If found please return to my husband...
Before I ventured into being a mum I had a lot of time to be incredibly selfish. I loved to dream, to plan, to organise and to accomplish. I used to think about being a mum with a sense of smugness, I knew it all and I was going to be an amazing mum. I read every parenting book on the planet just so I could be sure I had it organised.
I would never lose my temper with my children. I would never let my children run around with their shoes on the wrong feet. I would never wear gym clothes all day. I would never leave face painting on their faces for five days. I would never let them eat sugar. I would never let them wear a Cinderella outfit for a full week. We would never skip tooth brushing or hair brushing because of the drama. I would never be “that” mum. I would spend my days with my children reading books, visiting national trust parks, going to libraries, museums, doing crafts, and exploring the outdoors. I was going to be the very first Super Mum.
It turns out there is a very good reason that no one has ever made it to be the first ‘Super Mum’ Super Mums do not exist in real life, ONLY on Social Media as part of the one up-mum-ship banter.
So why do we fail at being Super Mum? We fail because Children have their own set of rules that don’t quite ‘Fit’ the super mum plan.
Super Mums try to only watch a film such as ‘Frozen’ once and not 8 million times on repeat.
Super Mums want to stare at their beautiful floor length mirrors admiring their outfits of choice and not simply sobbing into them, remembering their old bodies whilst attempting to remove sticky finger marks with used tissues or baby wipes.
Super Mums fridges contain many mix and match options of the M&S meal deal without a homemade concoction in sight.
Super Mums Fizzy is alcohol and not just the left over fresh orange that is left fizzing away like a ticking time bomb.
Super Mums fruit bowl is adorned with fabulous polished exotic fruits without a tiny bite mark taken from each apple in sight.
Super Mums toilet roll holder is bursting with cushioned, bouncy, scented and embossed quiltedness and not the brown cardboard that is often seen there now.
‘Time out’ for Super Mum is a European mini break to refresh whereas in reality it resembles putting yourself on the bottom stairs to grab 5 mins’ sanity time.
Super Mums designer handbags only fit keys, a credit card and a lipstick. Real Mums carry a hand/backpack that would equally do for a small village road trip to Antarctica.
I am a mum of three, and motherhood didn’t look like I thought it would. I often find myself doing things and saying things that I don’t recognize.
Have I lost myself, in my bid to be the Super mum I wonder?
No chance, I conclude, quite the opposite.
I have found myself. I look in the mirror and see a woman who has put her children’s needs first. I see a woman who never thought she could get angry, but has now learned to ask for forgiveness and put herself in time out. I look in the mirror and see a woman who will never have her pre-mum body back, but is ok with the scars and is doing her best with the residual weight. I see a woman whose house is disorganized because a lot of time is spent keeping the day to day routine going whilst holding down a full-time job. I also see a woman who is much quicker to ask for help and recognize when she needs it. My now mum self sees more of her faults and knows her limitations.
I can’t be perfect, so I’ve stopped trying. I am much more accepting and gracious of myself than I ever have been in my life. It sometimes catches me by surprise. Who is that? I never thought I could be this disorganized. I never thought that I could just walk away from my 24/7 full on career and really be ok with a little time off when I need it. But I am.
Motherhood has made me see my identity in a whole new light. What I see is a woman who depends on her husband and friends more than ever before and recognizes her need for grace. It turns out losing myself in the Super mum challenge wasn’t such a bad thing after all.
I hope you have had a great November and here’s to a wonderful, dysfunctional, Family,Fun, filled December.
Bring on the Mince Pies!
Take care everyone
(Managing Director of Evolution Childcare)
There is nothing better for your mental well being than throwing your head back and belly laughing until your stomach hurts, your eyes are full of tears and your cheeks hurt. Well it may come as a surprise but babies are no different to us adults. Just as you find things from mildly funny to damn right hysterical, so will your baby.
So how do we turn those giggle muscles on and boost baby belly laughs? Babies develop their side splitting sense of humour in a clear process so essentially they find different things funny at different stages in their development.
