2019 has been a huge year for Wellies Day Nursery and the lady behind it all reflects on the year and what 2020 has in store for Wellies! 
What was it that made you want to set up Wellies? 
I set up Wellies following an opportunity of use of a property on the farm. I was working in a Nursery in Milton Keynes & demand for childcare was on the increase. 
What makes you passionate about your role? 
I am passionate about the opportunities we give to children in terms of education, environment & care. The best part is seeing babies & young children settled during the nursery day and enjoying everything offered to them. When children go to school & the feedback from parents is that they 'get it now' - all that we do at Wellies in preparing them for the transition to school. 
What makes a successful childcare setting? 
Good leadership - listening to ideas from the team and parents - continuity of staff for childcare - the team who 'buy into' the Wellies way & ethos of Where Everyone Loves Learning in Exciting Surroundings 
Do you believe nurseries have to evolve? 
Yes - we need to move with the times. Over the years provision has changed to meet the education & care standards set by Ofsted. We have moved form a paper-based system for learning journeys to online - which keep parents updated through the day. 
What do parents’ value most about Wellies? 
Our homely feel & warmth the team give. When they leave for school - they finally get what we do & realise the value of Superteds Preschool. - please refer to testimonials 
What skills would you say are absolutely vital for a childcare professional? 
Fun, caring, empathy, energetic, warm, friendly 
What would be your advice to anyone considering a career in childcare? 
You need to absolutely love children and be enthusiastic about what they say & do. Enjoy every moment you spend with babies & young children. Yes, its busy & can be demanding -but it’s the warmth from children at the end of the day & the smiles & hugs they give you that makes it all so worthwhile. 
What is your approach to recruitment and what do you see as best practice in this area? 
We look to recruit people who are considering a career in childcare - we offer an apprenticeship with training to qualify at level 2 or 3. This means we can train our team from within & develop good practice for the childcare we want to see at Wellies. More experienced members mentor apprentices and guide their practice & education. 
In your view, what should children ‘learn’, or ‘gain’ from their time in early years care? 
Children need to have time to play - yes, we bring education into all that we offer, however seeing a child deeply engage/ curious in exploring a bowl of flour, or mud, or colouring, or a book. When children leave Wellies for school - they are confident & ready for the next step in their lives. 
What would you say are currently the biggest problems that childcare settings face? 
The funding policies set by government - they call it 'free' but the hourly rate is low and does not meet provider costs. If these funded hours are offered to under 2's there has to be a significant review of rates & an in-depth analysis of Nursery costs. 
If you could make two changes within the early years sector, what would you like to see? 
People seeing childcare as a career - wanting to develop themselves within the sector. People to realise that Nurseries are not a babysitting service - we really do add value to your child’s life experience in a very nurturing way. 
What has been your highlight of 2019? 
Achieving 30 years running Wellies! Celebrating with existing & past families and a great team. 
What would you say has been your best ‘I love my job’ moment? 
I need to choose more than 1! 
1.When the preschool begins their nativity play at Christmas - It always melts my heart as they begin to sing 'Mary had a baby' - this year we had 30 3 to 4-year olds who all performed brilliantly to their families. 
2.The leavers party is a celebration of children going to school - they have been with us at Nursery and are ready to begin their next step in life - Big school. It is a wonderful day when families come together & we see the older siblings too. 
3.The day the baby who has had an unsettled start at Nursery - they smile & cuddle into their key person & decide we are all ok! 
What does 2020 have in store for Wellies? 
Expansion - creating a wonderful preschool space in a redundant farm building, which will connect to our existing site via a bigger outdoor play space, which will be plated with more trees. 
A huge thank you to all of our wonderful children, parents, staff, friends and family for all of your support over the past year. We are so excited to see what 2020 brings for us and we can’t wait to share it with you all! 
From all of us at Wellies have a very Happy Chrsitmas!  
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