On Employee Ownership Day 2022 we asked our colleagues how they have grown within Childbase Partnership.
These are their stories…
“I started at Windmill Hill in May 2004 as a nursery apprentice, I completed my NVQ Level 3 whilst working and then became a qualified practitioner.
I wanted to study further so I went on to complete my foundation degree in Early years. I gained confidence and became a Room Leader, before progressing to Team Leader. After 7 years as a team Leader an opportunity arose in Windmill for a Deputy Manager and I was successful. I stayed in this role for just over 2 years before my final progression to Manager in February 2018.
I have currently worked at Windmill Hill for 18 years.” Lora
“I started off at the company as an agency worker. I then became a Unqualified Practitioner before doing my level 3 and becoming a Qualified Practitioner. I then moved nursery and became a Team Leader.
I have been a Partnership Councillor at both nurseries which I have loved doing. From my fellow PC’s I was fortunate enough to become elected as an ETD.
My son also attends the nursery which he loves and it’s amazing to be able to see him playing with his friends and the daily activities he does. (something most parents never get a chance to do).” Jade
“Working at Childbase has made me grow professionally and developed my personal growth.
Working with Childbase has prompted me to develop my personal growth and encouraged me to work my way up in the company. I was a practitioner at my very first job at Childbase where I have learnt many key aspects of my career. I have changed my mind and view since working at Childbase on the childcare industry.
I am now a Team Leader and have worked in the company for 5 years. I have learnt so much from watching and having positive role models to guide me.” Shamima
“I joined Rowan Tree over 2 years ago as relief staff. I have learnt so much in that time through various training and day to day activities. I recently worked through an Ofsted inspection and found it very interesting.” Katie
“My professional growth at Childbase has been fab over the past 18 months. I started during lock down and was just acting for maternity cover. I then got asked if I would become full time which I accepted. Over the next 15 months I have grown as an individual and I have recently become the Team leader of the Pre-School room.” Luke
“Since starting Childbase in 2018 I have gained my level 3 qualification as an apprentice. After a year of learning I was able to gain my qualification whilst being promoted to unqualified so I could gain my first key children! Fast forward 3 years later and I am now the Caterpillar room Team Leader, continuing to learn more everyday! I have gained many skills over the years and continue to do so! ” Shannon
“I joined Childbase in 2018 as an Unqualified Practitioner and I have always loved to work with children but never had the confidence to change career. So I finally decided to make that change and it was the best decision I ever made. After a year working here I always knew I wanted to progress into a career and I had the amazing opportunity to do my level 3 childcare course which took me around a year to complete, this made me more confident within myself , it also allowed me to gain new skills and become a better practitioner and become who I am today. A year after being qualified I put all my skills and new knowledge I had gained into my practise and also shadowed my current Team Leader at the time. Throughout my time here at west Cambridge I have had amazing support from my management team who help me build my confidence plus allowed me gain new knowledge on the job. In 2022 I applied for the Team Leader job as I thought this would be a great opportunity for me and I am now currently the Team Leader at West Cambridge. I feel very happy and confident within my new role and excited what my future holds at Childbase.” Jade
“I’ve been here for ten years this year and not only have I developed professionally (beginning as lunch cover/support staff to then attaining my level 3 and a full time position) but also personally too. I have social anxiety and from working in close partnerships with our families and other staff I have seen a big difference in this within myself, I’ll even volunteer to make a phone call to a parent which I used to really struggle with!! I do have a way to go with my anxiety but I know it’s becoming more manageable.” Natalie
“Childbase has helped me grow and develop in many ways since joining in 2017. The guidance and support received while working here has enhanced my professional development as I started as an Unqualified Practitioner, completed my level 3 and have just finished my BA degree in child development. My personal development has also grown while working for Childbase such as my increased confidence, self-belief and resilience. Growing personally and professionally has encouraged me to try new things, take risks and be proud of my achievements at Childbase.” Chloe
“I feel that since working in Childbase my confidence has grown. I first starting as a Kitchen Assistant and just helping out in the rooms when they needed support. I am now in the room permanently. I will now lead the room more and asked the team what we are going to do each week and what needs to be done, whereas before I would be more quiet and reserved . My observations and work has improved so much more with the help of Team Leaders and management team talking to me about them, and I’m more confident with making more exciting activities from when I first started.” Filomena