We have all been there looking into the eyes of a new born and gasping in amazement as a smile as wide as the Cheshire Cat appears on their perfect tiny faces.
"Look honey, she is smiling at us!"
"No darling it's wind"... Cue huge disappointment.
Knowing the stages can really help you tune into your little Bundle of Laughs.
From 0 – 6 months comes the first amazing humour step – the first giggle, usually around 3 months where they are not laughing at anything in particular, but if you laugh with them it becomes contagious as they delight at your reaction. Babies find really random things funny but very quickly things on the laughter train soon speed up.
From 6 months a baby is not only learning about his own sense of humour and deciding what he finds funny but he is also connecting with your sense of humour. Like your very own Simon Cowell he will watch as you perform from blowing bubbles, to squeals, to raspberry blowing to loud pops, to deep voices, to squeaking your nose. How does he reward your efforts when you finally get the "that’s a yes from me?", with the loudest outburst of continual giggle fits much to everyone’s amusement.
From 6 – 12 months your baby is starting to understand the world around him and that he also has the most talented amusing parents on the planet. Babies start to find physical fun hilarious, so throw yourself around, roll on the floor, jump around and bounce will have him giggling and smiling like a trooper. He will be delighted by the unexpected so when daddy pounces from around a corner and your pelvic floor almost gives up the ghost, your baby will be chuckling and snorting at his daddy’s incredible talents.
From 1 – 2 years a toddler now has a better understanding of props and the part they play in having a laugh. Putting socks on your ear or his trousers on your head will have him mimicking along with you, answering his shoe as a phone or his cup as a hat will guarantee a hearty bout of giggles.
From 2 – 3 years it’s the exciting Comedy stand up show and you are the audience on permanent laugh and clap mode. Children are really finding their comedy genre and can make up words, jokes and really beginning to understanding their own take on humour and how to make their friends and you laugh. Potty humour is at the forefront of all funny topics and ‘poo, pee and wee’ will be up there with the one liners. After the punchline remember to laugh – always, it’s part of the parenting rule book, no matter how unfunny you may find it. Just laugh along yourself and marvel at how you developed this comic wonder over the past 3 years.
Just keep the Mother-in-Law jokes to yourself just for now!
Happy October laughing everyone,
Kind regards and miles of smiles,
(Managing Director of Evolution Childcare)
Confidence and self-esteem is something we as adults can particularly relate to and something that all of us want our children to have. We want our children to grow up happy and emotionally strong, knowing that who they are and what they stand for is enough and all that matters to them. We want them confident and comfortable in their own skin and want them to celebrate and be proud of their achievements. We want them to know their strengths and their weaknesses and to embrace the fact that they are wonderful and unique and utterly individual.
Nursery is the most amazing, early environment to nurture, develop and build a child’s healthy self-esteem. Starting young is key to underpinning and developing confidence. Why? Because once a child experiences life outside himself and his emotionally protected home, he is instantly subjected to life experiences, demands and opinions, both good and bad. Nursery controls the environment and we control the experiences with trained staff who ensure rules, boundaries and positive measures that promote kindness, empathy, emotions and feelings are central to the day, so that each child can grow in a positive and emotionally balanced harmonious manner.
A confident child with a healthy self-esteem will:
Investing time in your child’s emotional development will help prepare them for the outside world. A child will without doubt meet a ‘best friend’ who will turn to them out of the blue and say ‘you are not my friend anymore’. This can be crushing for some children will low self-esteem and their confidence can take a real knock, so how can you help at home?
There are so many simple ways to do this every day, for instance:
Show them and tell them all the time that you love them, then say it again, over and over.
When a child can see you love them no matter what and unconditionally adore them, he will feel safe and secure. Cuddle them, read to them, listen to them, sing together, anything you can do to spend quality time wherever possible, even if it’s just at bed time for a few minutes after a busy day at work. A few minutes is all it takes, if that’s all you have to make a child feel special and loved.
Let them do things for themselves.
Young children yearn to be independent, to show you how clever they are, even though they may spill the milk, drop the food and take eternity to put toys away, letting them have a go empowers children as they see they don’t need Mummy or Daddy’s help as they are clever and independent and making you proud.
