A NEWLY opened pre-school could be crowned the best in the country after being shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Gingerbread, in Kirby Cross, has made it to the top five in industry magazine Nursery World’s pre-school of the year competition.

Now youngsters and staff are eagerly awaiting a visit from a member of the judging panel before finding out if they have been crowned champions at a glitzy bash in London in September.

Manager Dawn Peal-Shankar said everyone is thrilled. She said: “It is a very exciting time for us, especially since we only opened last September.

“There was a lot of hard work last summer when we had to set everything up, but now it has paid off.

“All the children love being here and although we are sad to be losing 15 or 16 of them to go to big school at the end of the week, we have some little ones lined up to replace them.”