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Our Staff

We offer a high staff to child ratio in our sessions.  Our experienced staff team are highly qualified and trained in childcare and child development and dedicated to offering your child a quality playgroup experience. An experienced member of staff will be assigned as a key worker to your child when they first start our setting. The role of the key worker is to build a relationship with you and your child making your child feel safe and cared for in our setting and acting as an accessible and available point of contact for yourself.

We believe teaching should not be taken to imply a top-down or formal way of working. It is a broad term which covers the many different ways in which adults can help young children learn. It includes their interactions with children during planned and child-initiated play and activities: communicating and modelling language, showing, explaining, demonstrating, exploring ideas, encouraging, questioning, recalling, providing a narrative for what they are doing, facilitating and setting challenges.  

(OFSTED 2014:7)


Nichola Kehoe 

Early Years Manager, SENCO, Health and Safety Officer


Education:– Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for the Children’s and Young Peoples Workforce, Leadership and Management Programme in Playwork, ILM in First Line Management in EYFS, Cache Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health
Designated Persons Safeguarding, Paediatric First Aid, SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator)

"I love working for Rowlands Gill Under Fives. It is a privilege to meet and care for all of the children and families that we look after every year. Seeing how much the children have achieved by the end of the year and watching how much their confidence has grown always makes me very proud. I also get to work with, in my opinion, the best staff team ever!"


Helen Harper

Early Years Leader, Designated Safeguarding Officer


Education – Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for the Children’s and Young Peoples Workforce, Leadership and management Programme in Play work, ILM in First Line Management in EYFS, Designated Persons Safeguarding, Paediatric First Aid,


Worked for the company for over 18 Years in total starting as a committee member, then treasurer and started working as a practitioner in 2006


“I love being part of the team at playgroup. I enjoy the challenges and rewards of working with young children; seeing them develop, grow and learn during their time at playgroup. I regard my colleagues as my ‘work family’ and enjoy working as part of our close, supportive and friendly team”

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Rebecca Liddle

Early Years Practitioner, Deputy SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator)

Education – Level 3 Diploma for Children’s and Young Peoples Workforce, Safeguarding, Paediatric First Aid

Started working for Rowlands Gill Under Fives in September 2018

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Junko Jenkins

Early Years Practitioner

Education – Level 3 Diploma for the Children’s and Young Peoples Workforce, Safeguarding, Paediatric First Aid

Started worked for company in 2019

"The best part about working with children is I get to see their smiles every day and listen to their imaginary stories. I enjoy supporting children in their play and of course, playing with them. It's lovely to see children develop throughout the year and watch them grow"

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Vicky Warnock

Early Years Practitioner

Education – Vicky is currently working towards her Early Years Educator Diploma for the early Years Workforce.

Vicky began to work for Playgroup in September 2021 and quickly secured her place as valued member of our team. 

"I love working in Playgroup. It is such a rewarding job, working with the children and learning each one of their individual and amazing personalities. The staff team is fabulous and it's so nice to work alongside colleagues who I think of as family" 

All staff are trained in Safeguarding, Prevent Duty, Paediatric First Aid, Level 3 Food Hygiene, and have refresher courses in these every 3 years. Staff are also trained in Makaton, Special Educational needs, Inclusion, Health and Safety. We often attend Conferences on Early Years matters and are part of a network of Childcare providers around the North East, where we meet up and share good practice.

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