Give them praise.
Descriptive praise is different to recognition. Descriptive praise, tells the child exactly what you are happy about. For instance, ‘well done for putting your shoes on both feet’ and ‘well done for brushing your teeth’ is exacting praise, whereas ‘what a lovely picture’ isn’t.
When they say they can’t, show them they can.
Young children often say they can’t when they are frightened of doing a task wrong, or can’t remember if they have done it before. Encouragement and perhaps a little help along with understanding to a child that you know it’s a big task but you believe in them to have a go and try will work wonders. If he tries regardless of success celebrate the effort involved.
Many of you will have waved your children off to ‘Big’ School this week and I am sure your little charges took it all in their stride. Confidence and self-esteem are two of the greatest gifts a parent can give a child as they last a lifetime and prepare them wholeheartedly with the skills to cope in the big world.
“A child’s bucket of self-esteem needs to be filled so high that the rest of the world can’t poke enough holes in it to drain it dry" - Alvin Price.
Take care everyone and have a wonderful September.
(Managing Director of Evolution Childcare)
This Summer has been a giggle from start to finish with a Toddler in our midst. Grandparenting has shone a whole different light on Parenting. Well it has in our house and out has gone the rule book and in its place is rule breaking and chaos with a whole host of laughter thrown in.
Frankie is, as most toddlers are, an adorable, mischievous, headstrong, determined, sugar-loving, ego-centric dare devil, who is very clear on what she likes and even clearer on what she doesn’t like:
Frankie LOVES Sofia the First.
‘Dandad’ Rob and MamMar Sue, DON'T like Sofia the First having sat through the same episode 32 times in one day.
Frankie LOVES suntan lotion.
Rob and Sue are happy that Frankie loves suntan lotion but would rather she wears it rather than paints the patio, furniture, BBQ , Robs feet and the dogs with it.
Frankie LOVES the fair.
Rob and Sue would like to apologise again for that ‘one ride too many’ and ‘candy floss discovery’ that caused the meltdown of Frankie whilst being separated from the bumper bubble machine cars. Rob and Sue would also like to reassure all onlookers that we were not kidnapping our little Sugar Addict and the over the shoulder manoeuvre was indeed the fastest way to exit the situation.
Frankie LOVES candy floss.
Rob and Sue do NOT like candy floss which was shared with the rear car mats along with the entire contents of Frankie’s stomach at around 70 mph in the outside lane of the motorway.
Frankie LOVES her unicorn backpack.
Rob and Sue do NOT like the unicorn backpack which Frankie insists on wearing whilst holding onto the straps with both hands. Holding onto the straps when wobbly toddling leads to no hands and face planting the pavement.
Frankie LOVES swings.
Rob and Sue also LOVE swings which is a really good job as once Frankie is in one, there is very little chance of her coming out for a good few hours, which is ample time to open the cans of G&T and time to start the picnic.
I hope you all had a fantastic Summer and as it draws to a close and we welcome Autumn in, there will be darker nights, leaves falling, conkers dropping and a whole host of new likes and dislikes to discover.
Have fun everyone,
(Managing Director of Evolution Childcare)
As a grown up mum of 4 (including husband) and a feisty Leo mum at that to a growing and extending Family, I have always considered myself strong.
I've pulled up the big girls pants, I've upped my game and I've worked my butt off to be independent and a positive role model to my children. I've worked long hours, I've taken challenges, I've taken risks and I've survived, all whilst wearing 5 inch heels, red lipstick and a smile.
This month something happened, something I hadn't expected, well actually a catalogue of something's happened that literally shook my world to the limits.
So what did this strong, independent woman do?
I burst into tears, I cried and I sobbed and I literally ran into the arms of my mother just as I had when I was 4 years old and fallen from my bike!
It was the ultimate primitive response as if I had strayed too far from her, was lost, could perish and I needed to be found. I needed my mum to tell me it was going to be alright, to comfort me and smother me in reassurance.
