Working together for your children

Joan Tait


I qualified as a teacher a long, long time ago! My experience in Adult, Secondary and Primary education has let to my passion for the Foundation Stage and Early Years in general and the Children’s Workshop in particular.

Non-Workshop activities that keep me busy include my family, Bridge, friends, U3A and anything interesting which comes along. I am good at pottering, love gardens but hate gardening! I do a great deal of thinking but not enough exercise!

Sarah Abrahams, BA (Hons), PGCE

Senior Manager; Deputy DSL

I first started working at The Workshop 13 years ago when my younger child started school. Both my children are now at university, their childhood seems to have passed by in a blink of an eye!

I have worked with young children all my life. I trained as an Early Years teacher at Roehampton University and taught in a Primary school for 6 years. I am passionate about ensuring that all children are given the best possible start on their ‘educational journey’ and strive to make the Children’s Workshop a happy, welcoming and exciting place to learn and thrive.

Everyday I am fascinated and rewarded by watching the children grow in confidence and ability. I love observing how the children learn and how they see everything with a fresh eye. It really is a rewarding job and a privilege to be able to spend time with your children. They make me smile every day.
I am very lucky that I work with a wonderful team of ‘pink ladies’ who help to make ‘The Workshop’ a very special place.

In my spare time I enjoy yoga, gardening and walking. I also have a degree in English and History so I do love a good book and a Period Drama!

Jacky Brown, BA(Hons)

Business Manager; Data Controller/Health & Safety

I have been working for the Children’s Workshop since 2008 when my younger child started infant school; firstly as a volunteer mum, then as an employed pre-school assistant and am now the Business Manager. I have a CACHE level 3 Diploma in Children and Young People’s Workforce and Level 3 ILM Leadership & Management in Early Year and have completed numerous other relevant courses. Prior to working here I specialised in marketing logistics, print and design (I have a Degree in English and Art) and worked for a couple of large, international companies – my switch to Early Years Education is certainly more fun and infinitely more rewarding!

I have two teenage children who both attended the Children’s Workshop and who have attended local schools. When not at work I enjoy exercise, going for lovely long walks in our local countryside with my dog and spending time with my family and friends.

Mrs Fiona, MA(Gen), PGCE

Blue Group Manager; SENCO

I joined the Children’s Workshop team when my youngest son started at the Orchard Infant school in 2002. He attended the Children’s Workshop, as did his older brother and sister, who are twins. I am a qualified teacher, and in my current role I am a Group Manager, and Senco. I am passionate about helping all children to learn and to develop their full potential. Outside of work, I am active in the local community. I have been involved with 1st Molesey Sea Scouts Group since my oldest son joined 20 years ago, and I am currently a section assistant in Beavers and the Group’s Secretary. I also enjoy watching sport, particularly football and tennis.

Mrs Angela

Red Group Manager; DSL

I joined the Children’s Workshop in 2012, while my son attended. I became the deputy manager of Blue group in 2017. I have a level 3 Diploma in Early Years and just recently I gained a level 5 in Leadership and Management. I thrive on providing stimulating activities for the children (the messier the better).
As a busy mum I don’t really get time for hobbies but I enjoy going on walks, fitting in exercise and generally spending time with my family and friends. In the summer holidays we pack up our campervan and head to Europe for an adventure.

Mrs Alison B

Pre-School Assistant

I have been working at the Children’s Workshop since 2010 and am married with two grown up children. I have a CACHE level 3 Diploma in the Children and Young People’s Workforce and started my career in childcare when I worked as a one-to-one in special educational needs for a year. I thoroughly enjoy my job and getting to know each child, seeing their individuality and helping them to develop and grow. I particularly enjoy providing the children with opportunities to be creative and use their imagination through arts and crafts which I enjoy myself and through small group work where they can learn through their play with each other.

In my spare time I enjoy going to the gym, gardening, walking, going to the cinema and meeting up with my friends.

Mrs Alison M

Pre-School Assistant

Originally from Florida, I moved to Molesey in 2012 after marrying an Englishman. I’m the mother of two small boys and stepmother of two teenagers – there’s never a dull (or quiet!) moment in our house! I have a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and have found both quite handy in life surrounded by children!

In my spare time, I’m a keen amateur photographer and enjoy taking pictures of my family. We love to explore places new to us in England, and during times we get back to the States, I love introducing my sons to places special to me from my own childhood.

