Kirkgate Childcare is a unique childcare setting that is passionate about providing high quality childcare services. The team involves a number of committed individuals with expert knowledge of Special Educational Needs and a drive to move forward with the services available to those requiring childcare. Kirkgate Childcare are committed to linking with the local community, providing continuity of dedicated Early Years Practitioners and a consistent supply team.
Dawn (the manager and owner) and her team are passionate about providing every child with the best early years education and catering for a wide range of educational and health needs.
“Staff create a welcoming and nurturing environment where children flourish”
Ofsted, November 2019
Meet the team
Manager and Owner of Kirkgate ChildcareRead more about Dawn
Dawn – Manager and Owner of Kirkgate Childcare
Meet the Manager and Owner of Kirkgate Childcare
My name is Dawn, I am married with two children Harry and Ruby. I love to walk with my Labrador, play and coach netball and enjoy spending time with family and friends.
I decided at a very young age that I wanted to pursue a career in Early Years. I studied my Nursery Nursing Education Diploma after leaving school and then moved onto working in a Private Day Nursery. I then chose to work in a Primary School and in 2001 I was successful in gaining an Early Years Practitioners Post within a Local Authority Centre of Excellence, it was there I realised the importance of working with the whole family to ensure better outcomes for the child. During the 16 years working for the LA I progressed into management and achieved my BA Honours Degree in Childhood Studies at Leeds University.
I have lived in Sherburn in Elmet for many years and always felt there was not enough choice for families requiring childcare. In 2017 I left the Local Authority and the journey of Kirkgate Childcare began.
I believe one of my most important investments is my team, it is important that they are nurtured, supported and challenged to grow. If they are happy and share my vision of creating foundations for life for our next generation then we will continue to achieve our mission, which is to provide a happy, safe and stimulating environment to enable all children to become confident, independent and respectful learners whilst working in partnership with parents.
“The dedicated and ambitious manager works closely with staff to monitor children’s progress and review and evaluate practice. She uses information obtained from group tracking systems to plan interventions and successfully close any gaps in children’s learning”
Ofsted, November 2019
Lead Early Years Practitioner (Thursday and Fridays) Term Time OnlyRead more about Kate
Kate – Lead Early Years Practitioner (Thursday and Fridays) Term Time Only
My name is Kate Johnson, I have been married to Les for 38 years and we have 3 grown up daughters – Jessica, Amy and Lucy, we also have 7 beautiful grandchildren.
I have been working with children for over 30 years, I completed my B-Tec National Diploma in Childcare and initially worked as a nursery practitioner within several local authority nurseries. Prior to working here at Kirkgate Childcare, I worked for 17 years at one of Leeds Sure Start Children’s Centres, initially as Senior Nursery Officer, later becoming the Deputy Manager between 2003 and 2011 and then Day Care Manager between 2011 and 2017. During this time, I attended The University of Leeds where I gained a Foundation Degree in Family Support. In 2017 I was able to take early retirement and was lucky enough to be able to take a part time position at Kirkgate Childcare and return to one of my favourite roles as a Key Person.
Safeguarding children has been a very important aspect within my previous management roles and will be something I continue to prioritise and embed at Kirkgate Childcare.
I strongly value Play as a very important part of children’s development and I thoroughly believe that following children’s interests fully promotes their learning and development. I strive to always create a caring and stimulating environment where children’s well-being and involvement are at the heart of everything we do which will enable children to reach their full potential.
Assistant ManagerRead more about Kim
Kim – Assistant Manager
As the Assistant Manager of Kirkgate Childcare, I am thrilled to be in a position to continue the vision that Dawn along with the rest of the team have worked so passionately and tirelessly to achieve.
I joined Kirkgate Childcare in September 2018 as a level three Childcare Practitioner and I was promoted to the role of Assistant Manager in September 2019 which has given me so much insight into the operations of the nursery and I have enjoyed seeing it flourish into an outstanding magical childcare setting that it is today
I have 17 years experience within the childcare sector and my previous roles include private nanny, room leader, out of school club manager and deputy manager for a chain of nurseries.
I am passionate about ensuring that children receive high-quality learning experiences in their early years to prepare them for their future education but delivered in a fun way. I am forward-thinking and like to ensure that practice keeps evolving and have travelled to different settlings across the uk to see the benefit of different approaches to play for myself.
My approach is very much child led and teaching children to find the answers together through questions rather than being told why or how something works.
I am an advocate for outdoor play, loose parts play and providing educationally stimulating environments for children.
In June 2019 I completed my level 4 in advanced childcare practice and management and I am always looking to enhance my skills, knowledge and learning. I am also highly trained in looking after children with severe and life threatening allergies.
I am looking forward to continuing working alongside Dawn and the team to ensure that the nursery continues to maintain the high standards achieved to date.
I am a mum to a little boy Jack age 6 who is my absolute world so I’m kept pretty busy out of work, having a young son means that I understand the struggles families can face juggling work and childcare.
In my spare time I love to cook, visit coffee shops, spend quality time with my family and friends, go camping and enjoy long walks with my miniature poodle Boris!