Of course she did exactly that and fast forward a month and as predicted the somethings became nothings just as before and I got back up, brushed myself off and emerged a little bruised, a little hurt but a whole lot wiser and a tiny bit sassier from the experience.
It made me think about Parenting. It made me think about crying. It made me think about how we as parents and carers respond to babies cries.
Did my mum bring me up with the Early Years knowledge I have? No of course not. Was she a parenting expert? No! Was she fully aware of the Attachment Theory and that psychologist John Bowlby postulated that a warm, intimate relationship between caregiver and infant is necessary for optimal health as well as for basic survival.
No, my mum knew the basics along with her friends and together they parented their own children and each other's. I think they did an amazing job simply by doing what came naturally to them.
Looking at the Theory - babies are born without the ability to self-regulate emotions. That is, they find the world to be confusing and disorganized, but do not have the coping abilities required to soothe themselves. Thus, during times of distress, they seek out their caregivers because the physical closeness of the caregiver helps to soothe the infant and to re-establish equilibrium.
When the caregiver is consistently responsive and sensitive, the child gradually learns and believes that she is worthy of love, and that other people can be trusted to provide it. She learns that the caregiver is a secure base from which she can explore the world, and if she encounters adversity she can return to her base for support and comfort. This trust in the caregiver results in what is known as a secure individual.
As my story demonstrates, attachment theory lasts a lifetime and whenever you need it, and whatever the age, man, woman, child or baby. A strong bond between carer and child is the greatest gift that should be nurtured always as it lasts a lifetime, providing the eternal strength you can always rely on through adulthood.
Life is a catalogue of highs and lows and with the love of a family pretty much anything is possible.
Have a great Summer everyone!
(Managing Director of Evolution Childcare)
How quickly is this year passing by already, we are now sadly in the process of acknowledging we are very close to saying goodbye to some of our lovely pre-school children over the summer ready for them to embark on their next adventure to school. Lots of organising, transition records/report writing but more excitingly planning their graduation party to take place on 6th August. As much as it is a sad time it has been lovely to see them all develop and grow over the last few years, they have some wonderful personalities and wacky conversations are going to greatly missed. We are sure that they are all going to settle into school well.
Our Family Day that took place on May 14th, was a huge success. The fact that the sun was shining, the BBQ smelt good and the children were enjoying the bouncy castle whilst the parents were sat enjoying a cold beer or a glass of Pimms, we couldn’t of asked for a better day. Everyone had a fabulous time – Sandie suffered with a numb bum from nearly 4 hours of face painting. Zara’s feet were swollen from being nearly 7 months pregnant and on them all day helping with the BBQ, and both a little pink from the sunshine but neither of us complained, it was an amazing afternoon. It was great to see so many parents and families turn up and spend their Saturday with us.
We’ve had fantastic feedback from parents who all enjoyed the day, and appreciated all the effort that we went to, some lovely words have been said. We really do have the best parents!!
Can we just say a huge Thank you to Dan (Sandie’s Husband) for cooking all the food on the BBQ, Dec (Zara’s Husband) for serving up the drinks, Kathryn for using her magic touch of conversation to sale the raffle tickets – Congratulations to Martha Morgan on winning a Sony Digital Camera.
Also we would like to say a special thank you to Adam and Vicky who generously funded the event, It was very kind of them and was lovely to meet their new addition Kitty and see Scarlett and Matilda again enjoying the event too.
A special mention to Kathryn was made on the day as she quietly informed Sandie that had been working at the site for 23 years that week. So sneakily we arranged with the rest of the team to create a lovely selection of personal messages and a bottle of Prosseco for her to enjoy, to say that she was a little overwhelmed was a understatement and we got into all sorts of trouble with her. You can read the words her fellow colleagues had to say below. Truly grateful for the gesture after her emotional read of what everyone had said, she brought us chocolates so it wasn’t that bad! We think the achievement its self of 23 years is something that definitely needs to be recognised, as well as the hardworking and lovely team member that she is.
