Family day care educators Mark and Michelle Tregillgas from Winmalee have been recognised as among Australia's finest early childhood educators.
The couple, from Moochy Family Day Care in Winmalee, have been announced as the Blue Mountains and Central West regional winners in the 2019 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards.
The duo are registered with Blue Mountains Family Day Care run by Blue Mountains council.
The service prides itself on delivering childcare that is relationship-focused, giving children a warm and nurturing environment to grow and develop their learning and social skills.
The couple, who emphasise the importance of outdoor play in their service, said: "We are fortunate to live within easy access to a world heritage area where we can expose the children to activities that challenge and excite them.
"We help them to feel the freedom to explore, climb and run, all the while learning and understanding their limits. We are able to learn together about our first Australians and care for our local environment.
"We aim to provide a caring, trusting and non-competitive environment in which the children can grow as individuals and friends."
Family Day Care Australia CEO Andrew Paterson said this year there was a record number of award nominations - more than 5000.
"To be chosen as regional winners is not only a reward for Mark and Michelle's dedication to providing quality early childhood education and care, it also underscores the relationship that Mark and Michelle have with the children in their care," said Mr Paterson.
The couple are now in the running to be named as national finalists for the national Family Day Care Educator of the Year Award.
National finalists will be announced on October 14, with the National Educator of the Year to be announced on November 23.