Hills Business of the Year has kids at heart

Business of the Year: Joe and Liz Russo from Gracelands Early Education Centre at the Sydney Hills Local Business Awards. Photo: Geoff Jones

Business of the Year: Joe and Liz Russo from Gracelands Early Education Centre at the Sydney Hills Local Business Awards. Photo: Geoff Jones

Elizabeth Russo from Gracelands Early Education Centre at Kellyville said she treats all the children that attend her centre as if they were her own.

"If it's not good enough for my own children, it's not good enough for others," she said.

It's this philosophy that saw Mrs Russo and her husband Joseph take out the top award at the Sydney Hills Local Business Awards at Castle Hill RSL Club on Wednesday night.

This was after winning the child services category.

"If it's not good enough for my own children, it's not good enough for others" - — Liz Russo

Mrs Russo was also nominated for the Business Person of the Year.

The mother of two, who has been running the centre for the past four years with her husband, said they were "overwhelmed and humbled" by the wins.

"It's not just an award for my husband and I — but for our great team," Mrs Russo said.

"Without them we wouldn't have a successful business."

She said the centre is known as a home away from home.

"It's a warm and nurturing environment for the 27 permanent staff, and the 99 children who attend," she said.

"The team at Gracelands constantly strive to achieve the best treatment for children, and education in this five-year age group is seen as highly important."

Mrs Russo said children are "sponges".

"They are able to soak up all the knowledge that they can get but only if you put them in the right learning environment," she said.

"From this they will develop a hunger and thirst for learning and education.

"These children are our future generations and leaders — every child has the right to quality care."

The award sponsors were The Hills Council and Black Nova Digital, Castle Towers, Westfield North Rocks, Stockland Baulkham Hills, Castle Hill RSL, Sydney Hills Business Chamber and Rouse Hill Town Centre.

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