So after great success we personally can’t wait for the next one to come along, but in the mean time we’ll be preparing for the short break that Zara will be taking over the summer (lucky devil) for the arrival of her baby, but we know she will be in to say hello and introduce the baby to the nursery world ready for her to start in the baby room towards the end of the year.
We would like to thank all the staff and parents for their continued support and dedication.
Please keep reading to view the lovely messages written for Kathryn.
Sandie & Zara
The lovely Kathryn Richardson, our Preschool Room Manager, has been based at the nursery for 23 years this week...
Here are a few words for Kathryn from the team here at Evolution Childcare - The Lodge - Nursery & Preschool:
‘I love working with Kathryn, she has been like a second mum to me, always kind, caring full of advice and willing to listen…she gives great cuddles too!! She is fab with her team and the children, a consistent positive role model. I want to give a special thank you to Kathryn for looking after my daughter and catering for her individual needs as her key worker. Love always xx’
‘Kathryn helped me when I started by offering guidance and advice when I first started, she has lots of professional knowledge and is generally caring.’
From Clare K:
‘Kathryn is very polite, always willing to help others and will go that extra mile, she’s a really lovely and bubbly person.’
‘Kathryn made me feel welcomed when I started, she’s always happy and loves a chat!’
‘I admire Kathryn’s knowledge and experience. I’d love to be half as good as her in the future, she’s an amazing teacher.’
‘Kathryn is very professional, she listens and you know that anything you say is in confidence. She’s a true friend and I love every minute I work with her.’
‘Kathryn is always approachable, her professional knowledge has always helped me with my own practice, I look up to her as a great role model, she is a great friend and colleague.’
‘Kathryn is hardworking and loyal, she offers you good advice and will always listen to you.’
‘Since I started Kathryn has been welcoming, kind, open and gives good ideas that will help you as a person. Thank you for making me part of the team.’
From Clare M:
‘It’s been a wonderful ride, a bit like a marriage!! The fun and adventures we have had, I hope it continues all my love xx’
‘There’s lots you could say about Kathryn, I think she’s helped everyone that has worked here, and does work here in her own way. On a personal level, Kathryn is kind, funny, will always ask how you are? And will listen when you need to let off a bit of steam. Kathryn 23 years is a great achievement for anyone but you have challenged yourself and continue to do so, so here’s to you and thank you for all that you do within our team. Have a well deserved glass or bottle of prosecco S xx’
‘Kathryn is a very valued and dedicated team member, Kathryn is always willing to listen, help and support any member of the team with her fast knowledge and experience. She always rises to the challenge, will give every aspect to her working day 200%, She always knows the right time to give you a cuddle even if you don’t want one! I’ve got Kathryn to thank for Hallie’s recent obsessions with red lipstick on our recent purchase her phase in front of the mirror was ‘Yes I’ve got one like Kathryn’ the bond still there after 3 years at school, and I know there are others still that have a strong bond with her. xx’
Here are some more comments from parents & former colleagues:
From Beccy Cowling:
'Aww well done Kathryn, and such true words loved working with you all those years ago! Glad you are cutting my children's hair tonight too x x x.'
From Trish Robbins:
'Kathryn is and always was an exceptionally hard working and loyal colleague and friend. What a lovely accolade from Evolution - The Lodge. Well done lovely lady x.'
From Amandalan TurnerAstell:
'Well done Kathryn!! It was lovely working with you!! Xx.'
From Rachel Smith:
'Well done Kathryn. I really valued all the advice and support you gave me when i worked with you x.'
From Amba Reynolds:
'Amazing!! Well done Kathryn! Noah is always bragging about what you have taught he each day x.'
From Kay Turner:
'Well done Kathryn xxx.'
From Jessica Griffiths:
'Well done Kathryn! Loved working with you and will see you soon xx.'
Look how quickly our chicks have grown already (some are between 5-6 days old)... still adorable and cute though!
Living Eggs is a fantastic and engaging activity for the children, and everyone at The Lodge have been watching the entire process with a great deal of interest.
It's a very successful programme which has been operating throughout the UK for 10 years, and children in schools often record the Living Eggs experience as one of their major memories of primary school life. It touches everyone’s heart to see a chick hatching no matter how young or old!
