My name is Emma and I am nursery manager at Cuddles Day Nursery in Canford Heath. As a manager of the nursery my role involves supporting staff with routines, learning and education plans for children. I focus a lot of my time on building a strong, happy staff team so that you, as parents, can rely on Cuddles to provide a warm and nurturing environment for your children.
I began my childcare career as soon as I left school in 1997 and started at Cuddles in 2001 as a practitioner in the holiday club. I have worked my way up the career ladder over the years and have been involved with children aged 0-14 years throughout, finally becoming manager in 2005.
I have worked at the Parkstone nursery since 2008 and I really enjoyed the challenges that the nursery offered me. I completed my BA in Early Years back in 2010 and studied at Winchester University which I really enjoyed. I gained my Early Years Professional Status qualification in 2011.
Although I’m not room based, I love spending time with the children, getting involved in circle times, singing and playing in the rooms as much as I can. I’m very proud to say I work for Cuddles and I hope that you find the nursery as inviting as I did all those years ago.
Emma is our nursery manager at Cuddles Canford Heath. Like Fran, Emma has been with Cuddles for 16 years. We are very privileged to have three fabulous nursery managers who have decided to grow their careers with Cuddles. We asked Emma:
How long have you worked at Cuddles?
I started on 5th November 2001 so just celebrated my 16th year!
What made you decide on a career in childcare?
I kind of ‘fell into’ childcare, I had always babysat for people and enjoyed being around children.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Supporting families and children to reach their own personal goals which makes a difference to their home life. – Supporting staff to reach their career goals for example I teach the team leader training with another outside consultant and I’m really proud of them all when they all graduate!
What activities do you personally think help children to develop in their early years?
Lots of outdoor play, physical and core strength activities which support their motor development and lots of fun, play activities with parents and carers at home which helps their personal development and self esteem.
Indoor play or outdoor play – which do you prefer and why?
I like both. I’ve always enjoyed snuggling up with children on the sofa reading stories but similarly love physical play outside and LOVE going on trips.
Having just been awarded outstanding by Ofsted, what would you say makes your nursery the best choice for parents who are deciding on where to send their children?
Supportive, caring staff who are always ready to listen and advise.
Christmas will be here before we know it. What would be your recommendation as the ‘perfect’ Christmas toy for pre-school children to expand their creativity and learning?
Play dough is always a winner in my house! Not too messy for home but open ended and easy for parents to join in too! I’ve always let my own daughter play with ‘regular materials’ too! Like making play dough cakes with real candles and cheap cake decorations from the pound shop! Parents can look for play dough activity ideas on places like Pinterest too!
Describe a typical day at Cuddles Parkstone?
Welcome the parents in, Discuss the day with staff, catch up on emails, spend time with the children, cuddles with the babies – ( If I’m ever lost in the building and no one can find me I’m usually in there!),meetings with outside professionals.
What do you enjoy most when not at work?
Spending time with my family, we love days out and my husband works nights so we don’t see a lot of each other during the week!