Spotlight on…Kate Howarth

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Director, Harley Street Nursery

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You are about to open your first nursery, Harley Street Nursery in Todmorden, West Yorkshire…

I’m a mother and a qualified early years teacher of six years and decided to follow my lifelong ambition of opening a private daycare nursery in my local town, to raise the bar in quality.

What kind of challenges have you found in the process of opening?

The most significant is adhering to regulations, such as using the floor space that I have at the setting and identifying which area suits which age group best (baby, toddlers, preschool).

Furthermore, the regulations did make it difficult to confirm a concrete opening date, as we cannot open without official inspection. This has also impacted our recruitment strategy. I was able to get finance with NatWest.

What is your nursery’s ethos?

Our core ethos is to integrate our activities into the local community through nature walks and play in the local park, woodland and animal sanctuary, and to create an educational play-based environment using advanced and interactive online learning journeys.

Our online learning journeys and electronic diaries allow parents to monitor, assess and evaluate their child’s progress within the setting. Critically, this reduces ‘office time’ and paperwork for our practitioners, who are then able to dedicate more quality time with each child in the provision.

Are you planning to offer the 30 hours?

Absolutely! We are striving to offer all parents an inclusive participation and give all funded and privately funded children an equal experience. We have made an allowance for almost 40 per cent of our space to be dedicated to children in the entitlement age category.

Are you looking to expand in the future?

Yes, it is my ambition to grow a chain of Outstanding nurseries in the Calder Valley.

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