If you are interested in looking after our cute little chicks (re-homing) - please get in touch with us by contacting either Zara or Sandie for more information.
Everyone had a fantastic time at our Toddle Waddle around Pittville Park. The walk was in association with Barnardos Toddle, and all the children and parents came dressed as Pirates and Princesses to raise money for the charity.
Photos courtesy of The Gloucestershire Echo (www.gloucestershireecho.co.uk)
Where has the time gone? It is nearly 5 months since the journey began for launch of Evolution childcare @ The Lodge. We have enjoyed every minute and continue to work extremely hard to make everyday amazing for our children. We are still looking to make improvements daily, we and the team are making incremental changes daily to improve children's, parents and staff experiences or environment. If the feedback to date is anything to go by, the changes are resonating with our children and their parents /carers. We are delighted to be making headway with our plans, but the journey continues!
There has been so much happening and so much planned, I think it would be beneficial to mention some of the highlights and shine a light on the people that made it happen. We have completed the Barnado's Big Toddle in Pittville park last weekend and appeared in the Gloucestershire Echo. I just wanted to say how proud I am of Sandie and Zara my management team, for organising the event. It was a great success, raising over £200 and rising.
At The Lodge we are delighted to be raising money for such a good cause and bonding with lots of our parents / carers. The links we are building with the community and local businesses are fantastic and I am committed that this will be just the start of things to come. We are looking forward to many more great events like this and want to become the best and most envied nursery in Cheltenham. Keep up the good work.
Upcoming nursery news. There is lots planned for keeping the children engaged and engrossed this month, including French lessons, a program of children fitness sessions (in partnership with one of our parents Louise Lacey of Funkykidsfit) for ages 2 ½ -5, watch this space.
We follow this with our Medieval enactment morning on 17th June, with Pewter Casting and Carpentry, this will be all outside weather permitting. Which Lucas’ parents and friends are kindly coming in to show us. Thank you.
This is to name but a few of the things happening throughout June and those of you who follow us on Facebook and Twitter will no doubt know a lot of this already. Our fabulous marketing team at Big Yellow are helping us with this and both Zara, Sandie and their team supply fantastic updates on a daily basis to keep all parents abreast of what’s going on in the nursery, so please feel free to follow and “Like” our posts.
As ever as a hugely exciting and busy May, Kathryn (Rainbow), one of our longest serving members of staff, has taken the lead on the absolutely critical role of our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), previously held by our Zara (Nursery Manager). I know that this is an awful lot more work and although Kathryn has vast amounts of experience the guidelines and best practice change over the years and Kathryn has been on multiple “refresher” courses in May and continues to do so through June, a massive well done to her for all the efforts and Zara has been supporting her fantastically well in the hand over.
I would again like to thank our Staff for there continuous dedication to the children and the Nursery. To our parents, thank you for your continued support and please feel free to make and suggestions, as to how we can improve we welcome your input.
Owner, The Lodge
Interior decorator, HR manager, consultant chef, utilities manager, facilities manager, project manager, procurement managers, interior designer, AstroTurf layers to name but a few. Setting up this nursery lark is providing the opportunity to develop the art of adaptability. What a rollercoaster but the most exciting time of our lives!
Vicky, the team and I are thrilled with the progress being made at the nursery, but we appreciate this is just the beginning and there is an awfully long way to go. We keep reminding ourselves we are laying the foundation stones and are delighted to see Zara, Sandie and their team embark on the reintroduction of lost processes, freshening up of ideas and learning outcomes for our children at the nursery.
The renovations are flying and anybody that has been to the nursery cannot have missed the fencing, which has been a critical part of our plan to make the transition to the gardens at the nursery as safe as possible.
Work on the new Reception Room that links Rainbow at the front of the building into the heart of the nursery (integral to our philosophy of safety and inclusivity) are nearly complete. Kathryn and Claire in Rainbow, who have over 50 years experience of working in this nursery setting between them, are fonts of knowledge and they are fundamental, in our opinion, to a successful nursery team. With the flow throughout the nursery improving, it will mean the nursery team can share knowledge and the children even more communal experiences.
