"At Playmates we realise our
Pre-school is only as strong as the passion and dedication of our team of outstanding staff."
Each staff member is valued within our setting and is regularly reviewed, to ensure they are happy within their roles. We spend a lot of time providing opportunities for them to enhance their skills and qualifications, to ensure the Playmates' environment is fun, safe and stimulating.
Each Keyworker gets to know their individual children and their families, so we can offer a more personal service, and parents feel confident that their child is making the most of their time with us by regular detailed reports.
All staff supervising the children are qualified to Level 3 or above in childcare (with the exception of our apprentices) and we are all qualified in paediatric first aid.
Gail is our longest serving member of staff and has been with us since 2002. Gail supports Playmates by ensuring all the legal and business side of childcare is covered, so everyone else can concentrate on the children's care and education. She also supports the staff in HR to ensure everyone is thriving within their role. Gail is probably the first person you will speak to when you contact us.
Marrilynn is our Pre-school Leader and has been with us since 2006. She oversees all the Pre-school staff in the day-to-day running of activities and ensures every room is being utilised effectively. Marrilynn is also our Designated Safeguarding Lead and has attended training to identify and deal with any child protection issues. She has also attended training on the SEND-Co and Inclusion Manager role and ensures our Pre-school is available to all children regardless of their abilities and background.
Kellie is our Deputy Pre-school Leader and our SEND-Co-ordinator for children needing a little extra support within the setting. Kellie leads the YELLOW Circles Group and is excellent at making lots of noise and/or mess with her exciting activities and ideas. Marrilynn and Kellie work closely together, to ensure all of our families are being supported with our Keyworkers, activities, funding and outside agencies.
Claire is back where she belongs, after a 3 year sabbatical at another setting. She is our Senior Assistant and runs our early, late and holiday sessions. She spends 50% of her time in the main building as Keyworker for the PURPLE Diamonds Group and the other half in the Cabin. She is qualified to Level 3 and excels at getting all the children involved in the activities.
Karen has been with us since the beginning of 2016 and is very effective at supporting the more sensitive children who take a little extra time to settle in. She came to us with lots of experience, training and knowledge from her past 12 years in a similar role and has proved to be a very effective member of the team. Karen leads the RED Rectangles Group.
Sara joined us in July 2019 and holds her Level 3 in childcare. She has many years experience working with children and is making a positive impact on our setting, and the children love her. Sara leads the BLUE Triangles Group.
Penny joined us in November 2017 as a volunteer and just never left, after deciding a career in childcare was for her. Now fully qualified to Level 3 as a Pre-school Practitioner, Penny runs the GREEN Squares Group.
Sam joined us as a staff member in October 2017. After helping us to cover a few sessions we decided she was too good to let go and now she's our Keyworker for the ORANGE Stars Group with Charlotte in the Cabin. She has a Level 3 in childcare and has been a practitioner for many years. After having her family and returning to work, she has become a very competent and valuable member of our team.
Charlotte joined us from another full day care setting, to help us offer a more diverse service with longer opening hours. She is qualified to Level 3 and is currently studying for her Foundation Degree at the University of Northampton. Charlotte runs the ORANGE Stars Group with Sam in our Cabin area, which is dedicated to our 2-year-olds. Charlotte loves to research and bring in activities suitable for the younger children, which can easily be adapted to include everyone in the fun.
Zoe joined us in October 2017 to help us out on busier sessions. The children love her energy, enthusiasm and creativity, and she's brilliant at helping our 2-year-old children settle in and start making relationships. Zoe is qualified to Level 3 in childcare and has developed a passion for working with children in small groups, or as individuals, to support speech and language, sharing and communication.
Jennifer joined us in November 2018 from a popular nursery in Raunds, which helped many of our new starters inherited from their closure. Jennifer helps our children with extra needs during sessions, by ensuring they are accessing the activities with support when needed. Jennifer comes with many years' experience and is great at getting the children to settle in and make friends.
Alice is our Pre-school Apprentice and is studying towards her Level 2. She is very popular with the children and is proving to be a real asset to our team.
Hayley joined us in October 2018, to help Gail with the administration of the business.
Squeak and Poppy are our resident guinea pigs and we offer the children lots of opportunities to engage with them. They are involved in Playmates' everyday life and the children actively seek them out to join in. They are very friendly, love being handled and spend a lot of time outside in the garden mowing the grass for us.
Our guinea pigs are fit and healthy, have a varied and nutritious diet and are not offered to families for "holidays". Squeak has been neutered and is 3 years old. Poppy was born on 28th October 2016. All safety and hygiene policies are strictly followed when handling and supervising the guinea pigs.