“I started at Woodberry 5 years ago as Level 2 Practitioner and signed up to complete my level 3 with Lifetime Training. My goal always was to progress to become an Ofsted inspector. Within my first year I have learned so much thanks to the thorough policies that Childbase have in place and through all the training available through the company. After 12 months of working at Woodberry a position for a Room Leader became available, but I had 2 weeks left of my L3 course. I knew I want to progress in Childbase and gain managerial experience and Childbase is the best place to do so, due to the high level of standards that this company is maintaining. I have decided to apply for the position with the reassurance I will complete my course. I was interviewed, was successful with the condition of completing my course. A month later, I was qualified and promoted. I have started my journey in senior management. I have received amazing support from the team and developed professionally as well as personally. I have learned new strategies of how to manage colleagues and how to deal with different challenging situations. After 6 months I have been promoted to a Team Leader. Once again, the support was amazing and I have learned once again new skills. I have discovered the business side of the company and built a brand new portfolio of knowledge and skills. I have had the opportunity to work closely with my Manager and Deputy and my Business Admin Michelle and gained the insight of all aspects of the business as well as HR matters, payroll etc.
As mentioned, my goal was to become an Ofsted inspector, therefore last year in September I have started my Ba(Hons) degree in Early years and Childhood Studies. Childbase were amazing supporting my journey and were flexible with my working pattern to allow me to study alongside working full time. I have now successfully completed my first year and I could have not done it without Childbase’s support. Special thank you to Rosie as my Manager for her support.
As well as supporting me with my studies, Childbase has taken in account my passion for quality and ambition for Ofsted and in November I was promoted to Quality Manager. I love my new role and it goes hand in hand with what my goal is. My QTA Nichola is always at the end of the phone if I need any help. This company plays such an important role in who I became as a person both professionally and personally that my “Ofsted goal” has shifted to a goal for progress in the Quality department within the company. I would not be who I am without Childbase and the support of my manager, Claire (AM) and Carol (RM).” Nikol
“I started as an Apprentice back in 2007 and started in the baby room where I completed my qualification. I have worked in all rooms in my time at Windmill Hill and have now been in a range of roles.
I have been a Room Leader for Ladybirds and Bumble Bees and then got promoted to Team Leader and moved over to work in the Butterflies age group. I then got promoted to Third in Charge and became office based and supported my Manager and Deputy and became Health and Safety Officer and achieved 100% of in the audit. I managed to keep this score high achieving another 100% and then a 99%. A year ago my role changed from Third in Charge to Quality Manager. I now focus and support quality within the nursery and I look forward to being involved in our next Ofsted inspection.” Gemma
“I have worked in childcare since I became qualified back in 2008 and worked in other nurseries then as a nanny. I decided I was at a point in my career where I wanted to start progressing so I decided to go back into a nursery role, which is where I joined West Cambridge back in September 2018. I made it clear from interview stage where I wanted to take my career path and I was supported by the management team to help me with this progression. Whilst being a practitioner, I always supported my room/team leaders with daily tasks and believe this helped grow my confidence throughout the nursery. I am now the Team Leader of the Caterpillar & Ladybird 1 room and I’m very happy within my role. Childbase has helped me achieve what I set out to do, not only through the belief of the management team, but also the opportunities given and the additional training available. I am proud of the difference I make in our families lives every day and the company that I work for.” Sophie
“I started Childbase on the 17th of June 2018. I came from a completely different career and was unqualified. With Childbase’s support and especially Field House behind me in the 4 years I’ve been there, I’ve achieved my level 3 in childcare and have been promoted to Team Leader within a year from returning from maternity leave. I have become a much more confident person outside of work and feel I’ve learned skills to help me with motherhood also. ” Rebekah
“I started working for childcare in 2013 where I was a relief member of staff whilst doing my A Levels. When I completed my A Levels, I started my level 3 Apprenticeship at Rowan Tree and completed it within 11 months 9 years ago. I then worked as a Qualified Practitioner in the Bumblebee room for 3 years and then become a Room Leader in the bumblebee room. After getting my promotion in January 2017, I then received my second promotion in a year and became Team Leader January 2018. I fell pregnant in 2020 and went on Mat Leave in September 2020 and had my son. After all the Little Wing first aid training I had received from working for Childbase, I had to put it into training with my 4 week old son and give him CPR. All good now though. I returned back in 2021 in September and have been having an amazing time winning nursery of the year and receiving an Oustanding Ofsted inspection. I also love that I can see my son in the Caterpillar Room daily.” Lori-Anne
“I have developed more confidence and enjoyed working at Westwood. Have gained lots of experience of planning wonderful activities and implement activities to support children interests. I have learned and gained experience of Westwood’s way of planning. ” Nazmin
