The Team

“Staff have exemplary skills in setting a challenging and interesting curriculum, which keeps children highly engaged in purposeful play” (excerpt from our Outstanding Ofsted Report). Our Young Friends Nursery team is our best asset and we try our best to reward them with a great working environment. They have been meticulously chosen for their lively intelligence and clear and undeniable passion for childcare and education. Staff morale is very high at Young Friends Nursery and Nature School…They are all here because not only are they highly talented but they love children – a winning combination.

Each member of staff is highly trained, either or both before they come or beginning immediately as they arrive at the Nursery, and always thereafter with our support. Apart from the obvious childcare qualifications each carer has or is immediately provided with specific training in their particular age group.

Louise (Director)  holds level 7 in childcare and many years’ experience in the childcare world. She also writes for numerous magazines on a regular basis and is an expert in our field. Our experienced and highly qualified SENDCo consistently works with Presens and EMAS and trains, supports and guides our team in providing totally committed care for special needs and those with English as an Additional Language. She is supernumerary, giving her time and ability to keep up with all staff regarding child development and spotting and addressing individual requirements as they arise. All staff members hold safeguarding, behaviour management and fire safety training certificates as staple requirements. All of our team hold pediatric first aid, health and safety, Makaton and a vast host of other individual training certificates to enhance their practice.

We have three safeguarding leads all with higher level safeguarding lead training. This enables Young Friends to keep up incredibly high safeguarding standards.

Meet The Team


Deputy Manager

Hi. I'm Carly and I've been here for 6 years. I'm totally passionate about childcare and find this job both...


Badger Practitioner

My name is Chelsie. I have worked at Young Friends for nearly 3 years now. I like listening to music...

Claire. Lunchtime Practitioner.

Lunchtime Practitioner

Hey, I’m Claire, I am a fun and energetic practitioner. I'm only in over lunch but I know my daily...


Director and Chef

Hi I'm Gillian. I am a Director of the company and have done the cooking for Young Friends since the...


Head of Education

Hi. I'm Jes. 18 years in childcare but a newby at Young Friends. I'm the Head of Education and SENDCo...


Fox Supervisor

I'm Jodie. I've been here for nearly 8 years and it's flown by.  I came as an apprentice and am...



I'm Kelly (Carly's sister) and love working as a chef at Young Friends. We are a close kitchen team!


Fox Practitioner

I'm Libby. once an apprentice and now a Level 3 practitioner. I'm happy to be using my dancing background as...


Managing Director

Hi! I'm Louise. I have 20 years childcare experience, including managing other nurseries, and am qualified to Level 7. I...


Badger Apprentice


Assistant Chef

I’m Meryll. I love the warm friendly atmosphere here at Young Friends. I have lots of experience cooking for my...


Hedgehog Supervisor

Hi , my name is Muge(Mimi). I'm a strong believer that children are our future. I enjoy teaching them skills...


Badger Supervisor

I'm Nishat and have been here for 7 years. As well as working with the Badgers, I'm the 'Persona Doll'...

Olivia Daly

Hedgehog Practitioner

Hi there I'm Liv and love working at Young Friends. Its so fascinating watching the children develop and fun to...


Senior Badger Practitioner. Level 6.

Senior Badger Practitioner. Level 6.


Office Manager

Hi there. I'm Sue and have worked here in the office since Dec 17. I have worked between offices and...

Tanya Vallone

Hedghog Apprentice studying for her level 2

Hi, my name is Tanya and I am an enthusiastic and creative learner. I love expanding children’s interests and watching...

“We focus wholly on the well-being of every child and we take a holistic approach to their care. We use our professional extensive experience and knowledge of the individual child to help them flourish and develop whilst feeling respected, valued and secure. We do all we can to include the children in the running of the nursery and garden and encourage them to help with every stage of growing and cooking so as to instil a respect for nature and the knowledge and desire to keep healthy for life. We aim to provide a stimulating but relaxed homely environment where the children can balance free uninterrupted play and exploration both inside and out with structured age appropriate education. At Young Friends Nursery we have consistently high expectations of every child. If a child believes that we believe they can do something, their confidence to take risks and learn will follow. We strongly believe parents / carers to be the pivotal point around which a child develops and learns and we express this respect by having superb communication practices – including an open door policy that keeps the lines of communication flowing both ways. These years before academia sets in are so precious. Let’s celebrate them together”.

Louise, Director and owner of Young Friends. Early Years Professional. For more information on this qualification please visit –

MEET THE TEAM – Here at Young Friends, we pride ourselves on the quality of our recruitment process and team development. We could say we’re very fortunate, but we’re not as we go to great lengths to ensure that we have the best team around whose practice reflects our values and whose passion shines through effortlessly.

