Spotlight on…Laura Croucher


Manager at Mon Ami Children’s Nursery in Swineshead

What are you most looking forward to in your new position at Mon Ami?

At the moment I am finding my feet – getting to know faces and names, but I’m really looking forward to a challenge I can sink my teeth into. I knew I wanted to work with young children, but after four years of nannying I realised it wasn’t quite the career for me, so I decided to look for managerial jobs in the nursery sector. Mon Ami feels like a nice place to work – it’s got a homely feel to it, unlike some purpose-built nurseries, which can feel a bit institutional.

What will you take forward from your time as a nanny?

Definitely time management, but also being close with the kids – it’s the personal approach that your never really lose. As a nanny you get to spend time learning about a child’s personality, but I think that’s also really important in a nursery. This is especially important where children are only in two or three days a week.

How did you become interested in language?

I did my degree in English language and linguistics at Roehampton University. We studied quite a lot about how children acquire language, which I found fascinating. Since working in nurseries, I have loved putting these theories into practice.

How does this affect your approach?

I have had a lot of experience working with children with speech and language delays, and that involved a lot of one-to-one or small group activities. I have also worked with speech therapists, helping to create individual action plans for struggling children. As part of everyday practice I make an effort to make sure there is a lot of child-directed language in the nursery. I encourage communication and always make sure that children always understand what they are being asked, but at the same time avoid over-simplified language, to help them develop their speech.

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