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Staff Profiles

We employ 16 dedicated, experienced staff at The Saplings and two apprentices. All staff are trained or working towards a childcare qualification. Each session is run by two or more members of staff, at least one of whom is Level 3 qualified or above. Our staffing ratios are 1:3 for babies and children under 2, 1:4 for 2 year-old children and 1:8 for children 3 years and over.

"Leaders and managers are keen to continue to raise standards further. They encourage staff to extend their knowledge and acquire new skills through professional development"
Ofsted 2016 

All staff have completed an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service, formally known as CRB) check and these are routinely repeated every 5 years. Staff are required to attend a 'Safeguarding Course' and undertake Food Hygiene training. There is a member of staff on duty at all times with a current Paediatric First Aid Certificate.


Rachel Lockwood

Rachel Lockwood - Manager

Rachel has been with The Saplings since May 2000 and has the following qualifications:

National BTEC Certificate in Nursery Nursing - Level 3, Roles and Responsibilities Level 4, NVQ Level 5 Children's Care Learning & Development

Other certificates and training include:Safeguarding Children, Paediatric First Aid, Food Safety CAF Part 1 & 2, Autism Awareness, Leadership Skills, Maths Outdoors, Coaching in Practice, Prevent Duty General Awareness Training.

Jo Gadsden

Jo Gadsden - Manager

Jo has been with The Saplings since January 2007 and has the following qualifications:

NVQ Level 3 Childcare Learning & Development, NVQ Level 3 Working with Babies and Young Children, SENDCO, CACHE Level 4, Playwork Theories Level 3

Other certificates and training include: Safeguarding Children, Paediatric First Aid, Level 2 Food Safety, Makaton Levels 1 & 2, Autism Awareness, Allergy Awareness, Disability Awareness, Parent Partnership, Relationships Build Brains, Twos's are Special, Letters and Sounds, Building Baby Brains, Fire Extinguisher Training. Nurture an Introduction, Prevent Duty General Awareness Training, Level 2 Health & Safety.

Amy Sparrow

Amy Sparrow - Deputy Manager, SENDCO, Preschool, After School Club & Holiday Club Leader

Amy has been with The Saplings since August 2013 and has the following qualifications:

Level 3/4 Diploma in Childcare, Learning & Development and in August 2015 achieved her Level 5, she is also SENDCO trained.

Other certificates and training include: Safeguarding Children, Paediatric First Aid, Hearing Impairment, Enabling Inclusion, Twos's are Special, Manual Handling.

Claire Warwick

Claire Warwick - Preschool Assistant

Claire has been with The Saplings since 2005 and has the following qualifications:

NVQ Level 3 Childcare Learning & Development, CACHE Level 2 Caring for Children, Playwork Theories Level 3

Other certificates and training include: Safeguarding Children, Food Safety, Makaton, Autism Awareness, Observation & Assessment, Birth to Three Matters, Let's Play - Creative Workshop.

Megan Wright

Megan Wright - The Seedlings (Baby Room) Leader, Breakfast Club, After School Club & Preschool Assistant

Megan has been with The Saplings since 2014 and has the following qualifications:

BTEC Level 3 in Children's care, Learning and Development.

Other certificates and training include: Paediatric First Aid, Safeguarding Children, Food hygiene. 

Jacqui Coates

Jacqui Coates - Preschool & Holiday Club Assistant

Jacqui has been with The Saplings since September 2008 and has the following qualifications:

Level 3/4 Diploma in Childcare, Learning and Development.

Other certificates and training include: Paediatric First Aid, Safeguarding Children, Food Safety, Makaton Level 1 & 2.

Nicole Harris

Nicole Harris - Walking Bus Leader, Preschool Assistant, Breakfast, After School Club & Holiday Club Assistant, SENDCO Deputy

Nicole has been with The Saplings since 2011 and has the following qualifications:

NVQ Level 2 in Childcare Learning and Development & Level 3/4 Diploma in Childcare, Learning and Development.

Other certificates and training include: Early Years SENCO Training, Transition Planning for Children with SEN, Safeguarding Children, Paediatric First Aid, Food Hygiene, Epipen Training, Fire Awareness, ADHD, Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Speech and Language Disorders in Children, 'Hearing Children Read', Twos are Special Working Together, First Steps into the Classroom, Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP), Positive Approach to Behaviour.

Dawn Neild

Dawn Neild - Preschool Assistant & Rising 5's Leader

Dawn has been with The Saplings since 2012 and has the following qualification:

Level 3/4 Diploma in Childcare, Learning and Development.

Other certificates and training include: Level 2 Award in Food Safety, Twos are Special.

Sam Finbow

Sam Finbow - Preschool Assistant

Sam has been with The Saplings since 2013 and has the following qualifications:

Level 2 Children's & Young People's Workforce and is working towards Level 3/4 Diploma in Childcare, Learning & Development

Other certificates and training include: Safeguarding Children, Paediatric First Aid, Food Safety Level 2, Observing & Assessing Children 0-5 Years.

Julie Mellamphy

Julie Mellamphy - Preschool & Breakfast Club Assistant

Julie has been with The Saplings since 2013 and has the following qualification:

Level 2 Children's and Young People's Workforce.

Other certificates and training include: Safeguarding Children, Paediatric First Aid, Food Hygiene, Makaton training.

Courtney Burch

Courtney Burch - The Seedlings (Baby Room) After School Club & Holiday Club Apprentice

Courtney has been with The Saplings since July 2014 and has Level 2 Young Children and Peoples Workforce and has Level 3 Young Children and Peoples Workforce, Safeguarding, Paediatric First Aid, Food Hygiene, Prevent.

Sofia Lopez Tonge

Sofia Lopez Tonge

Sofia has been with The Saplings since September 2014 and has Level 2 Young Children and Peoples Workforce and Level 3 Children's & Young People's Workforce.

Lisa Hardwicke

Lisa Hardwicke

Lisa has been with the Saplings since April 2016 and has the following qualifications:

BTEC National Diploma in childhood studies ( Nursery nursing ) level 3, CACHE level 4 NEW in Children's care, learning and development.

Other certificates and training include - level 2 food safety, Paediatric first aid, Safeguarding children, Makaton level 1 and 2, Working together for positive behaviour, level 2 Health and safety in the workplace for childcare practitioners, Work with babies and young children to promote their development and learning, Twos are special, Channel General Awareness module, Including everyone, Observation and assessment level 4 and Working in partnership with parents.