  • RECRUITMENT – Our recruitment process is very practice based. Upon an initial interview, we ask applicants to spend the day with one of our groups so that we can observe their natural abilities with both the children and the team, who provide feedback to management of their performance. If they are successful in this, we then ask them to stay for two weeks in order to give them an opportunity to grow in confidence and show us the quality of their practice over a time. This also gives our families an opportunity to meet potential new staff and offer us feedback as we always take their views into consideration with regards to hiring new team members. If applicants are successful, we do a full induction that lasts an entire day, wherein they learn all about what we do here at Young Friends and read through policies and procedures.
  • APPRENTICES – We believe in fully supporting those who wish to pursue careers in childcare. Young Friends stands out from the rest as a nursery that offers apprentices invaluable experience whether they’re with us only for the length of their apprenticeship or stay on as practitioners. Our apprentices get completely immersed in good practice as they take on keychildren, implement planning, lead activities, and communicate children’s development to their families under the guidance of senior staff.
  • STAFFING STRUCTURE – All of our groups have a supervisor and at least one Level 3 qualified staff member (all supervisors are Level 3) and we adhere to all statutory guidance regarding ratios. Young Friends has a supernumerary senior supervisor who is responsible for ensuring consistent practice across all groups. There is also an office-based deputy manager and nursery director/owner. Groups are staffed by core team members who all have key person responsibilities.
  • VOLUNTEERS/INTERNS – Due to the fact that we believe in supporting strong childcare professionals, we welcome volunteers and interns into our nursery to build their knowledge and practice. All volunteers and interns are treated as full-time employees and have DBS checks, full inductions, and support the team in delivering excellent care, including leading activities. We do not take volunteers or interns for less than three months as we believe in consistency for both the children and our core team. Quite often, we get interns from around the world and we take it as an opportunity for them to share languages and their particular interests with the children. We’ve had dancers lead classes and German interns who’ve done weekly German sessions with the children.
  • DEVELOPMENT – One of our aims is to not only create an environment in which children thrive, but also support each member of our team in developing their skills far beyond just their apprenticeship work. There are monthly staff meetings wherein we do in-house training, discuss practice, and plan for upcoming events. Throughout the year, staff are sent on council-led training to either extend their knowledge or refresh their current practice, i.e. annual SENDco network meetings. Management run regular incentives, such as best role play, to celebrate good practice, extend resources, and instill a strong work ethic in the team with prizes ranging from gift certificates to team building activities such as chocolate making. Management also carry out regular supervisions and appraisals to support and develop the team and we have two inset days a year to focus on one or more particular aspects of team practice.

Young Friends Staff Deployment

There are many roles within the Young Friends family:

  • Manager/proprietor – Supernumerary
  • Deputy Manager – Supernumerary (replaced by Office Administrator during maternity leave)
  • Head of Education – Supernumerary
  • Preschool Teacher
  • Room Supervisors
  • Room Deputy Supervisors
  • Nursery Practitioner
  • Nursery Apprentice
  • Volunteer

Legislation dictates that Nurseries deploy staff in a particular way within nursery settings in relation to their qualification…

‘At least one member of staff must hold a full and relevant Level 3 Qualification’ and ‘At least 50% of all other staff must hold a full and relevant Level 2 Qualification or above

At present within the age groups we always have the following qualified members of staff:

  • Hedgehogs Max* 15 children; 2 x Level 3 supervisors and 2 apprentices working towards level 3
  • Badgers Max*20 children; 1 x Level 3 supervisor, one Level 2 practitioner, one practitioner with Education Studies BA and working towards Level 3 plus two apprentices – one working towards Level 3 and one Level 2
  • Foxes Max* 32 children; 1 Qualified Teacher, 1 x Level 3 Preschool Practitioner, plus 2 Qualified Level 3 practitioners, 2 apprentices
  • We also often have an extra intern. We love to support high quality childcare and always use very stringent procedures to provide this opportunity for the highest quality longer term (usually around 5 months) interns. They always become part of the family and we are always sad to see them go. We also have an extra apprentice for the same reason and for extra support for the team.

*All Maximum numbers are set out by us and are subject to change.

You can clearly see from the deployment stated above that we exceed the statutory requirements to an Outstanding Level. This enables us to provide quality childcare for your family and ensures that the children’s needs are met as effectively as possible.
If you would like to raise a point in regards to our deployment and have suggestions to help improve the time the children have at nursery with regards to staffing, then please do not hesitate to contact us either directly, via email or letter or via the tab on this site and we will happily listen to your suggestions.

Within each age group ratios are advised by Ofsted as follows:

  • 0-2 years 1 adult to 3 children
  • 2-3 years 1 adult to 4 children
  • 3-5 years 1 adult to 8 children

There are few exceptions to these ratios, they are:

On Nursery outings though the legal ratio is the same as in the setting, we choose to lower the ratio for 3-5 year olds to 1 adult to 4 children. As we believe that during these times the children’s safety is paramount and we ensure this by doubling the amount of adults supporting the children during this time.

our newsleter