“I started in Childbase in 2005 as an Apprentice, I had just completed my level 2 and was due to start my level 3. I completed my qualification while working full time and qualified as a nursery practitioner in 2008. I then had my daughter in 2011 returning in 2012, I then had a promotion to Room Leader followed a couple of years later to Team Leader. I had my second daughter in 2017 and came back to my team leader role, after being in the team leader role for roughly 7 years I had a promotion to deputy which is my current position. I could not have achieved all these different aspects in my career if it wasn’t for the support and training I received from Childbase to further expand my knowledge and push me to be the beat I could possibly be. ” Lyndsey
“I have become a level 5 Practitioner, working full time at Lavenders and as a full time student at University of Bedfordshire. I have been on training courses by Childbase as well as by the local council. The company is also supporting me through my future training- forest school training and my level 6 in applied early years. ” Heather
“I started Brinds Well at the age of 17, a young girl finding what career path to chose. I will never forget the first moment when I saw Brinds Well… it was huge, it was incredible, it was beautiful. I started my Level 3 with Childbase as an apprentice, learning and gaining new knowledge of childcare, my passion began to grow and I wanted more. During roadshows, conferences, festivals and balls, I sat there and thought one day I will be a leader. I continued to work hard and put the effort in, I applied for room leader which I was successful and then from that moment I knew I wanted more. A team leader position became available but this time I was not successful. I didn’t let this stop me, this just gave me more determination and a drive to become a team leader. I attend more training, gained more experience and more time passed. Another vacancy for team leader became available and I took this time to go for it again, this time being successful. At the time my nursery was down a manager and we only had 1 deputy, so I went that extra mile to support my deputy and area manager. I offered to do jobs for them whilst still running my 64 place preschool. I won preschool team of the year which was one of the best experiences ever! A few months later the deputy manager position became available as we recognised as a nursery we needed 2, I recognised this was not my time so I didn’t apply and a new deputy joined. I was asked to induct and support and as time went on the deputy decided the nursery was too big and left. As I was supporting and helping her I went for the position and got it. Being deputy was amazing, I learnt so many new skills and knowledge and I knew being a manager is what I wanted, little did I know that was round the corner. I completed my Level 5 diploma with Childbase to gain further knowledge within the managerial role. A couple years later, Nichola progressed into a QTA position and shocked us all by leaving. Being so young I defiantly didn’t put myself forward. I felt like I still had a lot to learn and the thought of running one of the largest nurseries who was Ofsted immanent was very daunting. A few months passed with no manager and I was running the nursery and stepping into the managers role. I was then approached by my RD and AM who then asked me to be the manager of Brinds Well. I never thought that a little 17 year old girl would be running the nursery she grew up in. Within my first year being a manager I even achieved my first Ofsted and gained OUTSTANDING! I am so proud with what I have achieved and I know my journey does not finish here. I want to show colleagues that if you want to progress, keep going. Put the time and effort into your work, if you have knock backs don’t let that stop you. Take the feedback, it will only make you stronger. I had knockbacks and I never thought I would be where I am today. I learned the value of hard working but working hard. A quote that always sticks in my head, that i think is important to share- “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again”- My story is important because this shows to staff that you can have knock backs but don’t let these put you down and give up- keep going, take the feedback and push yourself forward, the time will come. I am excited to see where my Childbase career goes and to watch others grow too. ” Vanessa
“I joined in February as assistant cook and in April I took over the roll as Nursery Cook . It built my confidence in the roll of assistant after a bad experience in my last job and then when I took over the cooks job everyone supported me, from management to nursery staff . And I still get complimented on my food from the staff and the children .” Joanne
“Since joining Childbase I have gone from part-time Unqualified Practitioner to full time Level 3 Qualified Practitioner.” Josephine
“I have grown in confidence while working at Childbase. My induction went well and after passing my probation I knew I had made the right choice. I was elected Partnership Councillor and had the opportunity of working with my colleagues and have had the full experience of how this company runs. Through this opportunity I have experienced staying at a hotel for the first time and first ever train journey to Head Office. Childbase provides in-house training to develop in my role as a Practitioner.” Sabira
“I have worked at Field House since 1991 which started as a small private day nursery. It is like my second home as it has been a massive part of my life. I still see the children and parents who I looked after at the very beginning and they still remember me .