Mrs Anne

Pre-School Assistant

I joined the Children’s Workshop team when my 2 children started school – they had both attended the Workshop. I have Level 3 in Childcare and Education. During my years at the Workshop I have worked as part of the Management team and as SENCO. I am committed to ‘Learning through Play’ ensuring that each child gains confidence and feels valued.
When not working I enjoy gardening, reading and spending time with my 5 lovely grandchildren.

Mrs Assey

Pre-School Assistant

I started working at the Children’s Workshop back in 2010 as a volunteer (parent helper) and then as a student whilst doing my cache level 2 diploma in Children And Young Peoples Workforce.  I had an amazing time to learn in a secure, evidenced based setting, with a fantastic and hardworking team where respect and dignity is valued. Every day is a new adventure with children and I am proud to work with this successful team.

I enjoy spending quality time with my family, going for walks with friends, I love listening to Christian music, I am a very tidy person, I enjoy cooking, reading and in my free time I like to go for running.

Mrs Christine

Senior Pre-School Assistant

I have worked with children for over 30 years. My jobs have included being children’s nanny, managing a crèche and I’m currently in my 14th year working at the Children’s Workshop… you could say I quite like children! The children make me smile every day. I love teaching and watching how they develop and flourish within the stimulating environment of the Children’s Workshop.

Mrs Claire

Senior Pre-School Assistant

I have been working at the Children’s Workshop for over 10 years. I am a married mother of two teenage boys. I have a CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce and have completed numerous varied training courses which include Safeguarding, First Aid and I have recently completed a Mental Health Awareness Course. I love music, dancing, going to music events and festivals. My hobbies are going out with family and friends enjoying life especially in London and Brighton! I have an obsession with buying Vans Shoes and trainers…. Luckily for me my boys have followed in my footsteps!

Mrs Claire F, BA (Hons)

Pre-School Assistant

I started working at Children’s Workshop in April 2021 helping a couple of mornings a week in Red Group and am currently working in Blue Group. I have 2 small boys both of whom are attending Children’s Workshop over the next few years.

I have found working in a pre- school setting so rewarding and stimulating, it is so fabulous to see the children so engaged and full of life, they are so much fun and show such an interest in learning even at this young age.

Working alongside such amazing staff makes me so proud to be part of the team and I can’t wait to complete my Level 3 Diploma in Early Years and get fully immersed!

In a previous life I was a fashion designer and worked for brands such as Ted Baker, Reiss and Hobbs, but have stepped away from that industry and am concentrating on being a SAHM and also volunteering at local Molesey playgroups on the days I am not at the Workshop.

I also run a brownie baking business in my spare time ‘Mrs Caker & Co.’ and have been able to provide some baking sessions for the children, which was incredibly messy but delicious! We have also explored other food-based activities including various fruit shape cutting, spiralizing vegetables and growing peas and tomatoes in the garden!

I really enjoy singing and storytime – the more energetic the better! The kids are so lively, and it provides a great work out!

Mrs Debbie

Pre-School Assistant

I joined the Children’s Workshop team when my own daughter was in Red Group, first as a volunteer and then as a permanent member of staff. I am qualified as Level 3 EYE 2019. I have two children and love being outside in nature with them. I also enjoy cinema, reading and the odd night out…

Mrs Freddie

Pre-School Assistant

I have recently joined The Children’s Workshop working as a Pre-School Assistant in Blue Group. My daughter is currently in Red Group and I have seen firsthand what a caring and nurturing environment The Children’s Workshop is. I am very much looking forward to kick starting my career in Early Years Education and am looking forward to starting my relevant courses.

In my spare time I enjoy reading and going for long walks. I am at my happiest when I’m outside with my daughter in nature exploring with her!

Mrs Karen

Pre-School Assistant

I joined Workshop once my children had started school, initially working two afternoons a week and then becoming a core member of the team in 2007 working mornings. I have worked in both Blue & Red group finding the rotation good for my self development.

I value attending courses and training to keep my skills relevant. Some of the most interesting have been using Puppetry to encourage talk, a CACHE level 3 Diploma in Childcare and an NVQ qualification in Dyslexia and other learning difficulties.

I honestly do not know where the years have gone since first seeing the vacancy on the Orchard notice board and am thrilled that the Workshop still holds my attention and interest everyday. Having come from an incredibly high pressured job prior to having my children I delight in each day’s interaction with small people and my colleagues in such a nice environment.

Needless to say everyday remains a school day, long may it last!

