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Threads of Success: Improvement and Standards Team

Meet the Team

I have worked in the childcare and education industry for over thirty years in a variety of settings; special education needs assessment unit, Highscope maintained nursery school, workplace full day care nursery, Under Eights Inspection Unit, Ofsted and by no means least Kent County Council Early Years and Childcare Service.

My qualifications include N.N.E.B., MA in Early Childhood Education and Level 7 in Performance Coaching for Leadership. I am an advocate for continuous professional development and have attended many training courses over the years to develop my knowledge and understanding of children.

Outside of work I am a keen cook, enjoy spending time with family, friends and crafting.

I have over 30 years’ experience in Early Years and Childcare and have held a variety of roles and responsibilities. Since qualifying as a Nursery Nurse (NNEB), I have embraced opportunities for continuous professional development. Over the years this has included qualifying as a playground inspector, teaching first aid, acting as a Child Development Associate Representative for the Council for Childhood Studies and gaining my Master of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education.

My first professional position was working in a large nursery located on a US Military Base in Suffolk. I began as the baby room leader, over the years my roles and responsibilities changed and when I left I was the manager responsible for 184 children, 70 staff and a very large budget. On relocating to Kent I undertook some temporary work lecturing students enrolled on early childhood courses, worked as part of the school nurse team based in a school for children with special educational needs and disabilities, then secured a position working for Ofsted as an early years inspector. All these roles provided exciting new challenges and learning.

I am an experienced, dedicated and qualified Early Years Adviser and trainer with over 20 years’ experience in Early Years. I am motivated and fully committed to empower the Early Years workforce to secure the best outcomes for children and their families through the diverse range of support and guidance of the Threads of Success.

My experience as an owner and manager of an Early Years pre-school provision has strengthened and enhanced my ability to understand the diverse and complex challenges of the Early Years workforce. I have a wealth of experience as a practitioner and have worked in baby rooms, Special Educational Needs provision, Out of School provision as well as working in a reception class. I have owned and worked for my own Early Years training business which extended my understanding of how practitioners preferred to learn and how to respond to the market needs.

I am an innovative, creative, self-motivated individual with a great enthusiasm and determination to ensure all children have the very best start in life. I have 24 years’ experience in Early Years from being a nursery nurse, deputy manager and then manager of a 70 place full day care setting in London. This has given me a wide range of skills and experiences which I am able to apply to my adviser role.

I have worked as an Early Years Improvement Adviser since 2009 and thoroughly enjoy the ever changing role. I have a particular interest in supporting boys’ development and I am now a lead for the Slugs and Snails: Celebrating Boys’ Achievement training writing group.

In 2014 I was seconded to jointly manage a KCC run nursery which has given me relevant and recent experience and a renewed respect at how hard managers and their teams work each and every day.

My related Early Year’s qualifications are: BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies, NVQ 4 in Management, Level 3 Award in education and training. I trained as an Ofsted inspector in 2013.

I consider myself friendly and good humoured whatever the circumstances and am fully committed to supporting settings to improve practice which in turn will improve outcomes for children.

I am an experienced Early Years Improvement Adviser, who is committed to supporting the Early Years workforce to reflect on and improve their practice in order to provide the best quality provision. I have been working in Early Years for the past 25 years and gained experience in a range of roles from nursery practitioner, baby room leader, deputy manager, development adviser, health care assistant for a ventilator dependent child, day-care officer for children in need, improvement adviser and trainer. My specialism has been linked to babies and children under the age of three however I have a range of experience supporting both pre-school and day care. I deliver a range of training courses and workshops but have a particular passion for outdoors, maths and birth to three. I have also been involved in mentoring practitioners to complete the Threads of Success Improvement and Achievement Award (quality assurance scheme).

I have strong communications skills which enable me to build key relationships with practitioners and leaders of Early Years settings. This has essentially enabled me to engage with staff and management teams in order to help them reflect on their practice and provide the best outcomes for the children and families. Through positive coaching and mentoring I have supported settings to improve their Ofsted outcomes, securing a good or better judgement at their next inspection.

I have engaged in a range of training over the past 25 years from N.N.E.B, A.D.C.E, Foundation Degree, BA (Hons), adult learners and many more supporting my role as an Adviser.

I have been very fortunate to have been working in the early years sector for over 25 years, in a range of settings and roles with children from birth to 11 years of age. During this time, I have gained the NNEB Diploma, Foundation Degree and BA Hons Degree in Early Years. I began my career working in early years provisions as a Nursery Nurse, progressing to the role of Nursery Manager. I have worked as a part of the Preschool Learning Alliance (PLA) seconded to the Sure Start programme to support early years settings in challenging circumstances, promoting the development of provision, and improving outcomes for disadvantaged children and families through organising and running crèches and holiday play schemes.

