Hi Louise, thank you for the taking the time to speak about your amazing achievement of 10 years’ service here with us at Daybreak. I understand that you have progressed from a nursery assistant all the way up to the senior team and now organise events and marketing. What an amazing achievement!
Such broad range of skills learnt whilst working full time.
What was it that inspired you to come into childcare 10 years ago, when you first started at Daybreak?
Hi Laura, wow! 10 years?! Time flies by so quick it seems…. Well, I firstly thought of studying childcare before I had started to work at all. I used to attend a local college, where I studied the basics of childcare. After my year at college I went on to childmind for a year or so, when I then decided I wanted a slight change, to work with children within a setting, the rest is history!
During 10 years’ service you must have experienced a few Ofsted inspections, describe to us how you felt during your first inspection to now?
Well, my first Ofsted inspection is going back several years ago! I believe I had worked with Daybreak for roughly a year or so and I had become a keyworker in the Toddlers room. I remember having been nervous about being approached by an inspector and that I may say something incorrect, I continued to carry out my daily tasks of interaction and engaging with the children in my care, ensuring their needs were met. Staff that had experienced an Ofsted inspection before were good to direct myself and others in a professional manner which as I remember put my mind at ease. A big sigh of relief swept through the setting as our hard work paid off!
Now that I have 10 years’ experience under my belt, I use my knowledge to speak with the inspectors about Daybreak and how we work and adapt to suit every child’s needs. I like to think back to my early days at the setting to reassure new staff at present if they are in the hand of an Ofsted inspector.
You will have seen and experienced many situations in 10 years; Ofsted inspections, changes to the EYFS curriculum, new and returning families, staffing, training. Is there anything that sticks out over the years as a fond memory or situation?
Is there a particular challenge or hurdle that you have had to overcome in relation to a particular situation over the past 10 years that stands out?
Fond memories are truly great to reflect on, especially those in which involve new siblings of returning families. It’s a lovely thought to know that Daybreak are in mind for the ‘next child and returning to nursery with transitions. For me, a new challenge that sticks out and I found quite hard to overcome at the time was my transition from working in the toddler’s room for about 4 years to begin working in the baby room!
I was very anxious at first as the babies seemed very young and I hadn’t experienced caring for this age range much at all. But, with the help of senior staff guidance and the room leader, I gained confidence to overcome and to just enjoy the babies. Every age range at nursery are a pleasure to look after, but after learning so much about babies I must say that having the delight to care for them and watch their characters unravel is a very fond memory for me.
What is it you enjoy most about coming to work?
When working at a well-established setting, it’s great to come into work and see a variety of long and trusted faces. Whether they are returning families, or the staff I have worked with over the past 10 years. It is always a delight to walk into any room at nursery and be greeted by the children with a welcoming hug or smile.
What are you most proud of in your career?
Now, this is a tough question!
There are many things that I feel quite personal about regarding my achievements at Daybreak. For me, having a good, open and honest relationship with others is important. I always feel most rewarded when new staff ask me advice – being able to offer an opinion using my reflection of experience. I achieved a great deal of experience and am very proud of my time spent as a room leader, I must say that this is a very hard role to have within a nursery, to have an overall care of the children and of the staff is very much a hard job to have and I take my hat off to every room leader out there, as I know exactly how tough it can be.
Do you have any advice for anyone not sure if childcare is the right path for them?
The most important advice I can give is to be 100% certain that childcare is the right path for you. Most importantly for yourself to thrive in something you want to achieve in this profession, also the children in your care. Through my experience I have learnt that a child can really sense a vibe off of another person, this does take effect on how their mood or emotions may be. A happy adult encourages a happy child, which equals more of an initiative for a child to explore a happy environment.
What would you do differently if you had your career path ahead of you again?
There are so many experiences that I have definitely learnt a lot from. Mainly for myself from a personal review is that I wish I had got stuck into studying childcare, more so whilst I had the chance to, to not be so shy in my first year or so at Daybreak as it took a long while for me to open up and put my own stamp onto a given project or activity.
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years???
I enjoy all aspects of childcare, so it’s quite a hard question for me to answer.
I would like to say I will have a family of my own, the possibility of imparting my knowledge of nursery life onto others would be a great achievement too!
I am currently still enjoying new challenges and responsibilities given to me within my role at Daybreak. It is tricky having to look into the next 10 years, I’m sure that I will still be involved in the childcare industry, as I know this is something I would like to do for many years to come!
Thank you so much for inviting me to this interview.