Being part of Childbase there are so many great benefits, health care, pension, festivals and balls , rewards , uniform ,to name a few!
Field House has grown and it was nice to see the barns adding onto the development.
We still have the family feel and I love the people I work with and the children I look after. This year I am celebrating my 31 years at Field House along with me being 50! ” Sallyann
“Whilst working at Lavenders I decided to study a Master’s degree in Special educational needs and inclusion. I have learnt so many interesting topics which have helped to build my knowledge as a team leader. I am currently writing my thesis on the impact of covid on children’s PSE development with the help of my colleagues and parents at the nursery.” Kaden
“From the moment my previous nursery was taken over by Childbase, you could sense you were part of a company that wanted to do it right and that had ambition. Being a Nursery Manager at this time was daunting to begin with. When you are used to sitting in Company Managers meetings of about 6 people, to suddenly going into a room of 40 plus fellow Managers, this took a bit of getting used to! I worked at GH Aylesbury for just under 17 years, firstly as the Deputy and then moving up to being Manager. I was lucky enough to be part of an extensive extension project at the nursery adding 21 places to the nursery and having a full nursery refurbishment at the same time. In 2017, I was proud to lead my Management team to Management Team of the Year and this is a moment I will never forget. Leading the nursery to Ofsted outstanding in January 2018 was one of the highlights of my career, along with memories of trips to Spain, Italy, Oman and having the opportunity to climb Mount Snowdon. In 2020, the Academy was starting to take shape and staff development has always been an area that interested me and I felt it was the right time to move into a different path for both professional and personal reasons. Joining the Academy in April 2021 as one of our trainer / assessors, was an exciting move and I have been proud to see how it is growing and developing and supporting all our nurseries to have home-grown qualified staff. I am celebrating my 18th anniversary in September and I can honestly say, I am looking forward to then next 18 years.” Rachel
“I joined willows in April 2018.
During my time here I have made some amazing friends with both staff and parents and have even gained more knowledge on childcare which I never thought possible as I already have 3 grown girls, 21,18 and 17.
I have even convinced the older 2 to become seasonal workers at Willows and they are both enjoying it whenever they can work in between uni and A Levels.
I have also completed my level 3 in childcare since joining Childbase.” Tracy
“I joined Childbase 16 years ago as the Office & Training Administrator. Through inspirational mentors and various opportunities my career has progressed and I now proudly work within the Executive Office Team as PA to the Executive Office. There have been so many highlights in my Childbase journey including winning a Phillip Baxendale Award with the EOA and the many Company Events I have attended. I have gained two NVQs through Childbase: Business Administration and Customer Service. One of my biggest achievements was being elected as an Employee Trust Director which meant I got to sit on the Partnership Trust Board. Outside of Childbase, I have just completed a four year Diploma of Higher Education in Business Management university course with The Open University. ” Ria
“Since joining Childbase I have become so much more confident in my abilities as a person and a practitioner. I have met so many lovely parents and colleagues and some of which I can now call my dearest friends.
I have also since joining had a baby and can’t wait to bring her with me to West Cambridge when I come back in August from Maternity Leave.