I have been supporting settings to develop their practice for the past 17 years, including mentoring and verifying early years settings through the KCC Quality Assurance Award. I also have a City and Guilds qualification in training adults that is integral to my role. I am passionate about the development of provision and outcomes in particular for the under threes and I look forward to sharing that passion with others through the various “Threads of Success” training packages.

I have a daughter who keeps me on my toes and we love spending time with family and friends.

I am a passionate advocate for the under threes as I feel that this is a crucial and fascinating period of development. Since gaining my training, the trainers qualification, I have written and delivered many training packages for practitioners working with the under threes which settings have found inspirational in changing outcomes for our youngest children.

I have approaching 40 years of experience in working within the Early Years sector in a number of roles such as a manager of a pre-school, sponsored childminder, NVQ assessor and childminding network co-ordinator, a role in which I worked closely with individual childminders as a mentor, providing training for groups of childminders and leading on the accreditation process for the East Kent childminding networks. I hold a BA (Hons) Early Years qualification

Since joining KCC I have extended my experience working with quality assurance schemes, audit tools and mentoring. But my passion remains with the under threes being known in some parts of Kent as the ‘baby lady’, I hope this because of my knowledge rather than the amount of children I have (7!).

I love working with settings supporting them to move forward with their practice and have found that being positive, honest, having a practical approach, identifying areas for development and working together we can find practical solutions to problems.

I have always been passionate about children and knew from an early age that I wanted to work with children. I gained a BEd Hons degree in History and Primary Education in 1994 and went on to teach for ten years in four different schools in Buckinghamshire. I taught children ranging from Reception to Year 3.

After two years in the U.S. I moved to Whitstable in 2006 and started my own childminding business which fitted in well with the demands of two young boys of my own! I found very young children fascinating and it wasn’t long before I was volunteering at my own son’s nursery. For the next ten years I worked at the pre-school, initially as a Key Person and then as Manager, seeing the nursery through to an Outstanding Ofsted inspection.

During this time, I provided support to children, families, practitioners, teachers and other professionals and enjoyed the mentoring and coaching aspect of my role when supporting new practitioners and students. I have recently achieved a TAQA L3 Assessors qualification.
Throughout my career I have sought to improve my own professional development and have attended many courses and workshops. I feel confident in passing on my knowledge to others to help improve the outcomes for children in Kent.

I have recently joined the Early Years and Childcare Improvement and Standards Team, and feel I have a wealth of recent experience that I can share with Managers and Practitioners.

In my spare time I enjoy gardening, running, photography and love spending time with my family and friends.

After completing the BTEC National Diploma in Early Childhood Education I went on to train as a Primary School Teacher and graduated with a BA ‘Qualified Teacher Status’ in the year 2000. I worked across the Key Stages and built up 16 years’ experience as a Reception Class Teacher and EYFS leader. I built up excellent relationships with staff and enjoyed working with children and their families to ensure the best possible outcomes for children. My love of Early Years and striving for continuous improvement encouraged me to follow a new career path and I accepted the post of ‘Early Years Improvement Adviser’ for KCC in January 2017.

My role allows me to share good practice through delivering training programmes and empowering practitioners to motivate, challenge and inspire children to learn. I’m passionate about helping practitioners understand how children learn and about creating enabling environments both indoors and outdoors that allow children to play a dynamic role in their learning and show high levels of independence, curiosity, imagination and concentration.

In my spare time I love to be active and I am a keen runner. I love to spend time with my family and friends!

With over 20 years’ experience in Early Years my experience includes roles within baby rooms, with two year olds and pre-school plus Out of School provision. I have managed Early Years settings and spent time working in reception classes. I have worked in a range of different provisions including pack-away settings, full day care, committee run provision, privately owned provision and for a nursery chain and understand the strengths and challenges each of these can bring

I hold a BA (Hons) in Early Years but by far the most inspirational training I have completed was my Level 3 Forest Leaders Award, following which I am a fully qualified Forest School Leader. I have a particular passion for outdoor learning and oversee our full range of outdoor training and focussed strategic improvement visits. I am also a qualified and experienced adult trainer.

I am the lead adviser for our extensive range of Leadership and Management programmes and believe in building the capacity of each individual from within, enabling them to realise their own potential and the impact this can have on young children’s learning and development.

In addition to my Early Years’ experience and qualifications I am also a qualified and experienced chef, leading me to be knowledgeable in supporting providers to offer a balanced and exciting menu for young children, whilst being able to consider the time, skills and costs involved.