Early Years PractitionerRead more about Lucy
Lucy – Early Years Practitioner
My name is Lucy Bingham, I’m the Level 3 Early Years Practitioner at Kirkgate childcare after completing my Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Children and Young Peoples Workforce
I am the eldest of four,so I’ve spent my life around children.
Since a young age I always wanted to work with children and I began volunteering at the local Brownie group.
I started at Kirkgate in September 2018, before that I was in another setting for a year. Since coming to Kirkgate Childcare I have learnt so much from the rest of the team.
The children are the centre of my work and I always aim to give them the best. Every one of them is unique and have a lot of potential which we as a team aim to get out of them. At Kirkgate Childcare, we treat ever child as an individual and adapt any planning to their individual needs. We follow our children’s interests to allow the most learning to be done to allow our children to reach their full potentially
I will be commencing my Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies at university from September 2019 which I am very much looking forward to.
Lead Early Years Practitioner and SENDCo (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays) Term Time OnlyRead more about Sarah
Sarah – Lead Early Years Practitioner and SENDCo (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays) Term Time Only
I have a 10 year old son called Jake and being a mum is the best job in the world. We have just welcomed a puppy into our family called Buddy.
My passion has always been to work with children. Throughout my childhood and early education, I always chose childcare to support my learning and development for my future career, from work experience to going on to college to complete my Btec National Diploma in Early Years. I have worked in many roles throughout my career, becoming a room leader at a young age, I knew I was capable of more challenges. I pursued this and went on to work for a local authority for 11 years.
During my time there I accessed an extensive amount of training and my knowledge and experience flourished. I found myself wanting to learn more about special educational needs and disabilities and had a passion and a belief that every child has the right to succeed and thrive.
I have funded many online courses to support my understanding of children with various needs and to date I continue to do lots of research and attend relevant training to further my knowledge and understanding in my present role.
I am passionate about furthering my career and personal development and hope in the not too distant future to go to university and complete a BA Honours in child and family studies
I am currently a key person, I feel meeting new children and families is a wonderful experience and when families choose Kirkgate childcare it fills me with pride. To share that journey of their children’s very first steps in to nursery life and being that safe, consistent and caring person for their child who they can turn to for reassurance, a cuddle or to just ‘check in’ is the best feeling of all. Sharing all milestones however big or small with parents/carers is such a joy to be a part of.
Early Years is my passion as these are the most important times of a child’s life. Sparking that initial developmental curiosity, awe, wonder and excitement in children that will lead them to a positive and successful attitude towards learning for the rest of their lives. I have pride in knowing that I have the opportunity to be part of something like that every day with Kirkgate Childcare.
Early Years practitionerRead more about Holly
Holly – Early Years practitioner
My name is Holly and I am a Level 3 Early Years Practitioner. I began my role with Kirkgate Childcare as an apprentice in 2019. Since then, I have spent time working alongside a passionate, caring and experienced team, where I have been able to develop my skills in a professional manner, leading to the completion of my qualification in June 2020.
I have always enjoyed interacting with children. In 2018, I volunteered as an English Teacher in rural areas in Sri Lanka and Cambodia for 6 months, where I planned and taught a variety of lessons from grammar practice to volcano experiments! I found the whole experience both extremely rewarding and enjoyable and it became clear to me that I wanted to pursue a career in childcare.
I am fascinated by the development of children’s minds and how childhood experiences can go on to shape children for the rest of their lives. This is one of the reasons I feel so strongly that children should have access to quality early years care. I have decided to pursue my interests academically and have begun studying a degree in Psychology and Child Development Bsc at York St John University in September 2020.
At nursery, I enjoy getting to know each child’s unique personality and feel privileged to be able to help guide their development through the early years foundation stage.
Apprentice Early Years PractitionerRead more about Milly
Milly – Apprentice Early Years Practitioner
My name is Milly Brook and I am the Early Years Apprentice. I joined Kirkgate Childcare in September 2020 and I am really excited to spend my time here working with all our lovely children and learn as much as I can from the very experienced team.
I have a niece and two nephews who I love spending my time with and many cousins so I am very family orientated and spend a lot of my time around children.
Outside of work I like to spend time with my family and friends and enjoy dancing which I have done since I was 3 years old. I also volunteered to help teach the younger children in their dance classes alongside my dance teacher. I found it amazing to watch the children grow in confidence and also be a part of their learning.
I am keen to learn all aspects of childcare as I feel it is very rewarding. I am passionate that every child deserves to have a happy childhood and I look forward to being apart of their development and guiding them.
Supply Early Years TeacherRead more about Alison
Alison – Supply Early Years Teacher
I find it hard to believe but I have taught in Foundation Stage for nearly 20 years now. As each day in Foundation Stage is unique and playful it doesn’t feel nearly that long though! I recently retired from my teacher post in an outstanding school and became a supply practitioner as I miss the play, interaction and magic that young children bring us and the reward of enabling and observing their learning and progress.
I have taught across the Foundation Stage in schools and led on PSHE, recognising the value of managing children’s feelings and behaviour creatively throughout their school lives. A career high was working closely with Dawn, Kate and Sarah while working together in a Leeds Children’s Centre and sharing their passion for nurture and learning through play and interaction. At the bookend of my career it is good to have an opportunity to be reunited with them again at Kirkgate Childcare!