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Daynurseries.co.uk spoke to Emma Auston, manager of Kiddi Caru Day Nursery in Peterborough, to find out what it takes to manage one of the group's large city centre settings.
What is your job title?
“I’m the nursery manager at Kiddi Caru Day Nursery Peterborough in Peterborough”
What qualifications do you have?
“I hold a Level 3 – BTEC National Diploma in Nursery Nursing, I am qualified in Safeguarding Advanced and Prevention training, first-aid, food hygiene Level 2 and 3 and I am also a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo)”
How long have you been in your role?
“I’ve been working at the nursery for just over three years, I started here in February 2013.”
Describe what a typical working day looks like?
“Every day is different. I meet and greet the children, staff and parents and go about organising to ensure ratios are met while checking to make sure the nursery is safe and secure.
“As part of my role, I ensure that the children and staff are happy and engaged in their day and solve any problems as the day goes on, supporting staff and families, and deal with concerns and issues.
“As part of the job, I make sure we are controlling costs and finance and work to secure new business as well as ensuring our children have all they need to grow and develop whether this is equipment, emotional support or food.”
What do you like most and least about your role?
“The thing I like most about working here is seeing the staff and children’s confidence grow and seeing them develop, helping to support their personal development, as well as my own.
“My ever growing team of people are passionate about what they do. Seeing the children bounce into nursery excited about the day ahead and leaving bubbling over with the amazing things that have happened during the day.
“The thing I like the least is the paperwork, it seems endless but at the same time, it is so important so it must be done.”
What’s the most challenging part of your job and what would you change about it?
“Recruitment – finding and keeping outstanding staff, particularly in relation to senior roles. I am constantly working with our staff on their self-belief and working to secure them senior roles as they become available.”
What qualities and skills do you think you need to do your job well?
“I am first and foremost a people person – I listen to and understand what people are saying to me. I am compassionate and thoughtful yet driven, focused and determined.
What advice would you give someone looking to take on your role?
“Ask for help and support if you need it. Build your team around you and your vision for your nursery. Get colleagues to commit to the team ethos and mission statement and make sure you use your colleagues, senior staff and other managers – don’t try to do it all yourself. Get involved with council training and local groups. Make yourself known to others for good reasons and become the place that the community talk about as being the best.”
What makes you smile at work?
"I enjoy seeing my team and the children succeed, but really the children in general - seeing them grow and learn new things. The team especially – as sometimes you just have to laugh at silly things and they make me laugh every day.”