I began my career in Early Years over 25 years ago, since then I have held a variety of roles. After qualifying as a Nursery Nurse my first professional post was as a live-in nanny in the UK.  I then took the opportunity to travel and held full time nanny posts in London, Paris and Melbourne Australia.  It was a fantastic opportunity to discover the way young children are cherished and supported in different cultures.

On returning to England, I then ventured into the world of pre-school and day care holding a variety of posts from practitioner, senior practitioner, deputy manager and acting manager in settings ranging from a village pre-school, privately owned settings and nationwide chains of nurseries. Throughout my career I have sought to improve my own professional development undertaking additional qualifications and attending many workshops.

I joined KCC as a Childcare Development Officer, advising on the business side of Early Years, before becoming an Early Years Adviser, a post I have held for over 10 years.  I am a passionate advocate for mathematics in the Early Years and am currently taking the lead on this training. I am keen for the mental wellbeing of children to be at the forefront of practitioner’s minds and have been involved in training to support healthy lifestyles. I am a creative person and have developed training with colleagues to support this area. I am also part of the training group for babies and under twos.

I have a First Class Honours degree in Early Childhood Studies, and have had almost twenty years’ experience working in Early Years environments. Starting as a parent on a pre-school committee, I became a qualified practitioner and eventually manager. I felt passionately (and still do) that all children deserve the best possible start in life. The pre-school went from strength to strength and was eventually judged to be ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

My passionate belief that all children deserve to be supported to be the best they can be, led me to become a Local Authority Adviser, where I continue to share my enthusiasm and drive to improve outcomes for all children. I strongly believe that continuous training to develop knowledge and skills throughout life is important and so training has always featured highly in my professional life, I believe adult training is key to improving life chances for everyone, especially children and thoroughly enjoy delivering training to Early Years practitioners and parents, imparting ideas, knowledge and solutions from my own experiences as well as the theory that underpins and supports best practice.

In 2014 I had the privilege to return to nursery management during a secondment for eighteen months, renewing my ability to empathise with the many difficulties faced by today’s nursery managers and practitioners. My recent hands-on experiences enable me to advise others whilst truly understanding the issues that affect them, offering advice, support and challenge in a meaningful and empathetic way.

I have worked in day nurseries since 2006 and gained a wide range of experiences working as a nursery practitioner, room leader, Deputy and Manager.

I completed my Early Years and Psychology Degree in 2007 and have enjoyed working in a variety of settings. I joined the Early Years and Childcare Service in February 2018 after relocating from Bedfordshire. I have two children and we love exploring the Kentish countryside and beaches and spending time with family and friends.

I have worked in education over the last twenty five years, the majority of which has been in early years. My experiences during this time have been varied. They include teaching in Early Years and Key Stage 1, being part of a school leadership team, working for Medway LEA as an Early Years Consultant, where I was responsible for implementing the Early Years Quality Improvement Strategy in schools. I have also worked as an independent consultant providing guidance, training and support to colleagues within the Early Years Sector, both nationally and locally. These experiences have all influenced my current work as an Improvement and Standards adviser and ripple through my training and support.

I am passionate about the importance of positive relationships, quality interactions and play on children’s learning and life chances. My work is grounded in good observation of children, my own action research, knowledge of children’s development, early communication and how this connects to their thinking.  I take a reflective approach to training, building confidence and self-belief to develop practitioner’s thinking and practice.

I have been working with young children for over 10 years and am passionate about early education and child development. After spending a year working as an Early Years Practitioner in a preschool, I decided to train as a primary school teacher. Most of my teaching career was spent in Reception as Early Years Lead.

As well as leading my team, I have also mentored students and newly qualified teachers and supported them in their development as educators. I also completed my MA in educational leadership, with a focus on development and learning through play.

I trained as an Early Years moderator and enjoyed moderating schools in my local area, which led to my interest in Early Years Improvement. I have a wealth of knowledge and experience that I can share with practitioners and managers as part of the Early Years & Childcare Improvement & Standards team. I firmly believe that a positive, constructive and supportive approach to working with settings will improve the care, education and outcomes for children in Kent.

I have over 18 years’ experience of working within the sector in a range of roles which include leading and managing practice within Early Years and Out of School settings, supporting Early Years businesses as a development officer, working with schools and other agencies as an extended schools co-ordinator, driving quality and practice forward as an Early Years Adviser and now leading a team of advisers within the North of Kent and having a county responsibility for workforce development.

