Nikki has over 14 years’ experience of working within Early Years, where she has held various managerial positions. Nikki sees new challenges within settings and enjoys adapting them to meet each child’s individual needs. She believes children will develop to the best of their ability when being provided with a stimulating environment and a passionate team.
Nikki has previously worked with children aged 0-11 years in nurseries and preschools in Hertfordshire and Suffolk gaining her BTEC Diploma Level-3 in Management, CACHE Level-3 in Early Years, and her title of Special Educational Needs Co-coordinator and Designated Safeguarding Lead.
She has extensive experience supporting children with challenging behaviour and has an excellent track record of creating structured learning environments to support children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Nikki also has outstanding child interaction skills and has Makaton Level-1 and level-2 qualifications.
Nikki has lived in Kent since August 2019, with her partner, dog and little girl Isabella.
Deputy Lead Mentor
Melanie has over 12 years’ experience within childcare, working at nurseries rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted. Melanie is educated to degree level and gained a CACHE level-3 in children’s care, learning and development in 2008.
Melanie has been working at Little Birches since February 2018 and holds the Deputy Lead Mentor position. She is deeply passionate about helping children to develop holistically, encouraging them to become happy, confident and well-rounded.
Deputy Lead Mentor
Naomi has over 10 years of experience working within the education and childcare sector in various senior management roles. Naomi has worked with children aged 0-11 years in nurseries and schools, gaining her degree level qualification in Primary Education and her Level-5 Diploma in Leadership for Children and Young People’s Workforce.
Through her practice she shows her enthusiasm to providing quality education and care. Naomi believes that children should be provided with learning environments that provoke awe, wonder and curiosity to support lifelong learning. Naomi loves spending time walking in the countryside or pottering around in her garden.
Karen joined Little Birches in January 2020, following a successful career in aviation. When the opportunity arose, Karen was thrilled to be able to pursue a new career within Early Years, for which she has always had a passion for.
Karen is Level 3 qualified in childcare and is very excited to be part of the team, helping and supporting each child to grow in all areas and aspects of learning and development. Karen believes every child should be put at the centre of every activity and they learn the best through play.
Karen has already achieved her Paediatric First Aid, Prevent Duty training, Food Hygiene Level 2 and deputy designated safeguarding lead. Karen lives in the local community with her husband and two young children.
Jen is joining Little Birches after spending many years in the ambulance service. Jen has a background in art, design, film, photography and human health science.
She believes in allowing children to grow, learn and expand their minds by allowing them to discover and interpret a wealth of new experiences.
Jen has been married for 27 years. Jen helps to create sets and props for performances and occasionally act. She also enjoys walking her two dogs, swimming, Tai Chi, genealogy and her role as a community volunteer for the fire service.
Agata has over 4 years of experience working within Early Years Education and over 16 years of personal experience of looking after children. Agata has always had a passion for working in childcare and as soon as the opportunity arose, she changed her career to fulfil her desire of working with children.
While working in early years settings, Agata gained Level-3 Early Years Educator Qualifications as well as knowledge of Montessori methods. Agata also has a degree in Philosophy and studied Psychology at university.
Agata believes that giving children the opportunities to play and explore in a safe and stimulating environment helps them to develop and learn. To foster their curiosity, creativity and imagination, she believes children should be given natural and open-ended resources to explore. Agata moved to live in Kent from London in summer 2022 to enjoy the countryside, and in her free time she loves to travel, read and cook.
Claire has 16 years of experience of working in education. She worked initially as a Teaching Assistant in primary education and having gained her degree in Education, moved to support children with autism delivering individualised programmes in a special school setting.
Claire believes in education through meaningful and natural environment teaching methods, learning through play and what motivates the individual learner. She is motivated by supporting the learners at their own pace and creating further learning opportunities for the children she works with. Claire believes that every step of progress should be celebrated, and that self-esteem is paramount to young children`s futures. Claire lives in Kent and has two grown up children. She enjoys keeping active by walking, running and cycling around the Kent countryside.
Dora is very excited to have joined Little Birches as working with children has always been a career she wanted to pursue. She has 3 years’ experience working as a Nanny and also has two children of her own. Dora is currently studying towards a Cache Level-3 in Early Years.
She is passionate about nurturing and supporting each child, creating a secure, warm and consistent environment in which every child feels happy, confident and able to thrive.
Dora believes children should be encouraged to be creative, imaginative and individual, able to express themselves and fulfil their potential through positive and stimulating surroundings.
She loves nature and spending time outside and believes it is important for children’s wellbeing and understanding of the world. Dora studied languages and loves books, music and dance as well as all animals.
Sara’s passion for cooking began at a young age when she discovered she enjoyed baking. Since then, she has been a Chef for many years, working in a variety of restaurant establishments. Sara particularly likes to cook healthy and nutritionally balanced meals from scratch. She is very knowledgeable when catering to allergies, intolerances, and cultural requirements.
Here are just a few of her qualifications: Advanced Food Safety and Hygiene Level-3, Food Allergy Awareness, Fussy Eaters, Vegan Awareness and Health and Nutrition in Early Years.
Sara loves involving the children in baking and cooking activities as she believes they learn best by being hands-on. In her spare time, Sara loves to ride her horse and crochet.