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  • Our Team

    Our Team

    Karen James – Whole Nursery Team Manager, Penrith and The Meadows and wider agency Liaison Officer

    Kiddlywinks was first founded by Karen in 2003. Karen has gained an Advanced Diploma in childcare and education, NVQ level 5 in management, Early years professional status and a First Class BA (hons) in early childhood studies. Karen is the designated person for Child Protection, Special Needs, Looked After children and is the nursery “Communication Champion”. Karen manages , supervises and oversees the development and running of the nursery. She enjoys working  and chatting with the children  so that she can then ensure that their little voices are heard and the nursery is a very special place that they  love and enjoy. Karen has also been a Freelance Ofsted inspector. In her free time Karen enjoys spending time with her ever expanding family and enjoys taking much needed breaks when time permits. She also believes that there is no such thing as having too many dogs ,cats or any animal for that matter and soon persuades Pops with just a little bit of  persuasive  pressure.



    Kelly is one of our nursery Duty Managers and has recently completed eleven years service with Kiddlywinks. Kelly has an Early Years Foundation Degree and works closely with Natalie. Their strong management partnership ensures that the Foundation and Pre School group children’s needs are fully met within a caring and highly motivated environment. When not in nursery, Kelly enjoys socialising with her family and a wide range of friends. Kelly will never make a ballet dancer as she is extremely heavy footed and can be heard stomping around like a baby elephant. Kelly’s secret talent is reciting the story the Gruffalo from start to finish whilst dressed in a full Gruffalo outfit!


    Natalie James is one of our Duty Managers and is mainly based at The Meadows. Her expertise is early years education and she works closely with all our team as a Mentor and Educational advisor.

    Natalie gained Qualified Teacher Status with a specialism in early years in 2008. Natalie has worked at Kiddlywinks for over 8 years and she manages and coordinates the teaching and learning experiences for the children across both of the nurseries. Natalie is our ‘resident story teller’ and uses her highly imaginative character to support the children in their creative productions such as the Christmas nativity and the annual graduation ceremony. In her spare time, Natalie likes to sew, knit, bake cakes and make jam. In fact, she is our very own Mary Berry!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                natalie james

    Jodie Mathews

    Jodie is one of our Deputy Managers and works closely with the children in both the Foundation and Pre School groups. Jodie joined Kiddlywinks in 2012 after returning from working abroad as a children’s club deputy manager and a sports coordinator for older children. Jodie has a level 3 Childcare and Education qualification and specialises in forming strong attachments to children who need a little extra support in settling in to nursery. Jodie’s hobbies are singing and dancing and she mistakenly believes that she is a potential candidate for the X Factor!

    Helen Johnston

    Helen has been our administration manager for five years and both her boys attended Kiddlywinks. Helen manages the two, three and four year free entitlement funding at nursery and can be contacted on a Monday or Tuesday to discuss invoices and billing. Helen’s hobbies are playing with her boys, baking and shopping for expensive items with her teenage daughter. She is also very loyal in supporting her husband’s addiction to cricket.


    Pops (Karen’s husband Philip)

    Pops is our resident maintenance manager and he turns the children’s wishes for new outside resources into reality, such as the creation of the pirate ship and the development of our outside mud kitchen. Pops also occasionally supports the staff and children in the development of their DIY skills by planning and providing wood working projects, for example making bird boxes, benches, dens and large scale collages. If we need something made or repaired good old Pops will do it! He is Kiddlywinks Nursery’s number 1 fan and can always be found supporting the staff and children at our annual events. Pop’s hobbies are cars, making things and drinking and eating too much. So if you ever hear your child talking about Pops or shouting out  his name when they spot him when you are out shopping , you now know who he is !


    Jo Richards

    Jo is one of our baby room co-ordinators. She gained her professional experience of working with young children whilst working abroad as a children’s club manager. Jo has gained a level 3 qualification in Childcare and Education and works predominately with our babies in the Nurture Group. Jo works closely with the rest of the Nurture Group team in planning and delivering high quality care and learning experiences to our littlest people. Jo’s favourite day of the week is Treat Friday and can often be heard squealing with delight as the treats arrive. Jo is a huge Wolverhampton Wanderers fan and also enjoys outdoor sports. She has recently returned to playing hockey and has already gained a reputation for being a little too competitive. Oh dear Jo!


    Shelley Shearer

    Shelley is one of or senior practitioners and can be found supporting all the children within the Foundation and Pre School Group. Shelley has gained a level 3 qualification in Childcare and Education and joined the Kiddlywinks team when she left college in 2010. Shelley supports the team in planning imaginative and sensory enriched learning opportunities for the children and she works closely with several children who require additional support. Shelley has recently moved into her own house and is learning how to be a domestic goddess and she would like to be a song writer some day even though to date she has never written a song, although she does sing different lyrics to well known songs without realising she is doing it!


    Marie Stockdale

    Marie is one of our under three co-ordinators and works in the Little Explorers room with our two to three year olds. Marie has gained a great deal of experience in working with this age group since she joined Kiddlywinks in in 2006. Marie has gained a level 3 qualification in Childcare and Education and works closely with parents to ensure that children’s individual need are identified and met. Marie also has her own little boy who attends Kiddlywinks and as a result has a grounded understanding of this age range. Marie would like to be recognised as a good dancer but the Nursery team and the children are continuing to support her in developing her skills in this area by planning plenty of dance and movement opportunities including Zumbini, which is not only for the children but also for Marie!


