Colets Nursery: Leading Childcare
Colets Nursery: Leading The Way In Childcare
Amy Garrett, Head of Childcare at Colets Nursery in Thames Ditton, talks to us about her role within the changing business
Tell us about your journey so far and your role within the nursery.
Having fully qualified from Kingston and Exeter universities with a degree and a masters the next step is to do a doctorate in early years. I worked for a nursery chain in Surrey but really felt I had achieved all I could within the role. I joined Colets in November as the challenge of head of department, with over 40 staff to manage, proved too good an opportunity to turn down.
In 3 months I have rewritten all the policies so they are totally up to date with all legislation, set in place a competency programme for staff and taken the OFSTED report from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’ – we will not stop until we achieve outstanding practice and an outstanding rating from OFSTED, that the nursery and staff all deserve
What makes Colets Nursery unique?
This is a very special place. We are attached to a health club and provide a crèche and full nursery from 6 weeks to 5 years. At Colets we have happy, healthy children and that is our focus. We place huge importance on mind, body and soul as we feel that is as important as the academic side of things. We really want the children to be school ready and at least be able to write and read their own name. We also run a mindfulness programme that has been incredibly popular with children and parents and will become part of the school day.
Our staff are really important to us and each member of staff has a plan to help them improve their skills, while everyone has different responsibilities and competencies which are assessed every 3 months. We offer constant training and continuous professional development for individuals, while staff are assessed but also speak openly about their views.
Every 6 months leadership assess the abilities of the staff team against the competencies to ensure best practice is always achieved – we have over 40 competencies to grade staff on including things like sterilization of bottles, changing nappies, observation of children and many more.
What do you plan for the future?
I want to see Colets Nursery gain ‘outstanding’ from OFSTED and I am sure this will happen in the near future. I also want to gain Millie’s Mark for the Nursery. Millie’s law requires all nursery practitioners to have paediatric ﬁrst aid as well as emergency ﬁrst aid training. Nurseries with 100% trained staff will be able to display the kite mark scheme. Millie’s Mark will reassure parents that their child is safe and being cared for by knowledgeable staff.
What is your dream job?
I have so much to do in my current role, which is very exciting, but at some point I would love to train to be an OFSTED Inspector for the early years sector. Another aspiration is to be part of the education cabinet to change legislation for the early years sector.
St. Nicholas Rd, Thames Ditton
020 8335 6982