While I love being with children, I found my role often focused around the development of my team as they are the companies biggest asset. I can have a centre that looks like it jumped out of the pages of a catalogue but without the right practitioners it will fail. Instead I can have an empty room with a few boxes and the right practitioner and the children with thrive and this is always my choice. Therefore I have spend the last ten years focused on being the best leader I can be. I have completed postgraduate degrees including a Masters in Intergrated Working with Children and Families in the Early Years and my dissertation examined the experience of practitioners stepping up to leadership roles in early years. I have used my leadership skills to support our practitioners to progress and improve as they move their way through their qualifications and gain experience with us and become amazing partners in play for our children. For the past 3 years I have also offered my services as a Senior Consultant to Inspired Children (an award winning training provider) and support settings throughout the country to improve practice through training and support.
Currently I am focused on building our in-house training program with our Training Manager, Melissa Hitchman and this will strengthen our teams understanding of applying psychological theory into practice. I am also finalising the National Standards for the Apprenticeship programmes for the Level 5 Lead Practitioner and the Level 6 Pedagogic Lead which will allow the Early Years sector to upskill our practitioners and improve our chidren’s outcomes nationally. I am also a consultant on the new Birth to Five Matters guidance being produced by the early years coalition to provide an evidence-based guidance document for the sector. While doing all of these projects, I remain focused on making Our Monkey Club the best possible place we can for our children and since our ‘new normal’ I am not in the centres but I speak to staff and management daily and ensure the business contrinues to thrive.