Threads of Success: Improvement and Standards Team

Meet the Team

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 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 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 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 experienced and knowledgeable trainer and adviser, who is passionate about improving outcomes for children and families. I have eight years’ experience working in the Early Years sector gained both as a provider and as a Local Authority Adviser. I ran a successful childminding setting and worked as an Early Years practitioner in a full-day-care nursery. In more recent years I have been supporting Early Years settings in all areas of the provision, from business, finance and marketing through to EYFS requirements and quality of teaching.

I believe Early Years practitioners are the most important resource for ensuring the best outcomes for children and as such I aim to inspire and motivate them in becoming reflective, passionate professionals who strive for excellence. I am open to innovation and research and I have conducted studies using Reggio Emilia’s inspired tools such as the Mosaic Approach to better listen to children and adapt the provision to meet their 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 have nearly 25 years’ experience in Early Years and began my career as an Early Years practitioner. I have led and managed settings as well as working as a trainer for the National Day Nurseries Association and the Pre-School Learning Alliance. I have worked for KCC since 2002 within the Early Years teams as a Childcare Officer, Out of School Consultant, and Improvement Adviser.

I am passionate about Early Years and I am always reflecting on my training, knowledge and understanding and qualifications. I hold a BA (Hons) in Early Years, City and Guilds in Education and Training and a level three in Business Competence.

I consider myself to be an effective, knowledgeable and competent adviser and trainer in all areas of the Early Years, however my particular strengths are in supporting boys’ learning and development and the physical aspect of learning. I love being outdoors and feel that children should be given the opportunity to learn outdoors in a natural environment.

I am committed to my work and believe strongly in supporting my community. I am a parish councillor and support various initiatives within my village.

My Early Years career began in 1990 as a registered childminder. As I completed the Level 3 Diploma in Pre-school Practice I took on the role of Pre-school Manager, leading practice and managing Pre-school Assistants.

I have worked for the Pre-school Learning Alliance (PLA) and my role involved supporting Managers, Practitioners and Committee Members with various aspects of practice, management and constitution issues. I trained as an Assessor for the PLA Accreditation Scheme and undertook this role around Kent and in other counties.

I joined the Kent Early Years team in 2004 as part of the Quality Assurance team working, as one of two Verifiers supporting the Kent QA scheme at the time. In the ensuing years I have had several roles within the Early Years team but at the heart the work has always focussed on best practice to ensure improved outcomes for young children. In 2010 I graduated with a BA (Hons) in Early Years Studies.

I have a passion for supporting and encouraging managers to reflect on all aspects of their practice and plan for ongoing improvement. I am currently joint lead for Kent’s Threads of Success Improvement and Achievement Award. With 25 years’ experience of the Early Years sector I have visited many different settings and worked with many knowledgeable managers and practitioners. I always strive to work in partnership to respect the individuality of each setting.

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 am an enthusiastic and highly motivated Early Years practitioner and my commitment and passion for the sector allows me to inspire, motivate and engage the workforce. I strongly believe that by using role-modelling, mentor-coaching techniques, empowerment and engagement, high quality learning experiences can be created - ultimately resulting in improved outcomes for all children. I have a degree in Early Childhood and Health Studies and hold Early Years Professional Status.

I have over 12 years’ experience working in the childcare sector and bring theoretical and practical knowledge from a number of diverse fields having held positions at practitioner, deputy and manager level within settings, as well as supporting Out of School and holiday club provisions. In addition I have led on the facilitation of a national Early Years Professional Network group for a multi-national childcare company in which I held additional responsibility providing advice and support to settings within the south-east, whilst ensuring newly registered provisions offered highly enabling learning environments, and leaders were competent in complying with Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements and the Company’s policy. I am currently the Early Years and Childcare Service representative on the Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) preventative group.

In my spare time, I enjoy sewing and baking as well as being adventurous (hiking, quad biking, sky diving, ice-climbing).

I have been working in the Early Years sector for over 20 years, in a range of settings and roles. During this time I have gained the NNEB Diploma, Foundation Degree and BA Hons Degree in Early Years. I have experience of working with children from birth to 11 years of age. 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 11 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.

Away from work, I have a love for handbags, rugby and cricket, as well as spending time with my 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 worked with young children and their families for over 40 years and this passion and commitment to young children has grown stronger over the years.

I originally trained and qualified in Germany in 1976 as an Early Years Froebel Educator, I gained my knowledge, skills and professional experience over the years in a wide variety of settings which includes: childminder, pre-school and day nursery, special educational needs school, holiday play scheme in a variety of roles as a practitioner, leader, chair of committee and eventually moving into development, advisory, nursery education inspections and delivering training with a Sure Start Children Centre, Preschool Learning Alliance, Ofsted and moving on to working for local authoritiesin the last 15 years.

My expertise cover all aspects of Early Years work and my specific areas of interests are children’s rights and voice, natural outdoor play and learning environments, how children learn, leadership and management and quality improvement schemes. I have been involved in quality improvement schemes for the last 20 years and for the past two years have lead on the Kent’s Threads of Success Improvement and Achievement Award scheme.

I hold a BA (Hons) Early Years and an Advanced Certificate in Education (post compulsory).

Outside my professional work I volunteer for Early Childhood Organisation (ECHO Kent and Medway) to promote networking, learning community and sharing of good Early Years practices and also have been an active steering board member of Sign Along, a signing/symbols charity organisation in Medway for a number of years promoting inclusion in early years.

I have been involved in education for over 40 years in a wide variety of roles. These have included running my own nursery, along with teaching the whole early years and primary range, always as a dedicated advocate for children and their families.

After qualifying as a teacher at the Froebel Institute in Roehampton, the values I held then about inspiring and supporting young children to learn in an exciting and nurturing way still hold true.

After teaching for 32 years using skills and knowledge from my career, I moved into the Advisory service in 2009 as the KCC lead for (CLLD) Communication Language and Literacy Development.

Also, I have worked as an Early Years Adviser (schools) and have led literacy across the county. I successfully trained Ofsted inspectors on phonics and early reading for the new inspection framework in 2011 in Bristol and London.

As a teacher and leader of many years standing, I enjoy and am effective at enabling practitioners to improve outcomes for their children. I hold a Certificate in Education, a Diploma in Professional Studies in Education (The Teaching of Reading and Writing) and the NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headteachers). I am reflective, flexible, innovative and highly committed to my work.

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 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 had the privilege of working with children for 15 years. I have a vast amount of experience which I have gained whilst working in many different roles and settings before joining the Local Authority. These include preschools, nurseries, crèches, schools, community centres, parish councils, borough councils, breakfast clubs, after school clubs and holiday play schemes. The settings have varied from charities, private, committees, unregistered provision, and Ofsted registered provision.

I joined the Local Authority twelve years ago; my experience includes supporting practitioners, companies and head teachers in starting up Out of School provisions, role modelling in practice, giving advice and support as well delivering training. I have qualifications in Playwork, teaching and learning as well as an NVQ Assessor Award. I have also upskilled myself to run the Get Active course on behalf of British Heart Foundation, coaching and mentoring, Ofsted training, inclusion training, quality assurance and am looking forward to undertaking Forest School training later this year.

For many years and still to this day my passion, dedication and expertise is in Play and Playwork. I am a friendly, approachable person who takes pride in supporting others whether this is working with an individual, part of a team or managers. I rise to a challenge, empower people to build capacity and seek to find solutions to ensure children are valued, respected and receive the best possible thriving experience which they so rightly deserve.

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