Ms Linda

Pre-School Assistant

I am delighted to have recently joined the Children’s Workshop team in March 2022.  My little boy has been at the pre-school since September 2021 and has really thrived in the very caring environment. I came to the UK from Albania seven years ago and now feel at home here. I am very active in the local community and love working with children.  I volunteer at a local church Sunday school and have helped with their toddler group. I also volunteer for the Metropolitan Police.  I am currently studying an English Language course at college and hope to start the level 3 Childcare Certificate soon.

In my spare time, I like keeping fit by cycling, jogging and dancing. I have also just started volunteering for a local refugee charity, which helped me. I enjoy meeting new people and love being part of the team at Children’s Workshop; it is my dream come true.

Mrs Mahshid

Pre-School Assistant

I joined the staff at Children’s Workshop in 2019, after my older son started Reception after a very happy two years at Workshop and my younger son was settled into Blue Group. I feel so lucky to work alongside such a loving and dedicated group of women, and can think of no better way to spend my time than helping young children build their sense of security, independence, and confidence.

Mrs Melanie

Pre-School Assistant

I have been working at the pre-school for four years. I am qualified as Level 3 EYE 2020. I enjoy working with young children and seeing them flourish. I am a busy mum of 2 who enjoys spending time with my family as well as exercising when I have the time!

Mrs Sherrilyne

Senior Pre-School Assistant

I have been working at the Children’s Workshop since 1985, prior to that I helped out as a volunteer mum, whilst my third child was attending. I took a break when I had my forth child returning when she was old enough to attend. A few of my grandchildren have also attended Children’s Workshop. I hold a NVQ3 in Child-Care

Key Person Approach

As outlined in the EYFS statutory guidance, every child must be assigned a key person. This role is to help ensure that every child’s care is tailored to meet their individual needs, to help the child become familiar to the setting, offer a settled relationship for the child and build relationships with the parents and carers.

At the Children’s Workshop, we want every child to feel safe, valued and confident. Having a key person with whom the child builds a special relationship helps this. We feel confident that our staff wholeheartedly fulfil their key person role and really get to know their children exceptionally well.

The benefits to very young children are that the approach can provide them with a deeply satisfying and enriching experience of pre-school life. Children with strong attachments cry less when separated, engage in more pretend play and sustain attention for longer. This helps support and develop their emotional well being, self esteem, resilience, confidence and independence. Being emotionally attached to their key person helps the child feel secure that the person they depend on is there for them.

The key person approach aims to supplement rather than to replicate the love, care and quality time that the children get form their parents.
Each member of staff has a small group of key children who they get to know exceptionally well and can respond to each child’s needs sensitively and warmly.
Records of development and care are created and shared by the key person, parents and the child. Small groups foster close bonds between the child and the key person in a way that large groups cannot easily do. These groups allow the key person to better ‘tune into’ children’s play and their conversations to really get to know the children in the group well. Children feel settled and happy and are more confident to explore and as a result become more capable learners.

Why Attachment Matters

What is attachment and why is it important for young children? Attachments are the emotional bonds that young children develop with parents and other carers such as their key person. Children with strong early attachments cry less when separated. They engage in more pretend play and sustain attention for longer. They are less aggressive and are popular with other children and with adults. Their sense of who they are is strong. Children need to be safe in the relationship they have with parents or carers. They are vulnerable but will develop resilience when their physical and psychological well-being is protected by an adult. Being emotionally attached to such an adult helps the child feel secure that the person they depend on is there for them. When children feel safe they are more inclined to try things out and be more independent. They are confident to express their ideas and feelings and feel good about themselves. Attachment influences a child’s immediate all-round development and future relationships.

Staffing Ratio

We are registered to have a total 68 children per morning and have 17 staff: We are all trained to a minimum standard of level 3 and 3 members of staff are in training, 1 member of staff is qualified at level 5 and 2 members of staff have level 6 Qualified Teacher Status. All of our staff are part-time. Our staffing allows us to implement a ratio of 1 staff member to every 5 children attending per session. The Senior Manager and Business Manager (who both hold ILM Early Years Leadership & Management qualifications) are not included in the staffing ratios.

ALL staff hold current 12 x hour paediatric first aid certificates which are renewed every 3 years.

ALL staff attend relevant and regular safeguarding training. Angela Kirwin has completed Modules 1 and 2 in safeguarding and is the named DSL lead. The Senior Manager has also completed this training.

1 member of staff has Makaton training.

All staff have completed ‘Prevent’ Training Level 2 on-line food hygiene.

Our staff retention is excellent and we have managed to retain our staff for many years. Our longest serving member has been with us for 35 years!