The build is coming to an end, you will be please to know and it is our intention to organise a parents event to act as a private launch and to share the changes completed in March. Watch this space.
We launched the new seasonal menus on 23rd February and the first week has been a success. Our Chef Sergio has massively engaged with the new challenge and has introduced local suppliers for our meat deliveries; these relationships were developed in his time as a restaurant chef. The Spring Menu was moved forward a week and we will start to see Sergio’s real skills in the coming weeks, albeit with a little help from Evolution Headquarters Chef Tash. Tash kindly provided some recipes for Sergio to help him out in the first week, it’s not that he did not know the how to cook the dishes, but as a native Italian he was not quite sure what a “Hotpot” or a “Cobbler” were. Remember the menus will be found on the parents boards around the nursery and once the Reception is finished they will reside there.
Finally, we look forward to welcoming a number of the Evolution Team to visit us in March. Nicola the Baby Room Manger, Jacqui the UK Franchise Director and Sue (Nursery Manager extraordinaire) will be coming down to spread some inspiration in the nursery. Nicola and Natalie in the Baby Room will be looking at resources and sensory development, whilst Zara and Sue will be finishing training.
Owner, The Lodge
2 years in the genesis, 6 months in the negotiation and we are at completion. On Monday 12th January, Vicky and I became the proud owners of our very own nursery. This was without great fanfare, albeit with some of the largest and brightest signage in the whole of Cheltenham arriving. Some of you may have seen it on your way past or when you have come to drop off or collect your wonderful children, I hope you like it.
Following our 2 weeks of exceptional training at Evolution HQ, Vicky and I now feel inspired and hugely motivated. We are going to need all the energy we can muster, as you can expect, as there is a rather full diary and to do list. A quick shout out to Jacqui, Kerry and the 2 Sue’s at HQ who looked after us so well and provided such professional and well executed training. Our stay was very enjoyable, this was despite some rather dubious hotel accommodation, picked by yours truly, where the heating was turned up for breakfast but kindly turned off at night, leaving even the decidedly resolute Zara (nursery manager) sleeping with 15 extra layers on.
I thought it might be nice to provide a record or our progress to date:
Progress continues in earnest with both the renovations and reorganisation @The Lodge. We have lucked out with an absolutely awesome nursery team and they are going to be crucial to our success and our sanity. It was great to spend some quality time with Zara on training, getting to know her on a professional as well as personal level. Sandie (Deputy Manager) was holding the fort in our absence and did so showing remarkable leadership qualities - a hidden gem.
The bank rather unexpectedly delivered a bottle of ‘champers’ to us when we were away on training and this was consumed with the in laws this Sunday, nearly a week after official completion, when we had a moment to decompress and reflect for just a moment, followed by a delicious curry with all the family.
Our illustrious leaders Sue and Rob Jones took time out of their visit to Cheltenham Town FC where some of Rob’s Liverpool youth squad protégés are spending time on loan. Gutted I missed a photo opportunity but was made up with some tweets from Rob and another Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler this week.
Our first staff meeting took place on Monday night and we covered an awful lot, instead of the scheduled 30mins we had an hour together and some blatant chocolate bribery was employed to grease the cogs. What a motivated bunch we have, the team particularly liked the planned events we will be implementing and inspiration/resources we can draw on from the wider Evolution Childcare team. There was also a lot of shared excitement about the opportunity to draw up a wish list for new resources, soft furnishings and equipment for each of the children’s rooms. Who doesn't like spending other people’s money?
We have been calling in the favours from friends and family. Ian (brother in law) completed the stunning signage, what a perfectionist. Nigel (father in law) has been engineer, chief locksmith and handyman-patience of a saint. Rob, Sam and Paul (friends) are being shipped in to complete the build and this starts on Friday.
The support we will be receiving from all of the team is very reassuring and with such a good group of staff we are on the right track to achieving our vision for an outstanding nursery setting. We will be sure to keep you posted.
Owner, The Lodge