelled it is a fantastic opportunity to get Zed seen by key decision makers within the sector and get recognition from your peers.

It’s an incredibly competitive category this year with all the finalists having the potential to be worthy winners. As a product designer myself I tend to judge products on whether I wished I had designed them. With this in mind, I would probably go with the My Carry Potty Training System. Such a simple and well executed product that meets a real need.

We had such an amazing time at the Awards in 2018 and we intend to do the same this year, albeit virtually. I will be with my co-founder Nick and both of our families, with all of us keeping our fingers crossed. The bubbly will be flowing regardless of the result!”

Matt Dyson, director, Rockit


alex m“After what has been a rather turbulent year (slight understatement), being a finalist in the Progressive Preschool Awards has given myself and the team a huge boost to get us through the rest of 2020. Having the myHummy recognised by this award will help spread the word, meaning more parents will become aware that there are products on the market that can help. This is very important and means a lot to the whole Hippychick family.

We absolutely love all of the products that have been recognised, the judging must have been difficult this year! Hippychick has always been about products that make parents lives easier, and all shortlisted ranges do just that.

The whole team will be watching! The silver lining to this year is all events are virtual, meaning our entire team can be a part of the awards ceremony for the first time. All of our successes and achievements are down to our small team of 13 here at Hippychick HQ, it will be great to celebrate the awards and everyone’s hard work all together. Who knows, Jeremy (Minchin, sales director) may even crack open some prosecco in the office while we watch!”

Alex Molyneux, marketing executive, Hippychick


amanda jenner“We feel overwhelmed and very grateful to be a finalist especially during these strange times. Trade awards we feel as a brand are really important as it is nice to get recognised for what you have achieved in growing a brand and providing a product to help with every day parenting.

It is a very varied category and each finalist offers something parents need; Bibetta’s washable lunch bag and the Zed by Rockit really stand out to us.

We will be watching as a team, all dressed up and bubbles in hand and remembering all the lovely Progressive Preschool Awards we have attended in the past!”

Amanda Jenner, founder, My Carry Potty


“We are thrilled to be nominated in this year’s Essentials category with so many other great products. We know the competition is stiff and it means a lot to be nominated by retailers. Trade awards give ourselves and our partner Rocket Licensing a great opportunity to get in front of retailers and have the potential to open doors to new opportunities which, as a small family-run business, is always welcome.

We’re all about helping families thrive at Bloom and Blossom and every product within the essentials category can certainly help with that ambition. The myHummy Sleep Sensor is a particular favourite of ours. We know the joy of a full night’s sleep with small children (and just how difficult they can be to come by!) so anything that can help gets the thumbs up from us.

We’ll try and get the full team on board virtually with a little glass of something in everyone’s hand to celebrate!”

Colm O’Leary, head of sales and marketing at Bloom and Blossom


sarahBeing one of the finalists is so exciting, it’s our first year of trading so to be a finalist feels incredible!

It’s such a strong group this year! We love Rockit and their innovation, I used Cheeky Rascals stuff for my own daughter and Hippychick’s entry is a fantastic invention too. It’s so hard to choose!

I’ll be watching with my business partners Jamie and Henrietta – with champagne whether we win or not – it’s just lovely to be a finalist!

Sarah Cooper, director, NapNap UK


paul“We are always delighted to be shortlisted for any award.  After a really successful year of consumer awards for us, it tops things off nicely to be a finalist in the Progressive Preschool trade awards.  Our retailers are hugely important to us, and a PPS award is a seal of approval which will reassure retailers that Bibetta is a must-have in their preschool essentials range.

The other finalists are all really worthy of being in this category!  There are some great products out there that help make life as a parent easier.  My personal favourites are My Carry Potty, Zed from Rockit and the Nap Nap Mat.

Fiona and myself will be tuning in from the Bibetta office – we are looking forward to it!

Paul Brown, creative director, Bibetta


This year’s event is completely free to attend and will be taking place as a virtual ceremony on Thursday 12 November, from 6:15pm. It is already shaping up to be the most fun you’ve had from the comfort of your own home this year.

The full list of finalists for Best Preschool Essentials Range is:

myHummy Baby Bear Lucas Sleep Sensor from Hippychick
Nap Nap Mat from Nap Nap UK
Potette Max from Cheeky Rascals
Potty Training System from My Carry Potty
Silicon Feeding and Weaning Range from Beaba
The Very Hungry Caterpillar baby skincare range by Bloom and Blossom from Rocket Licensing
Washable Lunchbag Range from Bibetta
Zed from Rockit

Sponsors of the PPS Awards 2020 include: Amscan, Aykroyd & Sons, Azaria PR, BBC Studios, British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA), CentumBooks, Fundamentally Children and The Good Toy Guide, Harrogate International Nursery Fair, Hippychick, LicensingSource.net, Misirli, Poetic Brands, Rainbow Designs, Redan Publishing, RH Smith & Sons (Smiffys), Toymaster, ViacomCBS, Vista PR, Walker Books.

For sponsorship or any other general enquiries regarding the PPS Awards, please contact Jo Pilcher or Rob Willis at Max Publishing.

Please note: The PPS Awards will be hosted on digital platform Hopin. Attendees will need to register in advance and we will be publishing these simple instructions in the coming weeks.

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