I am very much excited to see what the future holds for me at Childbase in the years to come.” Charlotte
“I started my journey at Edwinstowe January 2018 as a practitioner based within the Bumblebee room. I valued the opportunity to work at the nursery as part of the Childbase company and was very excited to start my new journey at the nursery. I thoroughly enjoyed the start of my journey getting to know the team and the company and becoming a valued part of the team at the nursery. Just 5 months after starting at the nursery the chance to progress to Pre-School room leader become available, I had previously had some experience as a room leader within another setting and decided to apply. I went through the interview process and was successful so in the July of 2018 moved to the Pre-School room as the room leader. I had many good memories in the Pre-School room, getting to manage a small team and imbed the school readiness programme into the daily routine and waved goodbye to 2 groups that transitioned to school. The nursery then transitioned the rooms and pre-school became based downstairs offering space for 32 children from 21/2-4 years. This was a challenge as the team became bigger and we then had to cater to the age ranges within the room with some children in the room for a year and others spending 2 years but we had lots of fun in the process. In the Autumn of 2019, room leaders were given the opportunity to transition to a team leader role and become more involved in management support across the whole nursery, I was presented with this option and decided to take the chance. Officially I took on my new role the November 2019 and was presented with several opportunities to provide more of a supportive role to the management team as well as being in the room daily supporting the room team and helping with day to day running of the room. I was very happy and had several years in my role as team leader and remained in my role until May this year when another opportunity came along. Effective from the 1st June I became the Deputy Manager of Edwinstowe Nursery, I am so very pleased and look forward to the future and ways to continue to help the nursery thrive and be the best it can be! I am so grateful for all the opportunities I have been given and the support I have received from my manager, nursery team, parents and colleagues at head office too. I would always highly recommend Childbase as an amazing company to work for! Thank you.” Chantelle
“I started at Brinds Well in June 2017 as and Apprentice. I achieved my level 3 in 2018. I then moved in to the Bumblebee 1 room in 2020. Where I progressed to secondary. I am now the Team Leader of the Bumblebee 1 room. I’m so grateful that I have been able to progress at Brinds Well and don’t intend on stopping there. ” Lilly
“I started at Brinds Well in 2018 as QNP lunch cover and in July 2019 I progressed to Team Leader in a small pre school room, holding 18 children and 3 staff, then moved to a larger pre school with 44 children in October 2019. Then in April 2021 I stepped up as Deputy Manager. I feel I have really achieved so much in such a short time .” Jamie
“My name is Alison. I started working for the company in March as a Nursery Practitioner in Preschool. Previously I worked in a Primary School for 16 years so I am positive that some of my experience and skills will be useful to bring to the Nursery. I have 6 key children which I’m getting to know and I will help to them spread their wings further. I am creative and enjoy working in a team environment. I look forward to developing my knowledge working for Field House Nursery, so that I too can progress.” Alison
“I started in October 2021 working within all rooms. I am now based in butterflies and have 10 key children. I have progressed with my knowledge of iconnect and started doing monthly learning stories. My confidence has grown since starting and I have formed really good bonds with my key children and their parents.” Courtney
“Since working within the Childbase company I have gained lots of knowledge through my colleagues. I have also gained confidence and feel more comfortable within the nursery setting.” Nasriya
“I started at Lavenders Day Nursery in 2007 as an apprentice. At the time I had been working in an independent nursery and was really unhappy in the workplace environment and also with the standard of care they were providing. I decided that I wanted to change the setting in which I undertook my qualification to one that had higher standards and it was the best decision I could have made. I spent 4 years at Lavenders and in that time qualified as a level 3 practitioner, helped support other nursery takeovers within Childbase and took on the role as partnership councillor. I was also very lucky to be chosen for a trip of a lifetime to Shanghai where we researched and discussed our uniform. In 2011 I moved to Leamington Spa and joined Emscote house as the first practitioner when they opened the under 2’s rooms. This was a unique and challenging experience due to Emscote House being an infant school. I was then able to progress to team leader which was a great experience, I mentored new staff to Childbase and supported current staff in their transition from school employees to Childbase partners. There were many challenges over the years due to a quick rise in occupancy and recruitment difficulties which have all provided opportunities for individual growth and learning. Whilst at Emscote I was able to join Childbase on another trip of a lifetime to visit the Ikamva Labantu charity in South Africa, this trip was very humbling and I am forever grateful to have had this opportunity. After having my second child in 2019 I made the decision to step away from room based role and was fortunate enough that an opportunity for Business Administrator was available at Crescent. I am now thoroughly enjoying learning new skills within this role and broadening my knowledge. This year I celebrated 15 years service. ” Rebecca
“I joined in 2014 as a Nursery Practitioner. I have slowly progressed my career from Room Leader, Team Leader, joint Deputy Manager as Maternity Cover and now Deputy Manager permanently which I have been doing for around a year and a half.