Over the last 2 years, I have been integral in shaping and developing the Threads of Success Improvement and Achievement Award which supports Early Years and Out of School settings on their journey of continuous improvement and developing strong reflective practice. I have a strong belief that supporting and nurturing children’s emotional well-being is one of the most important aspects of practice and I always ensure this is threaded through my work, especially when planning services and delivering support and training. I have a strong commitment to building capacity within teams and opening up opportunities to ensure children and their families are receiving the best quality care, education and support.

I have gained a number of Early Years and Childcare qualifications over the years: Post Graduate Diploma in Education Studies, BA Hons in Early Childhood Studies/ Social Science, Advanced Diploma in Childcare and Education, NNEB. I also hold the Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector which has supported and developed my skills as a trainer and I am currently studying for my Masters in Early Childhood Education.

I have worked in Early Years and Playwork for over 30 years. I have a background in fostering and childminding and I am motivated and inspired by children. I enjoy working as part of a team and ran an Out of School provision for forty children for nine years which comprised of a breakfast club, after school club and holiday play scheme. I believe in developing both children and adults through encouragement and support, developing their confidence and abilities.

I have a Foundation Degree in Playwork and a degree in Professional Learning and Development and I am passionate about professional development, both my own and those with whom I work. As an accomplished trainer I help to develop training packages which support the development of the Out of School sector. I am qualified as an NVQ assessor and trained as an Ofsted inspector. Highly skilled in leadership and management I aim to share my knowledge and skills with owners and managers of Out of School settings.

I have ten years’ experience working in the public sector and have contributed to the development of the Achievement and Standards Award for Out of School settings. My vision is that all Out of School provisions will enrich the lives of the children they care for, ensuring that the outcomes for all children, both in school and in life, are good.

I commit my spare time to my family and sing as part of a worship group, lead a house-group and help to lead services in my local church.

I have been working in the Early Years and Childcare Sector for nearly 30 years and have had a varied, challenging and enjoyable career. I have a background in primary school education supporting children with ASD. Alongside this role I set up, managed and ran an Out of School provision with a breakfast club, after school club and holiday playscheme for 12 years.

I believe in continuously updating my own professional development which enables me to support the out of school sector with up to date knowledge and information. My professional development includes the completion of an NVQ in Playwork, Assessor’s Award for NVQs, Level three accredited training the trainer award, accredited SENCo training and Level three Forest School Leader.

I have worked with KCC and now for The Education People for over 24 years.  During this time, I have been an NVQ Assessor, a Quality Assurance Mentor, a Child Protection Trainer, Childcare Trainer and Consultant, Setting Improvement Partner and my current role as an Out of School Improvement Adviser and Trainer. I am also the Out of School representative for delivering Equality and Inclusion training.  Through these roles I have worked closely within multi-agency environments and teams which include: Head Teachers, School Governors, Extended School Managers, Childcare Sufficiency officers, Safeguarding Officers, Early Years and Out of School colleagues.  I have also been involved and worked with outside agencies including Disabled Children and Young People’s working party for extended schools and a 4 Children’s representative, Kids National Development Department and DCATCH which has supported my role.

I am a true advocate for Play and Playwork, especially when it is child directed through the outdoor environments, forest school approach and creative play. I really enjoy the challenges of being an adviser and trainer and love to deliver training

I feel privileged to have been working with children and young people for over 15 years. This has been through a range of teaching and early years roles with children from birth to 18 years of age. I started my career as a History Teacher after achieving a BA Hons Degree in History and a PGCE in Secondary History. I have worked as a primary school teacher and an Ofsted Registered Childminder, delivering the Early Years Foundation Stage.

I am now supporting new and existing providers to deliver the Holiday Activities and Food Programme in Kent. I am passionate about helping to provide a high quality and fun school holiday experience for the children and young people in Kent, as well as improving their quality of life and the health of the whole family.

I have two children who keep me very busy! I enjoy cooking, reading, walking, dancing and listening to music. I love socialising with family and friends.

I started my early years journey after leaving school to attend college and then onto university where I obtained a Degree in Early Childhood Studies. During my studies I worked at a holiday play scheme and as a residential social worker.

Following my degree I held various positions in Children’s Centres across Kent, supporting children and their families, developing new projects, identifying specific learning outcomes and ensuring that the organisation and delivery of the projects ran smoothly. I then went onto project manage a Teenage Parent Housing Scheme, working closely with young families empowering them to live independently, whilst working across a range of multi-agencies. This led me to becoming a Children’s Services Manager for a charity in Birmingham. I was responsible for the development, delivery and day to day running, including staffing and finances of the Children’s Centre, breakfast and after school clubs and holiday play scheme that provided a service across five different schools.

Since working in early years I have become very passionate about supporting and empowering children and their families to achieve their goals.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my husband and three children.