Manager / Leader
Over 20 years at Sandcastle Playgroup,
Mother, Step Mother and Grandparent to 4 beautiful children
2:1 BA (Hons) Degree in Children’s Care, Learning and Development 2012
Disability Discrimination Workshop – Haverhill 2003
Introduction to Autistic Spectrum Disorders – Haverhill 2004
Introduction to Autistic Behaviour and Management Intervention–Haverhill 2004
Allergy Awareness (Childcare Environment) – Haverhill 2005
Certificate in Food Hygiene –2009, 2012, 2015
Epi-Pen Training – Haverhill 2005
Training in Child Protection Awareness – Haverhill 2002 & 2006
Modules 5 and 9 SENCO – Haverhill 2006
Makaton Training – Haverhill 2006
1st Aid Training – Feb 2009 & Paediatric 1st Aid – January 2012
P.E.A.L. Training – Haverhill Oct 09
CRB Check – 2003
Safeguarding Children-2010, 2013
Makaton 1 & 2 – January 2011 & Makaton 3 & 4 – February 2012
Letters and Sounds – January 2011
ICan Training – March 2012
Revised EYFS – August 2012
PTTLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) 2013
I was born in 1958 and as long as I can remember I have had a passion to support and care for children. As a very young girl, I was paid as a mothers help and most of my spare time was taken up with either baby sitting or caring for younger children in Thaxted, where I then lived.
I left Dunmow School in 1974 and followed a career in office work until my first daughter Nicola was born in 1984.
In 1988 I gave birth to my second daughter, Michelle who attended Sandcastles from the age of 3. During her time here, I was often drafted in to help or just ‘stayed and played’. Children were drawn to me and I thoroughly enjoyed their company. So when I was asked to join the Sandcastle Staff team in 1993, I readily agreed.
Of course, back then, many things were very different. No Ofsted inspections, 2 hour sessions which parents paid for, biscuits and squash for snack. We were more like a ‘mum’s army’ set up to give other mums a break!
I soon realised that ‘playgroups’ were in a time of transition and that those working with children in these early years were ‘rightly’ being recognised as vital in children’s care learning and development. More and more training was being offered and as I embarked on this training, I began soak up the knowledge and understanding needed to ensure that I could offer every child and family the very best possible outcome.
In 1995 I became ‘leader’ of Sandcastles Playgroup, with a team of four staff and at first, the responsibility very daunting. However, I loved the challenge, the children, the families and everything about the job and as the setting grew so did our reputation for care and expertise.
During my time here I have experienced many changes both in my work and personal life. In 1994 through circumstances beyond my control, I became a divorcee and found myself a single parent (I was devastated). Although this was a tough time in my life, I channelled all my emotions into being a good parent and a good Manager which not only saw me through but also made me and my girls stronger and more understanding people. After 5 years, I met up with Steven, my childhood sweet heart. In 2000 we found our ideal home in Withersfield and moved in together (complete with four teenagers). Our children have now all flown the nest and we are now proud grandparents too. Steven and I married in June 2012 with all our friends and family around us and in the same year I graduated with a BA (Hons) in Children’s Care Learning and Development. I was 53 years old…what a year!
As the years have passed, I have never lost my enthusiasm, passion and devotion for what I consider to be an amazing job. I feel extremely privileged to have been part of children’s life when they are at a crucial time of their development. I am continually learning and meeting new challenges as the setting continues to develop. Best of all, I am surrounded by a team of highly experienced, qualified practitioners who I consider to be close friends as well as colleagues. What more could anyone ask for!!