Childbase Partnership is an amazing organisation who truly care about their staff and their opinions and feedback. The support I have personally received from my senior management team over the past 8 years has got me to where I am today. I never imagined that I would ever want to be a Deputy Manager, but their support and belief in me is what drove me to want to do well and progress in this company.
In 2019, my management team also nominated me for the Professional Development award which I felt really grateful for as it showed the recognition and belief in my abilities to grow.
On a personal level, having the support I have had at work, I believe, has shaped me into who I am today; I used to be a shy and quiet person. I feel that now I have more confidence and positivity in my everyday life.” Kelly
“I started at Childbase as an Unqualified practitioner in 2010, at Lime Grove in Hemel. I had experience in Early Years after a short stint at Grasshoppers Aylesbury (before it was owned by Childbase). I was lucky enough to visit South Africa with the company when we supported the charity Inkamva Labantu and an not ashamed to say it was a truly life changing experience. in 2013 I was promoted to Team Leader and transferred to Meadow View in Newport Pagnell, where I not only grew within my role but also got engaged and then married in 2015. In January 2016 I was offered the role as Deputy Manager at Lavenders, during my time here I have been offered some amazing opportunities both personally and professionally. One in particular was a trip to Copenhagen to visit some outdoor classrooms. In March 2020 when the pandemic first began I was in the early stages of my 1st pregnancy, I was very fortunate to be furloughed on full pay almost instantly. Something I am still so grateful for, as my husband is a self-employed carpenter and received no government support during any of the pandemic. In January 2021 not long before my return to work I was given the opportunity to apply for manager at Lavenders and was successful in my application, I returned in March 2021 with my little boy who adores his time and nursery. I feel so lucky that I can not only give him the experience of such an amazing nursery but also get to continue doing something I love.
In December 2021 we found out we are expecting baby number 2, she is due in August 2022 and I have once again been given an amazing opportunity to manage the new Childbase Nursery, Berryfields on my return in January 2023.” Jessica
“Hello! Just a little bit about myself since joining Childbase Partnership in Dec 2017. I started in the Preschool room as a level 3 practitioner. In May 2018 a position for Team Leader for maternity cover was advertised, suffice to say, I was the successful candidate. After the mat cover was over, I was made a permanent Team Leader and the support from my whole team at Edwalton and from my manager Sarah has been overwhelming. I was the charity rep for a year where we once again reached our target and appointed as the nursery’s SENCO. Through them company I have completed my Forest School level 3 training and SENCO qualification. On a personal level, I have completed a foundation degree in Young People’s Services and now into my first year of studying my BA Hons in Early Years Education. The Company is amazing!!! Sarah my manager has these unique visions that give the opportunity for us all to progress within a personal and professional manner. I just can’t thank everyone at Team Edwalton for their support.
Biggest achievement, the Preschool Team winning the Health and Wellbeing Challenge that was set by our quality trainers just after the Covid-19 epidemic and our local papers video showcasing our Forest School where I haven’t lived it down from stroking a tree!
Biggest achievement as a person, being a proud mum of five and having seven beautiful grandchildren.” Clare
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Childbase Partnership is going above and beyond by giving colleagues in its 44-day nurseries the opportunity to have up to 50 paid days off work a year, to further improve ‘work-life’ balance and promote better workplace happiness.