    Kayleigh Crook

    Kayleigh started at Kiddlywinks on her student placement whilst studying for her level3 Childcare and Education qualification in 2004. Kayleigh has gained a great deal of experience and knowledge whilst working with our under three children. As a result Kayleigh was promoted to Deputy Manager at The Meadows where she ensures that the team work in partnership to plan and coordinate motivating and inspiring activities for our young children. Kayleigh can always be found with someone on her knee while they enjoy a cuddle and a one to one chat. Kayleigh works extremely closely with Lisa and Rachel and ensures that they are both organised which is always a challenge! Kayleigh’s hobbies include trying every ‘Big Boy’ muffin from Asda as she stalks the cake counter. She has recently taken up running to try to counteract this activity.  Kayleigh also gains huge pleasure from long walks on dark, wet nights searching for her disloyal cat.


    Katie Collins

    Katie joined our Kiddlywinks team in August 2010 after completing her level 3 qualification in Childcare and Education. Katie was promoted to baby room co-ordinator at The Meadows and supports the team in ensuring that they plan and deliver an exciting range of fun activities to ignite the children’s passion for learning. Katie continues to develop her role through professional training and she works closely with the management team to audit and evaluate the quality of our provision for the children and their families. Katie can be a little muddled and disorganised at times, however Kayleigh is always on hand to to tidy up around her and keep her on the right track. Katie’s developmental target for the coming year is to remember where she put her pen!


    Rachel Daynes

    Rachel joined the Kiddlywinks team in September 2012 and works mainly with the under three year olds. Rachel has trained with us to become a qualified Early Years Senior Practitioner and uses what she has learnt from her studies and from her own on-going experience of being a mum to two lively children to complement her practice. As a result, Rachel ensures that the children are provided with both loving and nurturing experiences and also a wide array of fun and imaginative activities to inspire them to learn and develop their skills. Rachel is a highly organised domestic machine who can quickly sort out our chaotic kitchen. Out of work Rachel enjoys action holidays with her husband and family and in her past she has been a librarian who often asked visitors to shhh. Ironically Rachel has never mastered this skill for herself and is an extremely noisy member of the team!

    rachel d

    Sarah Burns

    Sarah joined the Kiddlywinks team in 2013 after working in a children’s holiday club for many years. However Sarah had previously become involved with Kiddlywinks when she came to work on nursery placement whilst studying for her level 3 Childcare and Education qualification. Sarah is very enthusiastic and creative and uses her skills to provide the children with many opportunities that encourage creative learning and expressive arts. Sarah works predominantly in our Moovers and Groovers room and has quickly built up some lovely relationships with the children and their families. Sarah is very competitive and she has proved to be an asset to any team building experience . On the down side, Sarah loves karaoke but unfortunately karaoke does not love Sarah. Thankfully the children have learned to be understanding towards Sarah’s developing talents.
    srah burns

    Jade Baird

    Jade qualified as a level 3 Early Years Childcare and Education practitioner after studying for three years at school. Jade then joined the team here at Kiddlywinks as a practitioner working with our under three year old age group. Jade has quickly formed some strong relationships with with children and parents and has proved to be a very valuable member of the Nursery team. Jade’s hobbies are holidaying in Europe with her friends and shopping. She has recently entered into a tough training regime at Kiddlywinks on housekeeping and can now handle a vacuum cleaner, which should really please her parents!


    Krissi Pickering

    Krissi joined the Kiddlywinks team in February 2012 after previously working in another nursery in Cumbria. Krissi was promoted to Deputy Manager at Kiddlywinks Penrith in 2015. Krissi has gained a level 3 qualification in Childcare and Education and uses her skills and knowledge to ensure the children are provided with imaginative and inspiring activities to support their individual learning interests and to support the next steps of their development. Krissi enjoys socialising with her friends most weekends and enjoys attending muddy music festivals. She also enjoys being waited on, hand and foot, by her parents and her favourite time of day is lunchtime when she enthusiastically gets to eat the amazing meals her mother consistently and lovingly provides for her!


    Natalie Dudson

    Natalie works closely with Jo as one of our baby room co-ordinators. She has been part of the Kiddlywinks team since Christmas 2009. Natalie’s three young children have all attended Kiddlywinks and as a result, Natalie has a true empathy with parents and knows what is important to them about having children in nursery. Natalie spends most of her time working in the Nurture Group and Moovers rooms, taking care of our little babies and working with the team to ensure that the babies’ emotional and developmental needs are identified and met. Natalie has a level 3 qualification in Childcare and Education and enjoys working closely with parents to ensure that she develops strong and trusting relationships with her key families. Natalie’s hobbies include getting up at 3 in the morning to go to the Next sale, jetting off to spend time with her parents in Cyprus and working as an apprentice chocolate taster so she can fulfil her childhood ambition of working in a sweet shop when she retires.

    natalie. d


  • Contact Details

    The Meadows, Tel: 01768 210500
    Eamont House, Tel: 01768 864000
    Email: karenjames2000@btinternet.com

  • OFSTED Registered

    Register Number: EY388855 Kiddlywinks Day Nursery is an OFSTED registered provider and admits children aged from three months to school entry age.
  • Opening Hours

    Opening hours: 8.15am – 5.45pm, however we can offer an early start or late finish between the hours of 8am and 6pm,