Gail Harris, Nursery Manager
I was appointed Nursery Manager in 1994 when the college opened the Day Nursery facility on the Ystrad Mynach College Campus. The main purpose of the nursery was to support students with childcare, enabling them to study, and I can honestly say that I have worked with some amazing families that have gone on to have successful careers. Being part of their journey has been the most rewarding part of my job.
No two days are the same here – it is so unpredictable, but we have great fun each day and seeing the children happily come to nursery (after September’s settling in time) is great to see.
I am fortunate to work with a wonderful team of staff and we have experienced all the ups and some downs too, but we get on so well as a team and this shows in a very relaxed atmosphere at the nursery.
On a personal level I enjoy a busy social life, family holidays and catching up with my sisters and friends is important to me. I love Welsh Rugby and enjoy watching the matches with a refreshment or two in hand.
Emma Johns, Deputy Manager
I have worked in the nursery since it opened in 1995.
I have always enjoyed creative activities with the children and love seeing them take home their creations with pride. I am happy to work with all age groups of children – but not keen on stepping in for the cook’s job – as cooking and I are not a good mix.
I enjoy working out in the gym, long walks, shopping, and theatre trips and socialising with the nursery team members on evenings out.
Jane John, Team Leader
Hi, I am Jane and have worked at the nursery since it opened in 1995, working in all 3 areas, all of which I have enjoyed.
I love being part of a caring supportive team and enjoy planning a range of activities for the children to support their learning and enjoyment of the nursery experience.
I enjoy spending time with my family, long walks and days out.
Lisa Badham, Key Worker
Hi, I am Aunty Lisa and I have worked in the college nursery since the age of 19.
I have NVQ Level 2 & 3 in Early Years, Care and Education and I have always wanted to work with young children of preschool age. I love to help them learn and grow and prepare them to move on to “Big School”. I enjoy singing and dancing with the children and being silly and “young at heart”.
I enjoy short breaks away with my family. My son has additional learning needs. Caring for him has given me a greater understanding of children’s individual needs and I am always there for parents that may be experiencing concerns about their child’s development and care.
Karen Brunnock, Key Worker
Hello, I have over 20 years of experience working at the nursery, the nursery children call me “Aunty Karen” and I’ve been called “Mam” and more recently “Nan”.
I enjoy all the messy craft activities along with gardening with the little ones – so you can safely say that I don’t mind “getting my hands dirty” – all these activities the children enjoy. One of my most enjoyable roles is putting on “the big red suit” each year to become Santa and give out gifts…Most children love this!
When I am not in nursery, I enjoy meeting friends for coffee and taking care of my two tortoises, Harry and Lloyd.
Sian Catchpole, Key Worker
I have worked at the nursery since it opened in 1995, initially full-time until I started my family and then became part-time.
In nursery, I enjoy all the craft activities and art displays which the children really enjoy too, and I am always looking for new craft ideas online to carry out with the children. I also love giving hugs to the nursery children and I am always available to comfort children if they are sad or upset.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time at home with my husband and two girls, often taking our dog Poppy out for long beach walks.
Kathryn Coleman, Key Worker
Hi, I am Aunty Kath / Kathryn. I have worked at the nursery for over 15 years and was a student here on placement when I was working towards my childcare qualification – Early Years Childcare and Education Level 3.
I enjoy preschool aged children where we love to create works of art to proudly display in nursery or to take home. I love to watch and help the children in our care to learn and develop into little people ready for “Big School”. I am the “tech person” in nursery – and responsible for providing all the photographs for the children’s developmental records, for activity planning and evaluations and for the nursery’s Facebook page.
In my spare time, I enjoy arts and crafts, listening to music and going to live gigs and spending time with friends, family and my pets.
Janet Denham, Key Worker
I am “Aunty Jan” and I have been a part of the nursery team for several years. When I started at the nursery the children would often call me Mam, but as the years have passed, they call me Nana.
I am one of the older team members and particularly enjoy looking after the babies of the nursery. We have lots of fun and exciting daily activities making the children’s day a fun and exciting experience.
Mandy Matthews, Nursery Cook
I have worked in Catering for over 28 years, initially as a school cook, and then moving on to a management position. I joined the nursery team in 2019.
I enjoy cooking nutritious, freshly prepared, home cooked meals for the children. Although based in the kitchen, I love seeing the children enjoying their meals, especially the faces they pull when trying new foods.
I enjoy interacting with the children and love seeing them enjoying the garden and local walks.
The Nursery has a food hygiene rating of 5 – Excellent!
All nursery staff have a recognised childcare qualification (level 3 and above), along with Paediatric First Aid, Food Hygiene and Safeguarding certificates.
Staff take part in the college’s Continuing Professional Development Programme, run by the college and external agencies. This covers topics such as Additional Learning Needs training, behavior management training, Welsh language and Prevent, to name a few.
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