Spotlight on…Katie Duke

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Nursery manager at Tops Day Nurseries Havant

spotlight-katie-duke

Katie Duke

WHEN DID YOU JOIN TOPS?

I joined the Tops Lakeside family in 2012 as a room manager. In 2013, I was promoted to nursery manager. Over the years, Tops Day Nurseries have provided me with the opportunity to be a part of things like developing the no-added-sugar menus and introducing a glitter ban.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM YOUR TIME AT LAKESIDE?

Working my way up from room manager to nursery manager provided me with the vital skills to understand what is expected of the staff team working on the floor with the children every day. I learned that it is important to spend a lot of time working in a room to gain a deeper understanding of the children’s needs and preferences, and this is still very important to me.

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE BACK IN HAVANT WHERE YOU GREW UP?

It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to support families in my local area, while also working closely with other professionals in the local community to ensure all our families can access the support on offer. Growing up in the local area means I not only know a lot of the professionals available, but also know many areas in the natural environment that we can visit to extend the children’s natural curiosity.

HOW DOES THE HAVANT NURSERY FOCUS ON ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY?

We were the first nursery in the UK to receive Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Schools status. As well as organising beach cleans, banishing single-use plastic and writing to brands to learn more about their packaging waste, we also raised the issue with our local MP. We have eliminated single-use plastics from the nursery, replacing them with reusable resources such as fabric aprons, wet bags instead of nappy sacks, and real cutlery and crockery. We have recently switched all our cleaning products to eco-friendly, more concentrated products. We stopped buying wet wipes last year too, and have started making our own.

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